Chapter 1: Accepted!?!
TIMELINE IS BASED RIGHT AFTER THE FIRST SERIES AND GOES INTO THE SECOND SERIES*
Third person's Pov.
Catherine couldn't breathe.
Her hands shook as they tightly grasped onto the thin piece of paper that just changed her entire life. Her eyes kept running over and over the neatly scrawled on letters and questioning whether laugh, scream, or cry. In the end, she did all three.
Dear Ms. Bancroft,
Thank you for taking the time to... through many test and research... much time thinking this through... process took long enough... we are happy to inform that you are ACCEPTED into Madison Academy New York. You're expected to be packed and moved into your dorm by this Friday, August 20, 2017, and all of you're information will be filed...
She couldn't even read the rest, too excited as all of her plans of what she'll do, see, hear, feel, experience, everything and anything all ran through her head. Scanning through the letter once more, she felt elation fill her heart. She really was accepted into Madison Academy, the one school she had dreamed of going to since she was old enough to know what school was.
Madison Academy was a very high, prestigious, expensive, and rare school to get into. It majored mostly in the arts, such as sculpting, theatre, architecture, art design, music, etc... And it was all founded and run by Catherine's favorite actress, Mme. Marin Césaire. An elegant woman whom Catherine idolized since the tender age of five. She's seen and can quote perfectly almost every show, musical, movie, play that the lady has been in.
Now, after all of her hard work through her freshman and sophomore year of high school and a super nerve-wracking summer filled with multiple auditions for this impossibly expensive school, she was accepted. By next Friday, she'd be going to Madison Academy, as a year-round student.
Finally, she let out a very energetic and loud squeal, most likely heard by all of her neighbors in the small apartment building she lived in.
"What is it!? Where's the fire!? Back off, I have a knife!!!" Her older brother, Joshua Bancroft, barged into the room screaming empty threats while holding up a whisk covered in egg yolk.
"Oh, my knight in shining PJ's," Catherine smirked down at his superhero, flash, PJ bottoms before quickly shoving the paper into his face as a large smile crept up her face. "I was squealing because I got this!"
The brunette watched as shock slowly crowded her older brother's features, before slowly turning into excitment.
"You were ACCEPTED!?!" He bellowed out happily and without warning lifted Catherine off of her feet and twirled her around the small room. "I'm so proud of you, Cat!!!"
She was too happy to yell at him to put her down, so she let out some breathy laughs before he set her down and gave her a proper bear hug.
"All of your work paid off." He mumbled into her hair and she felt a fond smile grow on his face.
She did work really hard for this, not only in school but for most of her free time and during break. She convinced one of her closest friends, Eliza, to let her work at her parent's restaurant, gathering as much money as she could so she could participate in the auditions she took over the summer that were almost as expensive as the admission fee itself.
She just barely scraped by paying for them on her own. Thankfully, Joshua caught a few extra hours on his jobs to help support her and she was so glad to have a brother like him.
After the two of them were shut out by their parents and moved into the tiny apartment they were forced to call home, money had been hard to get by with, making getting into Madison Academy seem like a far and distant dream.
But now, it was her reality, and she really had her brother to thank for sticking with her every step of the way, ready to catch her if she was ever to fall.
"Oh my god! I should go get packed and call Emi, and Eliza, and, and EVERYONE!!!" Catherine screamed as she pulled away from her brother, diving frantically into her closet to pull out her navy blue travel suitcase.
Decided to text all of her closest friends the news first, she left the suitcase open on the ground before she body slammed herself onto her soft, Paris-themed bed covers and opened her phone.
(Emi, Liza, Catherine)
Kit Cat: GuysguysguysGUYSGUYSGUYSGUYSAKJFBAKJB gueSS WHAT!!!!
And Peggy: wat , wHAt!!
Babe: Pls tell me someone died. . .
Kit Cat: You mean didn't die?- What ever I got my letter from Madison Academy, and I was ACCEPTED!!!!!!!
And Peggy: Wowie
Babe: *screeches* wait, does that mean you ahve to move??? :'(((((((
Kit Cat: Yeah :'(. . . but we'll obvuously stay in touch, itts not like I'm moving to the north pole.
And Peggy: Yeah just New FLIPPING York!!! Are you gonna be anle to handle that hon??
And Peggy: able*
Kit Cat: It's all gonna be good, Joshua will come with me on the drive there, and I have Anna with me :)
Anna was Catherine's amazing best friend whom she met back when she was touring the Academy campus in New York. Anna easily took her in and showed her around the town, bonding over their love of arts, Catherine's being theatre and Anna's being architecture, and how the both of them were hoping to attend the Academy by the next school year.
All three weeks Catherine spent in New York were spent with Anna as well. It was helpful having someone in the same anxiety-filled boat as her about getting in. It also helped that Anna already lived in New York in a cabin on Long Island with her uncle and other cousins. The both of them grew close and bonded over the fact that their parents kicked them out of their own homes.
They were sad to part from one another when Catherine had to go back home to Michigan. They couldn't even really stay in contact with each other either, the problem being that Anna wasn't allowed a phone (even though she was, like, sixteen), but they just decided to go the old fashioned way and send letters to each other.
Anna was first to find out that she got accepted into the school and she immediately sent a letter to Catherine, promising to get a dorm for the two of them to live in when she gets accepted in as well.
Low and behold, that promise would soon be fulfilled.
Babe: Okay, well you better not die, ur leavinf friday right??
Catherine looked down at her phone and sighed.
She really was going to miss her besties for the past ten years once she's gone. They were all going their separate ways, Catherine to New York, Ema to Chicago to launch her new found music career, and Eliza was going to some acting school in California. Even if Catherine came back to visit home, her two closest bffs wouldn't there.
Life wasn't really giving them much time left to be together.
Kit Cat: Yeah and I promise there will be no dying on thsi end (besides mentally)
And Peggy: Dear lord i've rubbed off on you too much...
Babe: WEll I just got caught by the teacher, you guys are so lucky that ur homeschooled :((((((((((((( BUBYYYEEEE *LUV*
Kit Cat: All cool I should prob geet beackfast and start packing now, moving in three days!!!
And Peggy: Whatre you bringing, your whole apartment!?! Bye loves!
With that, Catherine closed her phone and glanced at the suitcase that laid sprawled out across her carpeted floors. Sighing, she let her head fall onto the mattress, her eyes gazing up at the ceiling and studying the uneven designs etched into the tile.
She couldn't wait until Friday.
New York, NeW YORK!!!
“Caattt… Catherine honey, you gotta wake up…” A soft voice tore through my sleepy state and I groaned, rolling over and slapping away whoever was trying to take me away from my dreamland.
“OW!” The mark hit its target and I held back a smirk as I snuggled deeper into the covers.
“Oh no you don’t!” Joshua said and threw the warm covers off of me, immediately enveloping me in the brutally cold air of our small apartment.
“Nooo, sleeeppp…” I mumbled halfheartedly and he puffed out an annoyed breath of air.
“Well, I guess I’ll just have to go to New York myself and kindly explain that my sister couldn’t go to Madison Academy because she was too sleepy .” I could hear the smirk in his voice and my eyes snapped open to the size of basketballs.
“AaaaaAAAAHHHHHHH!!!” I practically shrieked, jumping up and shoving Joshua away as he held onto his now probably bleeding ears.
I then ignored his loud whines as I pulled out the clothes I had picked for this day three days ago.
“I’m going to Madison Academy today. I’m gonna be a student at Madison Academy today !” I squealed as I rushed to gather up my makeup and other accessories before running into the bathroom connected to Joshua and I’s bedrooms.
“Calm down, we don’t leave for another hour, and your classes don’t start until next week.” Joshua huffed as he stood in the bathroom doorway and leaned against the frame.
“I know, I know. I’ve just so excited!” I sighed happily as I began placing everything onto the counter and soon got to dealing with my messy bed-head.
“Well, be done soon,” I could see Joshua roll his hazel eyes in the mirror impatiently. He then walked fully into the bathroom and began to ruffle around with his dark brown hair. “I’m gonna make some breakfast and then we’ll be outta here.”
I nodded and quickly shoved him out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind him and turned to smile brightly at my reflection in the mirror.
“My back hurts.” I groaned as I tried lying down more comfortably in the tiny beat up car my brother owned. “Can we stop at a subway or something?”
I looked over at Joshua and saw him roll his eyes as he tried to focus on the highway ahead of us.
“Cat, there are no subways anywhere around here, and we’ve only been driving for eight hours.” I groaned again when I realized that meant we had four more hours of driving.
“Can we at least stop at a gas station or something for food and bathroom?” I glanced at Joshua hopefully and he sighed.
“Okay, alright. But after this, we only stop one more time.” He grumbled as he turned off of the main highway we were on. “It’s taking way longer to get there since you keep wanting to stop every half hour.”
I nodded my head in agreement and smiled as we pulled up to another random gas station on the side of the road.
I quickly jumped out of the car and stretched my back, a wide smile spreading across my face as I breathed in the fresh air. I don’t generally love or even like road trips or traveling, I more tolerate them, but each boring and long mile that we go is a mile closer to my dream school.
Josh gets out right after me and proceeds the hand me a five dollar bill.
“That’s all you get so don’t buy too much junk, just remember to get something that won’t stop your kidneys from working.” He looked at me pointedly and I smirked as I snatched the money from his hands.
I then casually walked inside and made a quick beeline for the junk food aisle. After five minutes my arms were filled with bags of chips and small candies. I smiled widely at Joshua as we met back outside and all he did was look down with a disappointed sigh before we both entered the small grey vehicle.
After all of my little bags of heaven were placed in each organized position around me, we sped out of the gas station and were back onto the main road in no time.
Without Joshua looking, I plugged his phone into the Aux cord and immediately blasted some Hamilton through the speakers.
“WHAT THE- Cat!?!” Joshua jumped in shock and the car swerved a bit, which earned us some honks from the cars around us. “You can’t just do that!” He spoke in a scolding matter and wacked my shoulder lightly while I quickly turned the music down.
“Sorry,” I said, not really sorry and bumped the volume up a few more notches once his attention was back on the road.
With a sigh, I leaned back and gazed dreamily out the window as I fantasized what might have happened in the next few hours.
“Come on, we gotta get all of your schedules and information, then we can drive you to check out your dorm,” Joshua said as I jumped out of the car, practically vibrating in excitment.
“Come on, come on, come on!!!” I shouted out happily and Joshua chuckled as I dragged him into a huge red-brick building.
We were somewhere around Manhattan, with huge buildings lining each block and my poor, small-town heart almost couldn’t handle the drastic change if a few lazy cars on the road to miles and miles of traffic.
As we entered the Main Hall, the first thing I noticed was the marble and fancy wood. It was very elegant, but still comforting at the same time. Two extensive staircases were on each side of the room and a small elevator stood underneath each one. The ceiling had a beautiful yet quaint chandelier that glittered with hundreds of crystals. Golden designs decorated the bright marbled floors (at least, they looked marble) and I felt so small in the large room.
As we walked around a small table with a flower arrangement on it in the middle of the room, I couldn’t help but ogle at the entirety of the room. We then walked up to a large wooden desk that was set between the two large staircases.
There sat a kind looking woman with bright blue eyes, soft skin, and silver-grey hair that was placed in a tight bun atop her head. From behind the desk she seemed to be wearing a fancy light grey dress suit. She smiled nicely as we stopped right in front of her and I felt some of the worry I had of the people here being rude vanished in an instance.
“Hello dear, is there anything I can do for you today?” Her smile only grew wider as she spoke and I began to feel slightly uncomfortable at the extra cheerfulness, but then I realized that she was probably supposed to greet everyone with a bright spirit.
“Yes, I’m Catherine Bancroft, I’m one of the new students?” I said as I tried to contain my excitment from saying those words and folded my hands in front of me so I could nervously fiddle with them. “I was told to come here to get my information before I left for the dorms.”
“Ah, yes, Catherine dear. We’ve been expecting you.” The lady said and only then did I notice the golden name tag on her suit that read Ms. Adeline . “Just one moment.”
She turned around in her chair and the sound of metal cabinets clinking and opening was heard from behind the desk. I nervously tugged on some of the silver rings that always covered my fingers as she took almost three whole minutes gathering a random assortment of papers.
Eventually (finally) she turned back around and laid a small stack of papers in a lime green folder right in front of me on the desk.
“There you will find all of your class info, such as your schedule for the next three months, which will be updated every so often, the list of supplies you need, but we have most of the supplies here so you won’t have to worry much about that, and here is the key to your boardroom. I’ll have someone bring over our uniform tomorrow. Thank you for joining us and welcome to Madison Academy.” She then handed me a small, bronze-colored key with the most beautiful vine designs covering it.
After grabbing and picking up the folder of papers my heart began to beat erratically because, holy crap, actually being in the school building and holding my school schedule and the key to my dorm and being told I’m getting a uniform by tomorrow, made it all seem more real than anything.
We took that as our leave and so Joshua and I both thanked her for her help as we walked out of the school building.
Walking back to the car, the wide smile never left my face as we got in and Joshua started up the car, giving me the most done-with-it-all look.
“You ready to see your dorm?” He asked and I nodded my head. “You’re not gonna lose that creepy grin by the time we get there, are you?”
I nodded again.
“I’m actually more excited to see Anna than my room,” I said once the car pulled back into the everchanging traffic. I bit my lip, still feeling the strong adrenaline of excitment pump through my veins. I really did miss my penpal/the only other human being I knew in New York. She said she was going to be at the dorm the same day I came to move in, so my only thoughts were crowded with finally being able to see her again.
The boarding house was only a few blocks down from the school so we made it there in only a few New-York minutes (which means it took almost half an hour to get through all of the traffic). Once we found a parking spot (which we weren’t sure was actually a parking spot, but we were hoping), we got out of the car and Joshua popped the trunk.
As I stood up from the car, I took a deep breath and looked over the building that I would be calling my home for the next few years. It looked almost exactly the same as the main school building, but it was slightly smaller since its only functions were used to keep the students alive.
Joshua then walked over with one of my bags in his hand and the other hanging off his shoulder. I quickly snatched the one from his hand and excitedly walked into the building, Joshua trudging along behind me.
As I entered I took note of how the main hall looked the same as the school’s as well, but there was only one staircase in the very center of the room the lead off to two different wings. On the right wing there was a large arrow with a silver plaque above it that said “BOYS” and on the other side was a similar one with the word “GIRLS”, pointing the opposite direction.
“Well, onward we go!” I pointed towards the left side of the hall and began to march up the large staircase with my heavy bag in tow.
Joshua had the nerve to chuckle as I skipped happily down the halls, searching for the door with the same number that matched my key.
‘20… 23… yes! Room 26!’
“Here!” I announced to my older brother, who looked drained compared to the energy I was experiencing at that moment. I looked up at the plain wooden door and felt my nerves all bundled together in my stomach as I slowly out the key up to the knob and stuck it in.
A few seconds later I stood in the middle of a moderately large dorm room.
All of the walls were white, a few pieces of furniture like some couches and coffee tables filled the main room, a kitchen with grey walls could be seen on the right through a large archway, and right in front of me were three doors. The door in the middle was opened to reveal a very clean bathroom, the other two doors I then guessed to be Anna and I’s bedrooms.
Joshua followed in behind me and let out a low whistle whilst I continued to gawk at my beautiful new home.
“Wow, this place is nicer than our whole apartment building,” Joshua spoke in astonishment and I set down my bags in order to rest my arms as I continued to gaze at the brightly-lit rooms.
With a gasp, I turned and saw Anna standing in the archway to the kitchen, wearing a loose orange tank top and jean shorts.
She looked a little different from the last time I saw her earlier this summer with her hair being much longer, the thick honey blonde princess curls tied up into her usual messy ponytail. Her skin looked a little tanner as well and I noticed some new scars decorating her skin.
She once told me in her letters that she lived with her uncle and other cousins during the summer. They apparently had some large property with a woods on Long Island and they did fun survival things that sometimes got a little too rough. I didn’t know what kind of family she had that did “fun survival things” which cause massive scars and injuries like those, but I didn’t ask.
“Catherine!? Oh my go-god, you’re really here!” She half stumbled on her words as she ran up to me and gave me a tight hug, which I gladly returned. “It’s so nice to finally see you after the summer. Sorry I didn’t send to many letters, I was pretty busy with some family stuff.”
“It’s totally understandable,” I reassured her, knowing that her family life wasn’t any more peachy then mine, and I gave the small dorm another look. “This place is really nice… So, have you got a room set up and everything yet or…?”
“Yeah, yeah.” She nodded and pointed to the room that was on the left side of the bathroom. “I chose that one, hope you don’t mind, both of them are moderately the same looking and are connected to the bathroom in the middle.”
“That’s cool,” I said and quickly picked my bag up once again.
It was then that Anna looked over my shoulder and finally saw Joshua standing awkwardly behind me.
“And who is this?” She asked with a raised brow and I signaled for Joshua to step up.
“Oh, I’m Joshua.” He greeted kindly and stuck his hand out for a shake, which Anna accepted. “I’m Cat’s older brother, I’m only here to help her move in and I’ll be outta your hair by the time the weekend’s over.”
“That’s very sweet of you.” She said and motioned for us to follow her. “C’ mon, I’ll help carry your stuff to your room.”
As we first entered the room the first thing I noticed was the really nice (most-likely expensive) furniture and the giant space I actually had. It was big enough to fit a queen-sized bed in the left corner closest to the door, a coffee table next to it, a long dresser with a T.V. on it on the right side of the room against the wall, and a couch under a long window that showed me a skyline view of Manhattan.
“Woah…” Joshua and I both breathed out as our wide eyes gazed over every detail in the room.
I was shaken from my dazed state when Anna slipped one of the bangs onto the floor, a small clunk following after as she looked up at me with her hands on her hips.
“Yeah, that was my reaction as well.” She let out a soft chuckle and I gave her an agreeable nod.
“This place is way better than I could have ever imagined,” I mumbled as I laid my other suitcase beside my bed and Joshua let the other bag fall onto my bed. “Now I know why the entrance fee was so much.”
“Okay, change of plans, I’m not leaving for at least a few weeks,” Joshua commented as he practically fell onto my bed and melted into it. “This is so unfair.”
Anna laughed lightly and I rolled my eyes before kicking his lip foot that hung off the edge of the bed.
“The kitchen and bathroom are all stalked for our needs and they get restocked every other Sunday by the staff so we have to keep the apartment clean around that time. We’re not allowed to leave the rooms after ten so get your partying or whatever you need at night done by then and lights out at eleven.” She smiled at me as I tried to process all the information being thrown at me. “I’ll be in my room, still gotta unpack some of my own things. Nice meeting you Joshua.”
She gave Joshua a kind nod before exiting the room.
Once the blonde was out of the room and the door was shut with a satisfying click , I let out a giant squeal.
“This place is so amazing!” I shouted happily and leaped onto the bed, making Joshua grumble at the movement I caused. “I can definitely get used to this.”
I let out a content sigh and Joshua chuckled beside me before sitting up.
“We should probably get you unpacked soon, so we can have more time to hang before I leave.” Joshua claps his hands twice, but I stay still on the bed, staring at the white ceiling as a sad realization dawned on me.
“This’ll be the last time I see you for a long time,” I mumbled out lowly and we could both understood the silent fact that came from that phrase.
He’ll be alone for a very long time.
We haven’t talked to our parents in over two years. After Joshua reached eighteen, they immediately kicked him out and gave him full custody of me so they could get rid of me as well. Using the little he had in his savings, Joshua bought a cheap and falling apart room in a rundown apartment building at the edge of our small town. We eventually got a better on in the next town over and had stayed there as Joshua went out to get a job. I had just turned fourteen around that time so I took it upon myself to find a job at a small cafe in town which one of my closest friends, Eliza, owned.
Through all of the tough times, Joshua and I were together and there to care for and protect each other. Now though, we were going to be hundreds of miles apart and I wouldn’t be able to go to him when I have a nightmare or can’t handle how stressful my life was getting. Especially in the next few months of my life to come.
Silently, I felt Joshua’s hand grab a hold of my own as I continued to stare at the ceiling, more and more depressing thoughts filling my head.
“Hey, I can still visit during holidays if I save up enough money.” I squeezed his hand and he returned the small gesture. “Which I will, and I’m not leaving until Sunday, so you get two whole days of me annoying you like the amazing older brother I am.”
I smiled at the thought of spending my last few days with Joshua touring Manhattan and dragging him everywhere he didn’t want to go. I sat up, letting go of his hand as a smile reappeared on my face.
“Alright, you baby.” I stood up and copied his hand clapping gesture from earlier. “You’re gonna help me unpack for the next few hours. You can spend the night on the couch once we’re done.
The lazy buffoon groaned and complained about not getting to share my amazing bed, before standing up as I smiled brightly and shoved one of my bags into his hands. I then walked over and opened all of the drawers and cupboards in the room and got started on the long, long process of unpacking.
Chapter 3: Midnight Call
Third Person’s Pov.
“Yes, she showed up today, but her mortal brother is with her. I don’t think I can safely get her away until he’s gone, which will probably be around the time classes actually start.” Anna sighed tiredly as she sat on the edge of her bed, staring tiredly into the eyes of her boyfriend of only a few weeks, but they’ve known each other since they were twelve.
“Really, Annabeth, this was only supposed to take a week or so, not a whole month.” He groaned and said girl hushed him quickly.
“Hey, they’re all asleep right now, be quiet.” She whispered harshly, a silent threat hanging in the air if he wasn’t.
“I’m sorry.” The jet black haired boy mumbled sheepishly and looked at her with sad eyes. “It’s just, I really- I- uh mean, we all really miss you. Chiron told me even more new kids are showing up every day and I know monsters are kind of being quiet right now, but one can attack you guys any minute and I won’t be there to save you and-”
“Hey, hey.” Annabeth hushed the worried boy and smiled softly at him. “You know more than anyone else that I can handle myself and a monster or two. I’ll be back soon, I promise. So don’t get into too much trouble, otherwise, I’ll have to come over and beat you up in front of your parents.”
The boy huffed and ran a hand through his messy hair.
“Why is it that you have to get her again and not a satyr.” He complained once more and Annabeth rolled her eyes as her boyfriend pouted childishly.
“Because boys aren’t allowed to interact with the girls here and he said that she has a really strong scent that might attract a lot more monsters, and I was going to come here anyway, so it all just fit.” The blonde girl yawned and rubbed her eyes in order to keep awake.
“Okay, I can tell you’re tired. I’m gonna leave so you can get your rest.” The boy lifted his hand and Annabeth stopped him.
“No, no, I want to talk to you more.” She said, feeling the hollow pain of loneliness begin to etch its way into her chest.
“It’s already way past lights out and I have school tomorrow, and the sooner you sleep, the sooner you can wake up, get that girl to camp, and we can go out again.” He smiled at her and Annabeth huffed with a small pout that she would never show to anyone except him. “Bye, Annabeth.”
“Bye, Percy.” She sighed with a soft smile and ran her hand through the already fading Iris message.
With another sigh, she fell down onto her bed and fell asleep to the thought of seeing Percy and Camp Half-Blood again soon.
Chapter 4: New Friends and- OH, Is That a Quesadilla?
New Friends and-OH, Is That a Quesadilla!?
“How long have you been up!?!”
“Huh? Oh- I never went to sleep.” I mumbled halfheartedly and snuggled deeper into my blankets as I decided to read just a few more pages before I get to breakfast.
Joshua stood in the doorway, staring at me like I was crazy and I ignored him, laughing as the main character in my book just got pushed off the doc into a lake.
“I thought lights out here was like, nine?” He said and sighed. “Honestly Cat, when will you ever learn to sleep like a normal person?”
‘Sleep is for the weak, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’
“Hmm… That’s cool.” I hummed, not really paying any attention to him. “Just go raid the fridge for breakfast or something.”
“Nu-uh,” Josh said as he placed his hands on his hips, using his ‘mom voice’. “I’m only here until tomorrow, so we are going out for breakfast and you are getting off of your lazy arse and having some quality time with your big brother.”
A somewhat groan that sounded like a cat hacking on a fur ball while gurgling water made its way from my mouth and I heard Joshua heave a large sigh.
Finally (unwillingly) I threw my blankets off of myself and sat up as I tried to blink away my tiredness.
“When are we leaving?” I mumbled as I stood up and walked over to my very nice walk-in closet that I discovered the night before while unpacking.
‘This place is just getting better and better.’
“Once you finally get ready. Do you know any places we can go to for food?” Joshua asked, sitting on the bed and bouncing lightly.
I rolled my eyes at him tiredly and pulled a light blue sweater over myself, finishing the look with just some ripped jeans and combat boots.
“I don’t know.” I sighed, walking over to the vanity at the desk in the corner and setting down some of my makeup. “I haven’t been here in a while, but I remember that there was this really good place with some epic quesadillas. I think it was called something weird like the spoon or plate or somethin’.”
I glared at my reflection, piecing together my look for the day. I ended up keeping it simple with red lipstick, winged eyeliner, rose eyeshadow, and a bit of concealer for my very noticeable dark circles.
Joshua stayed silent the entire time, still bouncing on my bed like a five-year-old, but once I turned around to tell him I was ready, he was half asleep and sprawled across the bed.
“Come on buddy, it’s time to get up.” I said as I undid my braid and ran my hands through my dark hair a few times. “I’m starving!”
The boy sprung up from the bed at the thought of eating (nearly giving me a heart attack) and walked over to open the door for me.
“Why thank you, kind sir,” I said, using a terrible British accent that made him cringe. “We need some nice young men like you around ‘ere more often.” I patted his head like a child and he frowned at me before ruffling his hair back into its messy place.
As we walked out of the room I saw Anna coming out of the bathroom in a silvery-grey sweater and regular jean shorts. Her hair was in its signature ponytail and her favorite Yankees hat was tucked nicely into her back pocket as usual.
“Why do you always bring that olf hat around with you?” I asked, glancing at the dirt covered and ripped cloth. “You never even wear it.”
“It’s a gift from a friend, kinda like a lucky charm.” She shrugged her shoulders and her stormy grey eyes ran over the two of us. “You guys going out?”
“Yeah, we decided to grab some breakfast at that one place we got the quesadillas,” I answered her as I grabbed my small black backpack and put the straps over my shoulders.
“Cool, cool. I’ll take you then, I have to head out soon to get to my internship anyway.” She offered and I smiled.
In one of our old letters, Anna had told me that she got a really cool job overseeing some architect business at the Empire State Building after some horrible storm wrecked the town a bit. She was super proud of how she got it, and her dad and step-mom were already making her go to Madison Academy anyway, so it was a very convenient plan.
“Great, maybe we can catch up a little bit then.” I turned to Joshua and he nodded his head in agreement.
“I don’t have to grab anything else so let’s go.” She said and we all piled out of the dorm and began to walk down the empty halls.
Only once in a while would we notice some other kids walk or run by, but other than that they were empty and very quiet.
“Wait, Anna stopped us as we made it to the entrance steps and Joshua and I both turned to see what was wrong. “Do you mind if my friend comes along? He’s from the boy’s dorms, but he’s super nice and I promised to introduce you two.”
She looked at us almost nervously, and I glanced back at Joshua as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Yeah, sure, we don’t mind.” I smiled at her and she quickly walked down the halls towards the boy’s side of the building.
After a few minutes of Joshua and I standing around awkwardly, Anna finally came back with a tall and lanky boy in tow behind her. He wore a green beanie, a baggy black shirt he chewed on nervously, and some ripped up and muddy jeans. He had messy chestnut hair that came out in little tuffs from his beanie and light freckles were splashed all over his pale skin. And like I said earlier, he was super tall, shooting up past Anna at least by a foot or two.
“Josh, Catherine, this is Cedar. He’s in the music/special instrumental parts of the school program.” Anna introduced us and Cedar smiled with a half wave and bob of his head.
“Hi, Cedar.” Joshua and I both greeted the boy and Anna quickly spoke up again as an awkward silence began to unfold between the four of us.
“Well, Cedar,” Anna looked up at the tall boy and gestured to the three of us. “We were going to head over to The Dish downtown, then maybe peruse the area for a bit. Sound cool to you?”
“H-huh, yeah that sounds okay.” He smiled awkwardly and I smirked slightly at his cute stutter. He then glanced over at me and I swear I saw his nose twitch as he gave me another odd smile before looking back at Anna. “Sh-should we head, out?”
As we walked along the busy streets I stared at the beautiful buildings and noisy vehicles passing by.
“This place is still so beautiful!” I exclaimed as Anna grabbed my shoulder and pulled me next to her right before I ran into a burly guy in a business suit. I smiled sheepishly as he grumbled and looked over at his shoulder then continued on with whatever important phone call he had.
“I thought you learned to be more careful last time you were here?” Anna huffed and I shrugged my shoulders as I got back to looking around me.
“I like a little excitment sometimes.” I winked at her and she rolled her eyes.
“And I like to see you live through your teenage years, now c’ mon, it’s just down the street.” She let go of my shoulders and we walked side by side down the street as the two boys followed behind making small talk.
Eventually, we stopped in front of a small grey building with large windows. A large sign popped out of the side with the words “The Dish” in yellow chalk written onto it. Small cafe tables sat outside on a closed in patio and through the windows, I saw that it was remotely empty.
“Let’s sit at the bar inside.” Anna offered and we all silently agreed as we shuffled in through the small entrance.
A blast of warmth welcomed us as we walked through the entrance and looked around the cozy cafe. It had a kind of retro look with yellow checkered walls and blue and white booths scattered along them. The floor was a simply black and white checkered style and some waitresses worked behind the counter in cute bright yellow uniforms.
“You guys lookin’ for something to go?” A young waitress with black spikey hair and bright red lipstick asked us from behind the counter she leaned against. She gave us a once over and smiled slightly when Cedar flinched at her gaze. I looked over at him in question and noticed his nose do the twitchy thing again.
I ignored the odd feeling I felt grow in my chest as I looked back at the girl with a kind smile to hide my irkness. “Mm, no, we actually wanted to sit in and order,” I answered her and she nodded with a dismissive wave of her hand
“Just take a seat anywhere ya’ like.” She spoke halfheartedly and walked back through the doors behind the counter.
As we walked over to the bar that was against the window, I saw Anna nudge Cedar and give him a questioning gaze.
“You getting anything from her?” She asked with her eyebrows drawn together and Cedar cleared his throat with a shaky nod.
“I think so, but I can’t tell. Th-there’s so many people here, it’s kind o-of hard to tell.” He shrugged and quickly glanced over his shoulder like he was expecting someone to pop out randomly and attack him.
“Getting what from who?” I asked and both of them looked up at me like they forgot I was even there.
“U-u-u-uhh…” Cedar stuttered and Anna stepped back up next to me.
“Nothing important, just an inside joke we have.” She grabbed my arm and began to walk us over to the bar where Joshua was already seated since we stopped walking. “Let’s get some food, I’m starving!”
I decided to ignore how weird she was acting and sat next to Joshua, Anna joining my other side and Cedar next to her.
We all took a bit to look at the menu as we chatted together until the waitress came to get our orders. Soon the girl with the spikey hair came back and the entire time she took our orders Cedar was staring at her like she had a spider on her face.
Once she left us he took a small breath and then glanced over to see me staring at him. He blushed lightly and oddly smiled while all I did was point my stare a little harsher at him before looking away and starting a conversation with my brother.
Soon enough, all of our drinks and food were placed in front of us and all the conversations stopped to chow down on our heavenly dishes.
“Ohh, this is sooo good.” Joshua practically moaned as he took another bite of his Texas-Styled omelette and I smirked before taking a bite out of my beautiful chicken quesadilla.
“Knew you’d like it,” I spoke up after taking a sip of my ice tea. “This place is the best in town.”
“No kidding.” He said breathlessly before taking another bite and I turned back to Anna with an eye-roll as he moaned again.
“So, when do you have to be to the state building?” I asked her and took another sip of my drink.
She swallowed the last bite of her breakfast sandwich and looked down at the black watch on her wrist. “Hmm.” She paused for a moment then glanced up at me. “I’ll have to be there in like half an hour actually. You wanna do anything before then?”
I shrugged my shoulders, a little bummed that she had to leave soon, but then I perked up as an idea entered my head.
“What if I tagged along for your internship?” I asked hopefully and I saw Anna stumble on the drawing she was doing on some random napkin.
“Oh…” She paused and looked up at me with a worried look. “Uh, no, actually, we- they don’t really allow me to bring anyone there except other interns.” She sighed and her eyes widened a bit when she noticed my shoulder fall slightly.
“No wait, I would totally have you come!” She rushed and I glanced at her with a tiny pout. “It, it’s just my boss, he would never approve. But we can still go to L’envol or Northbrook to look at some books and get coffee. Deal?”
I sat to think about it for a moment and then I smirked slightly.
“Okay, deal…” I trailed off and then looked her straight in the eye, brown against grey. “But you owe me two new books.” My smirk grew as her relieved smile fell off her face and she gave me a sour look.
“Rude.” She mumbled, but I didn’t hear a no.
I sat back with a smug expression and looked up to see the one spikey-haired waitress staring at me. I drew my eyebrows together and looked over to see Anna giving Cedar some sideways glances.
“Guys?” I asked and they both looked up at me with the same deer in headlights look they gave me earlier. “You sure everything is okay?”
The two of them shared a glance and I saw them look at the waitress one more time. I soared a peak as well and saw her actually lick her red-tinted lips. I wanted to laugh at the weird gesture, but that only seemed to put Anna and Cedar even more on edge.
“Guys, we have to go,” Anna said in a quiet voice as she stood up, looking back at the waitress again.
Cedar didn’t make any objections as he grabbed Joshua’s shoulder as he confusedly finished his omelette and pulled him up.
“What? Why?” I asked, still sitting at staring at them like they had just stripped in the middle of the cafe.
“I, have to be at my job soon, and Cedar isn’t feeling too well,” Anna said quickly and I looked up at Cedar who did look like he was turning green. I guessed that was an okay answer, but still, the waitress-
I wasn’t able to finish my thoughts as the waitress began to walk over and Anna and Cedar both grabbed my arms and dragged me off of my bar stool.
“Let’s go, now,” Anna mumbled and began to walk out the door with her arm looped through mine.
“Hey, where ya’ going?” The waitress asked from behind us and Anna glanced over her shoulder with a fake smile.
“We have to get to our jobs. We left the money for the bill on the table, thanks.” She then sped us out of the cafe and finally let go of my arm once we were a small distance down the street.
Josh and Cedar were right behind us soon enough and I nudged Anna once she and Cedar both let out relieved breaths.
“What was that about?” I asked and glared accusingly at the both of them.
Anna looked up at me confused and began to itch at her wrist.
“What was what?” She asked and looked down along the sidewalk as she started walking again and I followed.
“You guys were acting jumpy around that waitress the entire time we were there.” I raised an eyebrow as Anna acted like she didn’t know what I meant. “And then she did that weird licky thing, and-”
“She just gave me a bad vibe, that’s all, and I really should get to my job soon, so there’s no reason to worry over anything, Cat.” Anna cut me off and I stared at her for one more second before finally looked back up ahead of us with a nod.
I stayed silent the rest of the time we were together, but inside my head, I kept thinking back to Anna and Cedar’s strange behavior and the oddly hungry look that seemed to flash in that waitress’ eyes
“Things have been getting a little too dangerous with two demigods and a satyr Chiron. How soon can I be able to bring her in?” I asked as I fumbled with some blueprints on the tiny desk I was provided with.
A random satyr came up to me and handed me another row of blank sheets and I sighed, brushing my blonde hair off my sweaty forehead. Olympus was extra hot that day, just because Apollo had won another match of godly pool against Hermes and he was literally radiating in pride.
“Annabeth, you must not rush this. Chiron scratched his graying beard as he stood in the middle of the Big House, “Cedar informed me about her strong scent, so monsters are expected, but this is a careful process, you should know that.”
I sighed again and began to make a quick sketch of the base of Artemis’ new temple which was recently destroyed by a giant ball of fire in the war.
“I know, it’s just, it’s kind of taking up my time. I mean, I love Cat, but-”
“I get it,” Chiron said with a knowing smile and I almost groaned out loud because I knew what he was thinking. “You’ll have all the time you want to see whoever you want soon. Just be patient.”
I huffed a little, but nodded my head and swiped my hand through the Iris message. I then focused back on the sketch of the temple before handing it to a passing Nymph.
“Can you bring this to my mother please?” I asked and the Nymph quickly nodded and sped off towards the throne room.
I stretched my back a little, earning a small crack, before leaning back over my table and beginning some designs of the new garden by Demeter’s temple.
Chapter 5: My Depression Grows and I Meet Some New Friends Who Look Like They Could Kill Me...
My Depression Grows and I Meet Some New Friends Who Look Like They Could Kill Me...
“Come on, Cat, I’m going to be late if you don’t let go.” Joshua groaned as my grip around his waist grew tighter and tighter.
At the moment, we were all standing outside the dorm building, Joshua’s car packed full with his luggage and me slowly withering into depression as he tries to pry my hands off of him.
“Cat!” He chuckled and I finally let go with a huff, crossing my arms and pouting like a child. “You can skype me anytime you want, okay? I promise I won’t forget about you, and I know that you’ll do amazing here, especially with Anna.”
“Thanks, Joshua,” Anna said as she walked up to me and slowly set me at her side. “I’ll keep an eye on her, promise.”
“Thanks.” He gave Anna a grateful look before giving both of us one last smile.
He then climbed into his old grey car and I sat down on the pavement as he drove away from me forever.
“There he goes,” I mumbled sadly and Anna sighed, dragging me up next to her.
“Alright you angsty teenager, it’s time we cheer you up. C’mon! You’re at your dream school, live it up a little at least!” Anna nudged me with her elbow and I took a deep breath before glancing over my shoulder at the dorms.
“Okay.” I smiled slightly and Anna looped her arm through mine with an even wider smile.
“Good. Now, let’s go see if our uniforms are ready yet. School starts tomorrow!”
I cheered sarcastically and we both walked back to our dorm arm in arm.
It was the morning of my first day at school when things started to get weird.
I sat at my vanity mirror, working on some of the most perfect wings of eyeliner that I have ever done when I noticed something different about my eyes.
“Okay, what…?” I mumbled to myself and leaned closer to the mirror, pulling my lid back a little so I could more clearly. “Oh, wow.”
“What?” Anna sat up from my bed, straightening her skirt and putting down the nerdy architect book she was reading.
“Look at my eyes, they’re like, a muddy green now.” It was true. I thought it was an effect of the lighting at first, but once I looked closer I could distinctly see some green mixed in with my now light brown eyes.
Anna walked over and leaned down to look closer at my eyes and once she leaned back I could see she was forming a thought in her head, but instead of voicing it she shrugged her shoulders and went to pick her book back up.
“Must be with the weather or something.” She then straightened the collar of her grey uniform jacket. “My eyes do that sometimes. Now, let’s go, we’re going to be late just because you need to look pretty.”
“Hey, you’re the one who stayed in the shower way too long.” I shot back at her and she looked away sheepishly before sighing and smiling as she walked out the door.
I looked back at my reflection one more time, staring at my green irises before picking up my bag and running out of my room after her. Once I met up with her we both walked out of the dorm building and onto the city sidewalk.
As we made our way towards the school building we made small talk and traded our schedules.
“Man, we only have a free period and two other classes together,” I mumbled and Anna bumped her shoulder with mine and let out a small laugh.
“That’s because you didn’t want to take that shaping section with me.” She smiled and I glared lightly at her.
“And you didn’t want to do the acting section with me. I thought you were Greek, isn’t that in your blood?” I shot back an Anna shrugged with a roll of her eyes as she hiked her strap up higher on her shoulder.
“Building great monuments is in my blood, not getting on a stage and being able to cry on command.” She smirked at me and I huffed.
Just as I was going to shoot back another witty remark we made it to the school building and I cut myself off as I stared at the scene in front of me.
Hundreds of kids, maybe a thousand were coming in and out of the building in clumps, all chatting and laughing with each other as they shoved past the other students. I suddenly felt very small in the wave of teenagers. The schools back in my town didn’t even have four hundred kids with all of the grades together, but this school was only filled with high schoolers and it held more people than the population of my town.
Thankfully, Anna noticed my uncomfortableness and looped our arms together, quickly directing us through the traffic of vehicles and students and into the building. We walked through the halls, stopping at each other’s lockers along the way to empty our bags and get ready for our first classes.
“I have BTA first, and then don’t we have algebra together?” I spoke over the loud chatter in the echoing halls to Anna who leaned against the locker next to mine.
“Yes, I think so, and then we shoul-” Anna began, but was cut off when Cedar came speed walking down the halls awkwardly and entered our little circle.
“He-huh-hey, guys.” He breathed heavily and I looked down at him with a raised brow as he leaned on my shoulder. “Missed my alarm, roommates di-didn't wake me up.”
I laughed as he just about fell off of my shoulder.
“Wow, did you run a marathon on your way here as well? You’re so sweaty.” I cringed and bumped him away. The poor boy then moved over to the lockers after Anna gave him a deadly glare.
As Cedar groaned against the locker, Anna and I shared a glance before rolling our eyes and walking down the halls to our first classes.
“Alright, Alright everyone, settle down into your seats and we can get started.” Ms. Clione, the kind blonde BTA teacher hushed us as we all scattered to find nice seats.
I chose a seat in the third row of the class, far enough from the front, but close enough to still hear fine. A boy with messy brown hair, tan skin, and lots of piercings then sat on my right side and a girl with a short skirt, messy brown braided hair, and caramel skin sat on my left.
Both ignore me as they looked to the front and talked to the group of friends around them. Instead of getting myself embarrassed and trying to introduce myself to someone, I sat there awkwardly, picking at my nails and fumbling with my pencil.
“Okay everyone, welcome to the Basic Theatre Arts division of this semester,” Ms. Clione announced over the small conversations in the classroom, everyone going quiet once they heard her voice. “We will spend some of this first week going over the basics of the arts, but once we get into our second week here, we will split into groups of three for the rest of the year. I will assign these groups now, then, later on, you and your group will work together to write plays, perform for the school, do improv reports, and even go on separate field trips around New York and other states for performance programs. Remember, all of you worked hard to get into this school, and all deserve a chance here, don’t mess it up. You get three strikes each semester and if you run out of strikes you are immediately kicked out of the school. Now, onto the groups… Austin, Michael, Weston, you guys are our first group. Caleb, Fionna, Jeremy…”
I zoned out as she then began to list off each group and I thought about all of the amazing trips I would go on with my group, as long as they weren’t rude or actually stuck up rich snobs, or-
“Catherine B, Micha, and Louis T.”
I quickly looked up to see if anyone looked at me and I noticed the two kids who sat next to me earlier perk up and look over at each other.
“Great!” Ms. Clione exclaimed and we all flinched as we looked over at her. “You’re already sitting together. Now, onto Daveed, Cole…”
I zoned out again as all three of us glanced at each other.
“Hey guys, I’m Louise.” The boy with piercings waved at us from my right and I looked over to who I presumed was Micha and noticed her roll her eyes and chuckle.
“I already know you, dork, we just don’t know this cutie.” She smirked and both of them set their gazes on me as I started to fidget nervously with my pencil like earlier. “So, who are you cutie?”
“Oh,” My eyes widened slightly and I shook the extra jitters out of my body. “I’m Catherine, but everyone calls me Cat.”
“That’s cool!” Louise spoke up and I gave him an odd look as he bounced a little in his seat. “Everyone calls me Louy.”
Micha groaned as she leaned down to whisper loudly in my ear. “No one does, that’s just a name he wants everyone to call him, but no one listens.”
I laugh a little at her fake annoyance towards him and Louise pouts childishly.
“Aw, c’ mon, you couldn’t have given me this one?” He asked and we both laughed again.
“It’s okay ‘Louy’,” I said, using little air quotations with my fingers. “I personally think Louise fits you better anyway.”
He huffed and Micha and I shared a look before the teacher grabbed our attention once more.
The rest of the class was then spent listening to the teacher talk about the foundations of Theatre, sharing some chocolate from my bag with Micha, and making silly faces at Louise. As it got longer into the class I began to feel my anxiety from earlier slowly fade away and I started to really enjoy how I saw the rest of the year was going to end up.
“What do you mean we can’t head into camp until later this month!?” I shouted lightly as I sat on the edge of the bathtub.
Chiron looked at me pointedly through the Iris message and I bit onto my lip harshly as I gave him an incredulous look back.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized. “But it’s not just about wanting free time now. More and more monsters have been popping up, and Cedar is suspecting that even one of the teachers is a monster. She’s not safe anymore! And she’s getting a little too attached. I don’t want her to resist once we finally have to take her away!”
Chiron looked down and sighed under his breath. The sound of kids yelling in the background and arrows whizzing over his head made me realize that he was in the middle of teaching at the archery range.
“I’m sorry Annabeth, but our defenses are already too low for us to handle another attack. If things get really bad you can bring her, but you need to try to wait a little while longer. I understa-”
“Chiron, someone got shot with another arrow!”
Chiron turned around and sighed in slight annoyance as he looked back at me with a tired look in his eyes.
“I’m sorry Chiron, I’ll leave you to your work now,” I mumbled and he nodded his head before ending the connection.
I puffed out a little breath as I leaned against the wall and looked up at the ceiling.
“Anna?” Cat asked on the other side of the door and I sighed a little before looking over at the blank white door. “You okay in there? You’ve been taking a bath for almost two hours now, and who was that you were talking to?”
I sighed again before opening up the door to see Cat standing there in blue PJs holding her toothbrush.
“I was just talking to myself, the bathroom is all yours.” I smiled reassuringly at her and she looked at me with a worried expression.
“You sure you’re okay?” She asked again and I walked past her and towards my bedroom.
“Completely fine,” I mumbled, walking into my room and closing the door behind me before falling onto my bed, ready to get this month over and get Catherine to safety soon.
Chapter 6: Micha and Catherine Become Opera Singers
Micha and Catherine Become Opera Singers
Third Person’s Pov.
One Month Later
It had been one month since Catherine’s first day at Madison Academy. She and Anna had grown even closer, practically calling each other sisters, and they and Cedar had become an amazing trio.
Another trio Cat was in, was with Micha and Louise (Louy), who quickly decided that Catherine was cool enough to hang with them. They spent lunch and free periods together, gone on some trips around New York, and even saw a Broadway show. During their first Improv Presentation, Catherine quickly (and thankfully) found out that the two really could act, and they could do it amazingly.
Yet, no matter how close they grew, Cedar and Anna were even closer to her. After the whole weird incident with the waitress at The Dish, it only happened a few more times with some random people they saw in public. Each time Anna and Cedar gave Catherine another sad excuse and cold shoulder, which dampened her mood for a while.
Soon enough, Annabeth became less worried about seeing Percy and more worried about keeping her best friend, Catherine, safe. She did remind Anna so much of Percy, so much that it was even scary. Catherine's eyes were now turned into a deep emerald green, and with her dark brown hair, Annabeth was reminded of her boyfriend every day.
Cedar had told Annabeth that Catherine’s scent had almost grown stronger since moving to New York, and more and more monsters were showing up every day. Annabeth had to sneak away almost every day to get rid of some monster that was looking like it was about to make a move on Cat, and that made her feel very unsettled.
Madison Academy had become too open and too dangerous. They needed to get Catherine to camp, and soon...
“Catherine, over here!”
I looked up from my history of musical theatre book, by E. Hartman, and saw Micha, Louise, Anna, and Cedar all sitting at our usual table under the oak tree in the school courtyard.
Micha stood above them all, waving me over as the rest of them stayed seated and just blankly stared at her.
I laughed as ‘Louy’ decided to tickle her sides as she waved and she squealed before falling off of the table bench. Louise than began to laugh at her with all of his might, until Micha grabbed him by the edge of his coat and he fell off the bench and into the puddle next to the table.
Everyone was then laughing by the time I actually crossed the courtyard and got to the table.
“Isn’t it a little too cold to be out here?” I asked as I shivered and took a seat next to Cedar.
He greeted me with a small smile as he chewed on the edge of his plastic cup and I smiled back with a short nod. I always found him chewing on odd things like plates or paper over the past few weeks, and whenever I asked him about it he always told me it was just a way he dealt with his anxiety.
“Nah, look, there’s like four other groups out here,” Micha gestured around us as she stood up from the ground and I looked over at the two other tables in the courtyard that were occupied by only two or three kids. “But they were all smart enough to wear their jackets, unlike some little miss, ‘I look awful in the jackets they give here so I’m gonna refuse to wear them and just freeze to death’.”
I smiled sheepishly as she gestured to my shivering form and I tightened my arms around myself as another gust of wind passed by.
I loved the uniforms at Madison Academy, but the girl’s jackets were just too itchy and ugly. I never usually cared too much for my appearance, but whenever I saw those jackets on me, I got a different kind of shiver.
“Here you go, doll.” Louise chirped as he threw his heavy grey uniform jacket onto me and I huffed at the added weight on my shoulders.
“Thanks.” I sighed out as I put my arms through the sleeves and gently set my book onto the table. Not even a second later, Anna was automatically picking it up and flipping through its worn out pages.
“You’ll read any book you can get your hands on, won’t you?” I asked and she shrugged as she began to read the references.
“It’s not my fault you always get the good books, and you read way more than I do. I would get a headache if I read as much as you do.” She shot back and smirked lightly when I pouted my lips playfully.
“Actually, I’ve been having some trouble reading, even in classes.” I started and Anna looked up at me as her eyes widened slightly. “Like, the words get all jumbled up and my head starts to hurt when I try to focus on the lines as they just begin to blur together all over the page.” I sighed and looked down at my hands, a little defeated. “Maybe it has something to do with my eyes changing?”
I looked up to see Anna shrug her shoulders and look away, but I still took note of how her eyes grew into that familiar squint she does whenever she’s forming some sort of thought in her head.
“Maybe, or maybe you’ve actually been stressing yourself out too much,” Micha leaned over the table and took the book from Anna. “And stop losing sleep over reading. You gotta live in the real world sometimes.”
“But how? My life is so boring.” I groaned and Louise chuckled as I let my head fall against his shoulder dramatically.
“How is it boring when you have friends like me?” He poked my cheek and I sighed before slapping his hand away.
I then looked up at Cedar on my other side and noticed that he had been uncharacteristically quiet the entire conversation.
“Hey,” I mumbled and bumped his shoulder with mine. “Everything okay? You seem pretty quiet.”
His eyes shot up and met mine before he quickly looked away.
“Oh, u-u-uh, yeah. Ju-just thinking.” He stuttered out and I saw him glance at Anna quickly as she gave him the same look she did whenever they usually started to act strange. Deciding not to even bother with their odd antics anymore, I left our conversation at that.
After a while, I learned to just ignore Cedar’s stuttering and the side glances he and Anna always gave each other. Cedar was just super paranoid and always in his head, and Anna was always there to help him. I just really hoped that it wouldn't get him into trouble someday.
“Oh, Cat, have you heard the big news yet?” Micha jumped up excitedly and we all looked over at her expectantly.
“No, what?” I asked and she took my hand from across the table, practically vibrating in excitement.
“Mademoiselle Marin is actually coming to the school this Thursday for a huge meeting! She’ll be talking about her latest performances, what movies she’ll be doing next, and she’ll even be meeting with some of the students of the BTA course, a.k.a. US!!!”
Micha’s excitement was immediately matched by mine as a wide smile slowly grew onto my face.
“What!?!” I practically screeched and held her shoulders. “Are you serious? You’re not joking, are you? ‘Cause if you are I swear I will kill you!”
She shook her head and raised her hands in defense.
“I’m not dying, tonight babe!” She shouted and we both squealed together.
I hadn’t felt as excited as this since the first time I got my acceptance letter to Madison Academy. And now, I was actually going to meet my idol, the founder of the very school I went to! How much more exciting could my life get!?!
“Guys, guys!” Anna screamed over our squealing and we both stopped to look at her pointing at the empty courtyard around us. “I think you’re scaring everyone away from us.”
We both looked around to see that most of the kids were in fact gone, the only ones left staring at us oddly as they slowly backed away and eventually ran away from our table.
“Sorry!” Micha called out after them and I chuckled as she shrugged her shoulders before getting back to eating her wrap.
“I swear you two will shatter all the windows in this school someday.” Louise shook his head and Micha and I both looked at each other with evil smiles.
“That’s the plan.” Micha lifted her hand and we shook on it.
Third Person’s Pov.
“Cedar, we can’t stay here any longer.” Annabeth groaned as she paced in the dimly lit halls between the girls’ and boys’ dorms. She had grabbed Cedar just before everyone was heading in for the night and she had hidden with him in a dark hallway which no one ever walked down.
And so Cedar stood across from her, leaning against the wall and nervously chewing on a napkin he had stashed somewhere in his pockets as Annabeth tried to wrap her mind around the mess they were in.
“I promised Chiron I wouldn’t call for a while, but it has been a whole month.” Annabeth continued and Cedar sighed and looked down at the ground. “I think we should call him again and see if we can bring her in. She’s come too close to figuring some things out and she already has all the signs of a fully developed demigod.”
Annabeth stopped pacing and looked up at Cedar expectantly, who gulped a bit of his shirt down before looking both ways down the hall, then back down at her.
“I actually have been picking up some weird smells around here even more lately, and I’m sure it’s one of the main staff in the school building. We’ve passed them multiple times.” Cedar whispered shakily and Annabeth sighed.
“That’s exactly what I feared.” She leaned back and put her hands on her hips as she thought.
“Okay.” She finally spoke after a few moments of silence and Cedar looked up from the ground with a questioning gaze. “I don’t care if the defenses are still bad, I’m giving Chiron a call and we are bringing Cat over tomorrow morning.”
“Um, Annabeth, isn’t tomorrow morning the assembly?” Cedar asked nervously and Annabeth closed her eyes with a groan.
“Okay, okay! We’ll stay here for just one more day, just for Catherine, but Friday we are out of here deal?” Annabeth raised a brow and Cedar nodded his head quickly and Annabeth sighed. “Good. I’m hoping we don’t have to run into any monsters, but that doesn’t mean we won’t. Get back to bed and be ready if we have to leave any moment.”
The both of them parted ways with a small goodnight towards each other and Annabeth walked back to her dorm. Once entering the main room Annabeth was not shocked to see Cat laying on the couch, cuddled up with her book and some spilled tea next to her on the coffee table. Thank the gods the floors were wood.
“Oh Cat.” The blonde mumbled as she cleaned up the tea mess and threw the soft comforters from her bed over the brunette’s shoulders. “I’m so sorry.”
With that, Annabeth left the girl to sleep, not before smiling once she noticed that she drooled in her sleep.
Chapter 7: My Friend is a Goat and I Find Out That My Secretary Wants to Eat me... So How's Your Thursday Going?
My Friend is a Goat and I Find Out That My Secretary Wants to Eat me... So How's Your Thursday Going?
“That’s it, I’m chopping all of my hair off!”
I stood up angrily from the kitchen table and threw my bowl of breakfast into the sink, the loud clink of it crashing inside the empty space echoing through the small dorm.
Anna then popped into the kitchen and crossed her arms over her chest, giving me a pointed look with a little smile as she leaned against the archway.
“Did your braid end up in your cereal again?” She asked with a smirk.
Anna laughed and I huffed, throwing my stupid braid over my shoulder and picking up my bag from the counter after glaring at the dirty dish sitting at the bottom of the sink.
“Are you ready to go then?” I sighed and Anna nodded as she picked up her bag from the ground as well. “I really wanna get to school so I can get a good seat at the assembly.”
“You know the assembly is after first and second period, don’t you?” Anna gave me a sideways glance as we closed up the dorm and began to walk down the halls. “And we’re already given assigned seats.”
I groaned and shoved her away from me playfully as we walked.
“Won’t you just let me be happy for once, Anna?” I asked dramatically and she laughed as we stopped right at the entrance way to wait for Cedar, the boy being late as usual.
Both of us then turned around to see the boy descending the staircase, practically skipping two steps at a time.
“S-sorry, sorry, I slept in again.” He leaned over breathing heavily and Anna and I shared a look before rolling our eyes.
“Get up you lazy bum.” I pulled Cedar up, Anna laughing when he flopped over my shoulder with a groan.
“Mrghhhhh…” He moaned out and I sighed before gently (not really) shoving him off of my shoulder and walking out the doors.
Anna followed after me, still laughing as a small yelp was heard behind us and she gave me a high five.
“Why don’t you ever get any sleep anymore?” I asked once we all made it onto the sidewalk and Cedar caught back up with us.
“It’s not my fault! My roommates don’t understand what it means to sleep, they never listen to the lights out rule!” Cedar complained as we crossed one of the many crosswalks that were placed around the city.
“Well, don’t feel sad,” Anna spoke as she gave me a harsh glare over her shoulder. “My roommate doesn’t follow the lights out rule either.”
“Yeah, my wild, late-night book readings sure do cause the same amount of trouble for you as Cedar’s weed-loving, partying roommates do. Totally…” I rolled my eyes as Anna gave me a nod like she believed my sarcasm and I was quick to lodge my elbow in her ribcage.
“Hey!” Anna yelped before turning to me and giving my shoulder a rough shove, which I quickly gave back.
“Guys, guys, we can’t just start a fight like this on the street, we-we gotta get to sch-chool!” Cedar desperately tried to hold us back as we laughed and he melted into a puddle of nerves.
Once Anna and I’s little war was finished (me being the winner, obvi), we continued on our way, laughing and chatting the entire time.
It only took a few minutes to make it to the academy. Just as we walked through the school doors, some student decided to run into Cedar, making his bag fall off of his shoulder and all of its contents spill out onto the floor.
“Hey, watch it!” Cat shouted as the kid rushed his way through the halls laughing. Cat grumbled under her breath as she leaned down and began to pick up Cedar’s stuff for him as he stood up from where he was pushed over.
“Oh dear, is everything okay over here?” Adeline, the school secretary, leaned over her desk and looked at us worriedly, her bright eye scanning over the situation.
“Everything’s fine madame, thank you,” I said quickly as Catherine stood up from the ground, shuffling some papers together. I didn’t trust anyone who smiled as much as that lady did.
“Here you go.” Catherine sighed and handed the folders and papers to Cedar who smiled kindly and thanked her.
“Oh, okay.” Adeline looked over all of us as we began to walk up the stairs. “Just stay safe you kids.”
“We will, thanks,” Catherine said, walking ahead of Cedar and me as the first bell rand. She cursed under breath and turned to look back at us. “See you guys in class.”
With that, she ran up the stairs and down the hall, disappearing from sight.
I looked over at Adeline and was going to say thank you as well, but I stopped short on my words as I noticed her gaze sharpen slightly and she licked her lips, eyes following after Cat.
“Umm, Annabeth… D-d-did you se-see that?” Cedar stuttered and before he could say anything else Adeline looked at us and I quickly grabbed his wrist and pulled him up the stairway.
“This assembly better be quick,” I mumbled under my breath as I dragged us down the halls.
Otherwise, we’ll be in a lot of trouble.
“Everyone down to the auditorium for the Madame’s assembly, each class one by one, you will be told which seat you are given, thank you.”
The intercom squeaked slightly and everyone in my history class cringed at the sound.
“Alright everyone, head down to the auditorium quietly, please. We’ll finish this lesson tomorrow.” Mr. Hughes said as everyone gathered their things and stood from their desk.
Immediately I left class and grabbed Cedar outside of the band room, just down the hall from the auditorium. He yelped when I pulled him by his collar and dragged him behind a pillar next to the entrance.
“Are we just going to have to keep an eye on her the entire time?” He asked nervously once he realized it was me and I sighed, leaning against the pillar.
“We don’t have to watch her every move, but the second this is over, we’re going to get her out of here and grab a taxi back to camp.” I wanted to groan in relief at the thought of all of this anxiety-driven stress being over, but I didn’t want to let down my guard too soon. We still had to get past any monsters who might show up along the way.
I instinctively let my hand run over the side of my hip where my bronze dagger was hidden under my uniform skirt.
“Also, keep an eye on the staff.” I nudged Cedar to walk once we noticed some teachers staring at us. “And if anyone gets too closer to her or starts to act weird we grab her and leave right away.”
“O-okay.” Cedar cleared his throat nervously and soon we made it to the auditorium entrance, parting ways once we got our seating charts.
I had a seat pretty much in the row in the farthest back on the balcony. I huffed as I sat next to some of my classmates, but none of them acknowledged me as I didn’t really talk to them much. Looking around, I finally caught sight of Cedar’s messy mop of brown hair and familiar beanie close to the front, and in the very front left side of the room was Catherine sitting next to Micha and Louise.
I was guessing that they got those seats because they were in the BTA group, which meant she probably had a chance to meet the lady who was speaking at the assembly afterward. I felt bad thinking it, but I kind of hoped she wouldn’t get picked. It would only make things a lot harder and shave a lot of time off of our hands.
Eventually, the lights dimmed and everyone went silent as a woman in a very fancy looking jacket and navy blue dress walked onto the stage.
I could not breathe.
I was only ten or so feet from my childhood idol who walked up to the podium with such grace and collectivism that it left me speechless.
Her long blonde hair and bright blue eyes were just as beautiful as they were on TV, and her voice was like golden silk as she addressed the audience, her accent beautifully thick.
“Hello, my students.” She began, and I could feel Micha physically lean closer to the stage in her seat. “My name, as some of you may already know, is Marin Cesaire. I started this school when I finally…”
The rest of the assembly consisted of her talking about her experience, how this school came to be, and how she started out as an actor/musician. I already knew every single detail about her life, but just hearing it come from the person themselves, getting to hear their side of the story and not some Wikipedia rendition, is just amazing.
I tried to focus the entire time, but I found my attention flying all over the place. Just the very thought of being in the group to meet Marin was both nerve-wracking and mind-blowing.
“Now, everyone can go back to class. Also, may the BTA students of Ms. Clione’s division stay at the main entrance for a special meeting.” One of the student faculties stood up on the stage after Marin left and Micha and I both gave each other the most excited looks ever, every fiber of my being holding back an actual fangirl scream.
And so, as we walked out of the auditorium, we were directed over to the side pillars by the entrance. Just as I began to walk over to Micha and Louise, since we got separated in the crowd, I noticed them looking out the window and actually fighting about something. Just as I was going turn around and leave them be, I felt a hand fall onto my shoulder.
I turned around to see Ms. Adeline, the school secretary, behind me with a wide smile. I looked down at her hand on my shoulder, which tightened its hold as her smile almost widened even more.
“Uh, hello, do you need me for something?” I asked politely, as I stole a quick glance back at Micha and Louise who were still talking heatedly.
“Oh, yes.” I turned back and noticed Adeline’s eyes twinkle slightly as she turned me away from the BTA group and pointed towards the backstage doors right next to the entrance. “Ms. Cesaire has asked to speak with you personally before seeing the other children. You just have to go right through those doors.”
My eyes widened and I looked over at the door and back at Adeline several times.
“Really?” I asked and my heart rate skyrocketed as I held back a smile almost as wide as her’s/
“Yes, yes.” She nodded enthusiastically and began to lead me to the doors. “Now, this way, quickly. We must not keep the madame waiting.”
I followed without a second thought.
Third Person’s Pov.
Once the assembly was over, Annabeth had grabbed Cedar and quickly made a beeline for the exit.
“Do you see her?” The blonde asked as she dragged the stuttering boy behind her through the crowd. After a while of searching, she huffed in annoyance and gave one last glance around her. “Let’s go check the BTA group.”
Finally letting go of Cedar’s shirt collar, the two of them began to search the BTA crowd for the familiar brunette, and after five minutes of her not turning up, they began to panic.
“She’s supposed to be over here,” Annabeth exclaimed exasperatedly. “She wouldn’t pass up an opportunity like this. Maybe sh-”
“Anna-Annabeth.” Cedar cut her off as he shakily pointed back towards the entrance. “Lo-Look.”
Turning around, Annabeth saw the one thing she hoped she wouldn’t have to see that day.
The secretary, Ms. Adeline, had her hands on Cat’s shoulder, who looked like she was very excited about something as Adeline lead her towards the backstage doors.
“Not good, not good at all,” Annabeth swore and quickly began to run to the entrance doors as Catherine and Adeline disappeared backstage. “Cedar, come on!”
“Are you sure Mme. Cesaire is back here?” Catherine asked as Adeline lead her through the dark halls of the backstage area. “I don’t hear or see anyone back here.”
“Oh, she’ll be here any minute now,” Adeline stated stiffly and I felt her grip somehow grow tighter on my shoulder.
I thought for a moment to ask her to let go, but before I could even open my mouth she made a sharp turned and shoved me through the open doors of the costume warehouse, my knees scraping against the cold ground of the dimly lit room. I turned around in confusion as I stood back up, wincing as my knees burned.
“Silence, Catherine Bancroft.” Adeline hissed as she closed the large door to the warehouse, which I thought was hard since she was old, but she did it like closing the lid of an ice cream container.
“Why did you shove me in here? Where is Mme. Cesaire?” I asked and the old lady licked her lips as she slowly began stalking towards my confused and shaking form.
“Oh, she’s not coming. Did I forget to tell you that?” She smirked and I felt my stomach go queasy.
I began to back up as Adeline took slow steps towards me, looking like a predator coming in for the kill. I yelped slightly as the back of my knees his a random couch stored in the large warehouse and I fell back onto the rough and springy material.
“Oh, this is too easy.” Adeline laughed and gave me a wicked grin. “It’s been so long since I’ve had a demigod, especially one with your scent.”
Just as I was going to ask her what the hell she was going off about, her figure literally melted away and she began to grow taller and hairier.
Within seconds she was towering over me, and she no longer looked like a sweet old lady, but a dangerous mix of a lion and bear. The shadow of a long and spiky looking tail whipped back and forth behind her like a cat’s and my stomach dropped to below sea level.
“You-you’re a manticore!” I exclaimed with a trembling voice as shock and fear began to course through my body.
I remember at that moment my old history teacher talking about Greek Mythology back when I was in sixth grade. Flashes of him explaining these monsters that were from the myths being dangerous, but thanking God that they weren’t real spun through my mind.
But this was very real.
The thing that was once Adeline laughed as it crawled closer to me and I took a shaky breath.
“Oh, a demi with a brain.” She laughed again and I felt my shaking body suddenly freeze. “Such a shame that you won’t live long enough to use it!”
Just like out of a horror movie, she lunged at me and I don’t know what it was, but something inside of me told me that I couldn’t die like this, not now. Like a reflex, I grabbed the pole I noticed lying next to me on the couch under a pile of costumes and lodged the broken part deep into the manticore’s shoulder just as she sprung onto me.
“GAHHH!!!” She cried out and immediately flung off of me to inspect her wound.
Without a second thought, I stood from the couch and began to run down the long aisles of the warehouse, brushing against costumes and hopping over other scattered set pieces in my way.
“You can’t hide from me demigod!!!” I heard the monster screech and I sucked in a deep breath as fear filled my lungs. I turned a random corner, adrenaline pumping through my veins and my heart pounding against my chest as I thought of some way to escape this warehouse.
Just as I turned another corner, I slammed into someone and my heart dropped as I began to scream loudly.
“Catherine, Cat, stop! It’s just us!” Anna grabbed my shoulder as I began to breathe heavily.
“Anna? How-why?” I asked as I tried to control my breathing and she grabbed my hand, squeezing it tightly.
“The doors were locked, so Cedar kicked down the back door outside and we crawled through the vents until we heard you scream and found you here.”
I looked over and finally noticed Cedar standing behind Anna. He looked a little terrified at the moment as he waved at me awkwardly, holding his pants in his other hand.
“Why is Cedar half donkey!?” I yelped and Anna shushed me quickly.
There in front of me was Cedar, standing with two hair covered barn animal legs, shuffling back and forth nervously.
‘I must be going insane.’
“It’s not donkey, it’s goat!” Cedar chirped in defense and Anna groaned as she tugged at my arm and we began to run down the aisles again.
“We’ll explain everything to you later.” She huffed and pulled me around a sharp corner. “For now, we need to focus on getting you out of here.”
“Oh demigods, I can smell you~” I heard the monster’s voice behind us and a shiver ran up my spine as I heard some things crash to the ground in the section behind us. “And is that a satyr I smell as well? Oh, I’m going to feast tonight!”
We turned another corner and Anna swore under her breath as we were met face to face with a blank wall.
“What happened to the ladder?” She turned to Cedar and he visibly gulped.
“I put it right there, I don’t know!” He said defensively and held up his hands.
“Ahhh, there you are~”
The three of us spun around and there we saw the manticore, swishing her tail back and forth as she crawled towards us.
Instinctively we began to back up and Cedar yelped as his back hit the wall behind us, Anna and I following.
We were screwed.
“Guess we’ll have to do this the hard way.” I heard Anna mumble and I was going to ask her what she meant, but before I could say anything she pulled a literal dagger from under her skirt and ran towards the monster.
‘Yep, I’m insane.’
I thought for sure she was dead meat as the manticore raised its paw to swat her away, but at the last second Anna slid onto her knees and under the beast, stabbing up and cutting at its chest.
I stood in shock as I saw Anna make a ‘go’ signal with her hands and the monster howled in pain again as Anna ran out from underneath her.
“Over here!” Anna called out and lead the manticore away from the aisle we were stuck in and I noticed an opening just past her tail.
“Come on.” Cedar grabbed my hand and pulled me past the monster, but I stopped him once we a little past the aisle as he tried to bring me over to the warehouse doors.
“Wait.” I pulled my hand out of his grasp and looked back towards where we were running from. “We can’t just leave Anna with that thing. We have to help.”
“No, Cat.” Cedar breathed nervously and looked behind me at the scene. “Annabeth can handle herself. We have to worry about getting you to safety. Now, let’s go, she’ll catch up.”
He tried to grab my hand again, but I slipped away from him, grabbing the bloody pole I had used to stab Adeline earlier and ran back towards the fight.
“Catherine!” I heard Cedar yell, but I ignored his protest and continued in a sprint until I saw Anna backed up into a corner, her dagger held up as the manticore slowly closed ground on her.
“It was foolish of you to sacrifice yourself for your friends.” The monster laughed and I saw its tail slowly raise above its head. “Once I kill you, I’ll just find the other two and kill them as well.”
Anna flinched back and right when Adeline was going to lunge at Anna, I did the most stupid thing anyone could have done at that moment.
I don’t know how, but I jumped around her tail and landed onto her back, knocking her off balance so she missed Anna, a spike flying right past my head and lodging itself into the wall beside Anna. I was happy that it worked, but my breath was caught in my throat as I felt something pierce into my right shoulder a second later.
“Ahh!” I yelled out in pain and immediately shoved the pole into the monster’s shoulder, gripping her fur so I wouldn’t fall off.
“Catherine!” I heard Anna shout, but everything began to blur, and soon enough my grip loosened as the monster roared out in pain and I fell onto the ground with a painful thud, crying out when I landed on my shoulder that was burning intensely.
Suddenly, I heard something that sounded like a battle cry, and instantly everything went silent as I felt a layer of what seemed like dust cover me.
I groaned and leaned over to see what happened, whimpering as my shoulder throbbed and my vision blurred even more. I could just barely make out Anna standing in a pile of golden ashes, holding her dagger up as she breathed heavily.
Soon enough I saw Cedar’s figure in the background as Anna ran up to me and kneeled at my side.
“Oh gods, Catherine, hold on tight we’ll get you help soon.” She spoke worriedly and leaned over me to look at my back. “Cedar, get me some ambrosia, now!”
I tried to look up into Anna’s grey eyes, but my head began to spin and soon everything else went black.
Chapter 8: Welcome to Camp Half-Blood
Welcome to Camp Half-Blood
“Is she going to be okay?”
“Yes, the poison of a manticore spike is only meant to harm whoever it attacks, there’s no way it’s deadly. It was lodged pretty deep into some important tissue, however, so she’ll be in pain for quite some time. But some nectar and ambrosia and she’ll feel better soon.”
‘Poison of the prey-mantis-what now?’
“Alright, thanks, Will.”
‘Where am I?’
“Anytime. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go help some campers who fell off the lava wall.”
‘What the heck is going on!?!’
My brain felt awake, but the rest of my body seemed like it wanted to sleep for just a few more years. My eyes were sealed shut as I heard a conversation held by a boy and girl. Their voices rang over me and I tried to take in what was happening while my sense of touch seemed to be out of commission.
The sound of a door clicking shut entered the now-quiet room and I assumed that it was the boy, Will I think, leaving.
I would’ve flinched if I could have when I felt someone sit beside me and the sound of mattress springs squeaking then filled the room. Was I on a bed?
Soon enough, my body finally agreed with my brain and decided that I shouldn’t be enveloped in darkness anymore. So, with a low and uncomfortable groan, my eyes peeled open and I was met with piercing bright lights and a blonde looking over me with worry.
“Cat, thank the gods, you’re awake!”
Her stormy grey eyes shined as I groaned again and tried to move my stiff and aching muscles.
“Hurts…” I mumbled out and Anna gave me sympathetic frown as I tried to sit up. “Ow!”
A hot searing pain spread from my shoulder and up my neck when I tried to lean up and I immediately fell back onto the bed in more pain than I was before.
“Careful, you’re still healing from the stab,” Anna rushed to calm me when I tried to move again and made sure I would stay still before she stood up and rushed over to open a cupboard on the other side of the room. “You need to try to not move for now.”
“Wha-where…?” My voice sounded raspy as I choked and coughed away the dryness in my throat.
“You’re in the camp infirmary.” She spoke over her shoulder as she busied herself with something that I couldn’t see. She then turned around and walked back over with a clear plastic cup filled with a honey-like substance. “You’re going to be sore for a while, but this should help.”
She gently helped me sit up and once I was comfortable enough she grabbed a spoon and lifted some of the drink up to my lips. I slowly and shakily leaned my head forward and took the spoon in my mouth, almost spitting it out the second I got a taste of it.
Leaning forward I gagged and coughed as some of it went down the wrong tube and Anna looked at me in alarm.
“Woah, Woah, calm down, are you okay?” She gently rubbed my back as I cleared the last of the liquid from my lungs and I looked up at her with a shaky smile.
“Al-all good,” I gave her a weak thumbs up, “It’s just, that drink… It tastes like, like something I haven’t had in a while…”
Just like the no-bake cookies, I used to bake with Eliza, back when I still lived in Michigan and helped her family out with the restaurant. I hadn’t had those in such a long time.
I missed them.
Not just the delicious desserts but all of my friends and family that I hadn’t seen in months. My heart ached at the thought of my old home, and how I had to leave it all behind for my dream, which isn’t happening any longer because now I was in some camp infirmary with a wound from a mythological creature that shouldn’t even exist.
Where was I!?!
“It’s called nectar,” Anna’s voice broke through my thoughts and I almost forgot that she was still with me, “The food of the gods. It’s meant to heal any kind of pain and it can taste like anything you want or need at the moment you take it.” She held up another spoonful of the golden liquid and I took it with no complaints or spurts of choking. “But you can only have so much, too much and it can turn you to dust.”
Like that monster back in the warehouse.
Okay, back to freaking out.
“Wait,” I stopped Anna from giving me another spoonful and gave her a wide-eyed look, “The monster, Ms.Adeline, school, how, food of the gods? Why is- what do you mean by all of this? Where am I and what the heck is going on!?!”
Anna didn’t look shocked at my sudden outburst of confusion, she just gave me another sympathetic look before placing the cup on the table next to the bed.
“I know you’re probably very confused and scared,” Anna started and I wanted to scream out how probably wasn’t far off from definitely, but I kept my mouth shut as I waited for an explanation of what was happening. “And I get that, but you still need rest and I can’t explain everything to you when you look like you’re about to pass out any second.”
Her last statement wasn’t far off from the truth either, I felt like I was going to be out the second I tried to blink, but I wanted answers- No, needed answers.
“But-” I started but Anna gave me her, ‘don’t mess with me or I’ll beat you like you’re my own child’, look. I seriously fear for her future children when they grow into their rebellious teen phase.
“Look, Cat,” Anna sighed and stood up from the bed and gave me a less threatening gaze. “This will all make sense soon enough. Just, finish the nectar and take some rest and I’ll be here explain everything when you wake up again. I promise.”
I sighed and took that as good enough as I nodded and she gave me a reassuring smile.
She then walked away from me and towards the door, stopping in the doorway just before she left and looking over her shoulder at me with a glint of worry in her eyes.
“Just, don’t worry, you’re safe here.”
With that, she walked out of the room and closed the door, leaving me in the brightly lit room, but even more in the dark.
“Catherine… Cat… C’mon, you gotta wake up for me.”
With a sharp breath, I opened my eyes and leaned forward, Anna catching me before I fell off the infirmary bed.
“What?” I asked in confusion before the event of what happened before I fell back asleep came rushing at me all at once, and so did a massive wave of pain in my head. “Ow…”
“Here.” Anna handed the almost empty cup of nectar to me and I swallowed the last bits of it happily, sighing in relief as calmness washed over all of my aching parts.
“Thanks.” I smiled up at her as she nodded and threw the cup away from me.
“Sorry for waking you, but Chiron is going to be here soon and he’s going to help me explain everything to you.” Anna said as she sat in a chair beside my bed and I felt a bit of calmness wash over once I was told I was going to finally get an explanation of all of this madness.
“Great, because I’ve never been more confused in my life.” I sighed as I sat up and leaned against the metal headboard of the creaking infirmary bed.
“Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense soon.” She clasped my hand tightly giving me an apologetic smile and I squeezed her hand for a bit of reassurance, right before there was a knock on the door and it was slowly opened.
Our heads swivel over to the sound and there I saw a middle-aged man sitting in a wheelchair with a kind smile on her aged face. He had thick, dark brown hair that curled around his shoulders almost majestically. A nicely groomed beard covered the bottom half of his face with small grey streaks growing in it. My green eyes were then met with warm brown eyes, their softness showing at the way the wrinkles grew around them from either happiness or worry (maybe both).
“Hello, Ms. Bancroft.” He slowly wheeled into the room and I had the sudden urge to straighten my spine and tell him my whole life story.
“Hello?” I said questioningly and looked over at Anna for a bit of reassurance before meeting his gaze once again. “I, uhm…”
“I understand you most-likely have some questions.” His eyes sparkled and I awkwardly laughed. “I’m Chiron, trainer of demigods and heroes.”
“Wait, like, the Chiron, from the Greek myths?” I asked and he nodded like he didn’t just tell me he was some magical being from stories that were written thousands of years ago. “And demigods, as in like children of gods?”
‘That probably explains why Ms. Ade- the monster, kept going on about eating demigod.’
“Greek gods.” Anna finally spoke up and gave me an unsure look. “I’m one… And so are you.”
With that, my brain was finally out of business.
“Wait, wait, wait,” I held my hands up as I looked down and tried to process everything I was hearing. “You’re telling me that I’m a child of some Greek god who is apparently real and I’m at a random camp where all of these other demigods like, uh, me I guess, live?”
“Yes.” Chiron nodded. “Camp Half-Blood, to be precise. Half-blood as in half mortal half god. Annabeth is the daughter of the wisdom goddess, Athena.”
‘Well, that explains a lot.’
“Wait,” I said again for the umpteenth time that day and looked over at Anna with worry. “If I’m a demigod and one of my parents is actually a god, does that mean that either my mom and dad… aren’t really my mom and dad?”
“Sadly, yes,” Anna said as she leaned back in her chair and gave me an apologetic gaze. “It’s either you’re mom or dad. It’s hard to tell since you have both in your life, but you should be claimed by the campfire. It is a little odd though,” She looked over a Chiron with her eyebrows scrunched. “Ever since the deal the gods agreed to have all of their kids in and claimed by thirteen.”
‘Wait, claimed like a prize? What do they mean by claimed!?’
“Yes, indeed,” Chiron nodded as he scratched his beard like every wise mentor cliche in movies, “But the deal was made almost two months ago, so she was already sixteen by the time it was made.”
“What deal?” I asked and Anna sighed.
“Last summer, after the Titan war, the gods agreed to have all of their children claimed by them at thirteen, thanks to a wish my boyfriend Percy made when he defeated the titan lord, Kronos.”
“Wa-war? Titan Lord Kronos?” I asked shakily and Chiron smiled understandingly.
“Last summer the Titan Kronos rose to power and tried to take over Olympus, but we had many brave heroes who were able to overthrow him and bring back peace for the gods.”
“Oh, okay I guess all of this can make sense.” In groaned and placed my head in my hands. “I mean I did just fight a giant beast from a Greek myth and now I’m sitting in an infirmary bed being fed the nectar of the gods while being told that I am somehow related to said gods, and now I’m being told there was a giant war that I didn’t know about that happened this summer and some Titan Lord tried to rise and take control of the mortal world and a bunch of teenage warriors took him down and okay I have no idea how I’m not having a panic attack right now, Anna?!”
The girl was quick to try and calm me down and gave me a calm smile.
“Okay Chiron, I think that’s enough for today.” Anna gave the mentor a nod and he returned one as well. “We should let Cat rest for a bit more and take this all in before I give her a tour and get her settled down.”
“Sounds good.” Chiron agreed before backing out of the room and bidding the both of us a farewell.
“This is a lot to take in.” I sighed as I leaned back and stared at the blank white ceiling above me.
“I know, I know, I wasn’t too confused when I was first told all of this,” She said with a small chuckle, “But you should have seen my boyfriend. He was just as confused, almost even more and he was knocked out for a few days too. Still, he got a hold of everything eventually and I know you will too.”
I let that small phrase calm down my racing thoughts and I finally turned to her and gave her a wide smile.
“Daughter of Athena, huh?” I asked and gave her a smirk. “That explains so much.”
Anna rolled her eyes and nudged my side lightly. “Watch it, or you’ll end up a daughter of the god of bathrooms.” She threatened me and I laughed.
“Now that would explain so much more.” I smiled and we stared at each other before both bursting into laughter.
“Alright you freak, I’ll let you rest up a bit before I grab you for lunch and a tour.” Anna sighed before standing up and just as she was going to open the door I stopped her.
“Wait.” She turned to me and I bit my lip nervously. “How long has it been since…?”
“Only two days, but it’s all okay.” Anna smiled once more as she walked out of the door. “No monsters can get you here.”
With that, I was once again left alone to rethink my entire life.
The tour was amazing.
After a while of sitting in bed, not being able to rest with all of the information thrown on me, Anna returned with Cedar who was still in full goat form. He had a small limp and I then found out that they got attacked by a few more monsters on the way to camp and he took a hit for my unconscious body when a monster tried to get me.
I was shocked at the superheroic act this nervous boy did and I thanked him profusely with plenty of hugs and cheek kisses. He blushed and did his usual stutter, which sounded more like a goat bleating now that I knew about his, um, other attachments. He then excused himself so he could go to some council meeting in the woods and Anna took me out of the infirmary to give me a full tour of the camp.
The first thing I did was gasp and take in the beautiful view of a large valley filled with sunlight and children running and screaming about.
Anna talked about all the amazing things they did at camp, showing me each place back and forth. Magic archery, pegasus riding, a rock climbing wall with actual lava, and an arena where they trained for fighting monsters. She brought me to the open air pavilion that looked out over Long Island sound (they really hadn't traveled far) and I geeked out at the gorgeous stage-like amphitheater. She then explained to me how Camp Half-Blood was mostly a summer camp, but some kids stayed during the school year because they had nowhere else to go.
Since it was the school year, there weren’t as many kids as there was supposed to be in the summertime, but it was still filled to the brim and everywhere you turned there was activity. Some were running around, talking in groups, and even flying overhead of pegasi. It seemed like it was straight out of some crazy fantasy book.
Some kids stopped to say high to us and introduce themselves, and I tried to be as nice to them as I could, but I was trying to process all of the information I was given and all of their names were beginning to blur together.
Anna pointed everything and everyone out with such pride and I felt so happy that she had somewhere she could feel safe and enjoy her time.
Woah, wait.” I stopped her just as we were climbing up a hill at the edge of the camp. “You once told me that you live with your uncle and cousins in the woods during the summer, this…”
Anna gave me a sly smile and winked, “A lie, but not a lie.”
We both laughed as I thought about how well (yet awful) all of her explanations were that suddenly made so much more sense.
Soon we made it to the top of the hill and I turned around to see the most beautiful view ever---a big stretch of woods to the northeast, a sparkling beach, the creek, the canoe lake, lush green fields, and the whole layout of cabins--- a strange assortment of buildings arranged like the Greek omega sign, with a loop of cabins around the central green and two wings sticking out on each side. I saw twenty cabins in all, one silver, one glowing golden, one deep red with barbed wires, one black with some green torches on the outside, and each more different than the next.
“It’s so warm here,” I said once I noticed how the sun shined brightly even though it was almost the middle of winter.
“The camp is protected by a border so we can be hidden by monsters and mortal eyes on the outside,” Anna explained as I sighed and took in the beautiful weather. “And as you can see, the weather is also controlled here so it can be nice year round. Sometimes, though, it can snow and we can get a bit of the winter spirit in here.”
I nodded at her explanation and Anna then pointed out all of the small cabins I noticed earlier laid out below us.
“Each of those cabins represents a god and you move into whichever one that’s your parent.” She said. “That’s where you’ll also meet the rest of your siblings if your parent had any more demigod children.”
I nodded as I looked down over each of the oddly-decorated cabins, wondering which one was meant for my parent and held all of my other siblings. Secretly, I hoped that Athena would end up being mine so I could stick with Anna, but I don’t think I really fit into the wisdom category.
“You know, you seem like you’re finally taking everything in alright.” Anna pointed out and I shrugged my shoulders.
“I guess after thinking about it and everything that happened the other day I’ll believe anything you’ll tell me.” I sighed. “So, when can I find out which god is my parent?”
“Most kids get claimed during the campfire we have after dinner, so you should find out then.” Anna smiled at me before looping out arms and leading me back down the hill. “Most should get claimed at thirteen because that’s when monsters start to notice them and their scent gets stronger. But that promise was made last summer, the one about the gods neglecting their kids, so I guess you’re a special case. Now, let’s get you a weapon so you can defend yourself against monsters.”
‘Ooo, now I’m interested.’
We walked back down into the camp until Anna stopped us in front of a large shed that looked like it should hold gardening tools, not dangerous weapons for teenagers to wield.
“You can choose any weapon you think will help during combat,” Anna explained as she opened the shed and I stood there in the doorway, gawking at the endless supply of dangerous weapons that casually laid around like toys in a child’s bedroom. “Now let’s see…”
Anna and I then spent the next ten minutes shuffling through the random piles of weapons, trying to find the right one for me, but nothing seemed to click. Each sword I picked up was either too light or too heavy, each bow too hard or too flimsy, and when I tried to use a dagger I almost nailed Anna in the forehead. Thankfully, she ducked, and the wall got a brand new hole added to it.
“Are you even sure I’m supposed to get a weapon,” I grumbled as I threw another tiny dagger, sitting myself down beside it in defeat. “I don’t even think I’m brave enough to try and fight any kind of monster.”
“Hey, you fought that manticore really well in the warehouse. You saved my life.” Anna placed a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it tightly. “And that’s why we train. Most of us are hardwired with ADHD, which helps keep us on our toes and in action during a fight because we were pretty much born to fight. Others can also have dyslexia to help with reading ancient Greek. Most have either one or the other, but some have both.”
“Is that why I’ve been having a tough time reading suddenly?” I asked and Anna nodded as she pulled me up and handed me another sword to test out.
“And why you were so quick to jump into action and fight the manticore.” She put her hands on her hip and watched me as I tested moving the sword around in my grasp. “You probably grew into it as most do. That’s why it was getting harder for you to read and why you also got really restless in class.”
I frowned slightly as I used the sword to hack at the wall in front of me, swinging the sword at different angles and testing its comfort range.
“Makes sense.” I huffed and swung the sword in front of me as I stood up straight and gazed at the glowing bronze color and black leather-bound hilt, deep navy blue designs etched carefully in the metal. “I think I like this one.”
Anna smiled and walked up to take a look at it.
"That one's name is, παλιρροϊκού, it means tide raiser." She glanced up at me and gave me a once over. "It suits you."
I smiled almost excitedly, and once we found a hip strap to hold the sword in we walked back out into the hot midday sun. I looked around as Anna lead me somewhere else, noticing some Apollo kids, I think, playing some basketball and even two kids dueling it out with axes by the fire pit.
“Isn’t that a little dangerous?” I asked Anna as I looked over the two kids and she shrugged her shoulders.
“Those two are Ares kids, they’re always fighting or chopping something up.” She huffed and looked up as a conch horn was blown off in the distance. “And that would be dinner. C’mon, I’ll see if you can sit with me and my siblings this one time.”
Dinner was… Bizarre.
Chiron did allow me to sit at the Athena table for dinner, but he warned me that it was a one-time chance, since newbies had to stay with the Hermes cabin until being claimed.
There was a whole buffet table I saw when I entered the large pavilion and I got to choose whatever food I wanted. There was also some pop, but some of the Athena kids told me it had nectar in it so it tasted like fizzy no-bake cookies and I loved it.
“To the gods!” One of the camp counselors cheered out and everyone echoed.
“To the gods!”
Just as I was going to eat all the food on my plate at once, Anna told me to get up and one by one, everyone dumped a portion of their food into the fire at the middle of the pavilion.
“Say a quick prayer to your godly parent and throw some food as an offering, they like the smell,” Anna explained to me before throwing some of her food in, bowing her head for a moment, and then walking back to the table.
“Okay…” I mumbled and took a cautious step up to the flames. “Quick prayer to my godly parent, I can do this.”
I looked deep into the flames and quickly threw a portion of my peas and chicken on my plate before looking around and taking a deep breath.
“Uhm, hey mom or dad,” I mumbled awkwardly under my breath and sighed. “Um, it’d be pretty cool if you claimed me soon. I-I’d like to know who you are, if-if you want though. Uh, yeah. Enjoy the peas.”
With that, I walked away and quickly sat back down at the cabin 6 table.
‘Enjoy the peas!?!’
I internally groaned at how awkward my prayer was and decided to lose myself in the sweet chicken and soy sauce I had on my plate.
All throughout dinner I chatted with Anna’s siblings, talking about how I got there, what I thought about this all, then eventually they started to tell me more about all of the fun I could actually have at camp.
Halfway through dinner, I began to tell stories about Anna and I’s time at school, especially this one time she tripped on the stairway on the main hall and fell on top of some freshman who looked like he was going to cry.
Everyone laughed once I was done telling the story and some looked at me oddly when I called Anna by her nickname.
“She allows you to call her that?” Malcolm, Anna’s brother, asked incredulously. “Annabeth doesn’t even allow her boyfriend to call her any nicknames.”
I raised a brow and looked over at Anna who shrugged her shoulders and threw a pizza roll into her mouth.
“We’re cool.” She said and swallowed the food in her mouth. “And you wouldn’t call me anything else, so I had to let it slide.”
I smiled and crossed my arms proudly.
Everyone then laughed as Malcolm tried to call Anna, “Annie’’, which ended in him getting flicked in the head with a very sharp fork. I began to laugh as well and slowly my heart warmed as I realized that I found a place I could call home.
Once dinner was over, Chiron stood above the crowd, except now he was a half horseman and I almost choked on my peas as I stared at the large white stallion body he had under his torso. Once Anna helped my cough the peas out of my lungs, I heard him talking about some capture the flag game that would be postponed for the weekend because there was an accident with the hot springs and some naiads, to which the Ares table protested, but he ignored them.
“Now everyone down to the amphitheater for the campfire.” He announced and everyone quickly stood and began to walk down the valley and to the large amphitheater I was ogling over earlier.
Once Anna and I got there the fire was already started and some Apollo kids were by the fire setting up some guitars and lyres to play on. I sat with Anna and her cabin under the large silver banner close to the front.
Soon enough, the Apollo kids began to sing some pretty interesting sing-alongs and bad remakes of normal songs, like Adele’s Hello (It’s me, your monster friend) and some song about how my grandma got dressed for war.
I was surprised when I noticed the fire changing colors and Anna explained to me how it reacted to the mood of the campers. As the campers sang along to the songs (not too well, might I add) the fire got higher and brighter, and soon enough the fire was high and glowing a beautiful bright golden.
After a few more songs the music died down and Chiron stood in the middle of the theater to address the crowd again.
“Very well done on the songs campers!” He smiled as the Apollo campers sat down beside the fire, holding their instruments and tuning some of them while he talked. “And a very special welcome to our new additions. I am Chiron, the camp director, and I am happy that all of you have arrived with most of your limbs attached. Right now we can begin to make the smores as some of the Apollo kids come back up for more songs. As well, I would like to announce-”
Chiron was then interrupted when as gasp rippled through the crowd and I looked over to see a girl wearing a dark red bandanna and army jacket staring above her at a glowing symbol of a hammer on fire.
“All hail Nyssa, daughter of Hephaestus, wielder and forger for the gods,” Chiron announced and everyone bowed slightly as Nyssa got up and went over to join her new siblings under the Hephaestus banner.
Soon more and more campers began to get claimed as we made smores and sung songs, seven counting all, and longer into the fire I began to feel deflated as not glowing symbol rang above my head. Every time I heard a gasp I would look up hopefully, only to notice another camper happily being united with their family.
Soon it was almost time for the fire to be over and I felt pretty bummed out.
“Now, congratulations to some of the new and claimed. It’s okay if some of you were not claimed tonight, we always have tomorrow.” Chiron smiled and I sighed quietly to myself and looked up to see Anna giving me a reassuring smile. “Everyone should head to their cabins now before the harpies come out to clean, it’d be a shame to end this night on such a sour note. All unclaimed campers may settle themselves in the Hermes cabin unti-”
For the second time that night, Chiron got interrupted as some kids ran into the amphitheater, panting.
Guys, guys! Percy’s back!” He shouted and immediately felt the crowds spirit lift as the fire glowed a warm golden-red. Just then, a kid with jet black hair and the most beautiful sea-green eyes strolled into the theater. Everyone stood up to greet him, but he walked right over to where Anna and I were sitting, pulling her up and catching her lips into a kiss.
Oh yeah, her boyfriend’s name was Percy.
Everyone immediately erupted into “aww’s” and some of the Hermes kids began to make kissy noises as they snickered.
“Get a room you two!”
Anna and Percy automatically pulled away, little hints of blush showing up on their faces and I smiled as Percy threw one of his arms across Anna’s shoulders.
“Grow up!” Percy shouted and everyone snickered as they began to walk back to their cabins, some stopping to say hi to Percy before leaving.
“So, you must be Cat.” I looked up to see Percy looking down at me with a warm smile. “Annabeth’s told me so much about you. I’m Percy, son of Poseidon and Annabeth’s boyfriend.”
I smiled at his introduction and stood to greet him properly.
“Hi, I’m Catherine, daughter of I don’t know and Anna’s best friend.”
Percy raised an eyebrow before bursting into laughter and clapping me on the shoulder, looking at Anna with a wide smile.
“I like her.” He said and a warm smile lit up Anna’s face. “I’m going to head to bed now, you should too before the harpies come out. We’ll walk you.”
With that, the three of us made our way down to the large ring of cabins. The couple bided me goodnight once we made it to the Hermes cabin and separated to go to their own.
I smiled when I was greeted by the Hermes cabin warmly. The two co-councilors, Travis and Connor (Who looked like twins but swore they were just brothers), showed me to my bunk and warned me of keeping an eye on my things if I wanted to keep them.
It was then lights out and my first day at my new home ended with Connor and Travis telling wild stories about heroes and monsters to the younger campers and a wide smile on my face.
Chapter 9: Boys Are Falling For Me- Well, More On Top Of Me...
Boys Are Falling For Me- Well, More On Top Of Me...
I spent the next few days at Camp Half-Blood trying to get into the hang of the whole demigod thing.
I enjoyed spending my time with the Hermes Cabin, especially for the camp activities. Eating was messy and loud, campfires fun and exciting, and any normal day with them was filled with laughter and fun.
I did pretty well during all of the main camp activities, like sword fighting (except for when I almost decapitated Percy), and I even got the guts to try out the lava wall. I think I got the hang of, with the exception of a few burns, and I also found out that one of my favorite things of all to do at camp was ride the pegasi from the stables,
I got to pick a really cool one named Felicity. She had shining black fur and a dark mane. Percy would invite me to sometimes go out with him and his pegasus, Blackjack, and he would show me plenty of crazy tricks that I would only do if we were over a body of water he could use to catch me.
Even though I was having fun and making friends and all, I still felt left out of everything. Not once was I claimed during a campfire or random activity.
Each day more and more campers showed up and all of them got claimed the second they passed the border or came to the campfire. Percy and Anna tried to make me feel better about the whole situation every night, but they could never fully distract me from the feeling of… abandonment.
All I could think was, ‘Am I not good enough? Am I too embarrassing or too weak to claim? If any of these gods were my parent, then what’s the difference between me and all of these other new kids?’
‘Do I just not belong here?’
These thoughts consumed me all through the night and during activities, enough so that I began to lose focus sometimes and I actually fell off of the lava wall one day. Thankfully, one of the campers that were out with a pegasi saw me and caught me on time, so I got away with only a few scratches.
And maybe a couple of hundred bruises.
This only worried Anna and Percy more, I could tell by their eyes whenever they looked at me, but they never said anything and tried not to bring it up whenever we were together. It was sweet how they were trying to protect my feelings and all, but it really shouldn’t have been as big of a deal as I made it.
So, after three long months of self-loathing and unsettling questions, I decided to let it go. If my mom or dad didn’t want me, then they didn’t want me. I was used to it already from my other parents, so who’s there to say I couldn’t move past this like I moved past getting kicked out onto the streets. I found a home and a family here. Mr. Chiron was already enough of a dad to all of us (Mr. D being the annoying uncle who never remembered anyone’s name), and I was happy with that.
I was happy with where I was.
Having a strange boy fall on me and a Clifford sized dog attack me was not how I imagined my day going. Then again, being a demigod, nothing ever happened how you’d imagine it’d go.
I was just enjoying polishing my sword after a hard training session in the combat arena. I rested against the trunk of a random tree, taking advantage of the shade to cool down as the smell of strawberries blew in from the field beside me. I was just placing my sword back into its scabbard when out of nowhere, I heard someone yell-
Next thing I knew, I felt a weight crash down onto my shoulders and I fell onto my side with a gasp.
Groaning, I looked up to see what the actual hades was on top of me and saw a short pale boy wearing all black groaning in pain as well as he laid across my side. He had dark and messy hair, the same color of the blade he held which was stuck into the ground just inches from my stomach.
“What the hades!?” I yelled and he looked up with wide eyes as if he just noticed that he fell onto someone.
“So-sorry, sorry!” He shouted and immediately stood up, reaching an awkward hand down to help me up.
I huffed, taking his hand and crossing my arms over my chest once he let go. He coughed awkwardly and looked away, grabbing his sword from the ground and sheathing it right as Percy and Anna ran over.
“What’s going on?” Anna asked and then her eyes ran over the strange looking boy as he stood there with his gaze hidden. “Oh, Nico, what are you doing here? I thought you just left for a quest?”
“Nico! how are you, dude?” Percy’s face lit up with a smile and he walked over, giving ‘Nico’ a hug. Said boy blushed and cleared his throat, awkwardly patting Percy’s back a few times.
“I did, and now I’m done with it.” He answered once Percy let go and he looked over at me apologetically. “I just got a little confused on my way back and accidentally shadow-traveled onto this girl. Sorry again.”
I huffed again and looked over at Anna incredulously who just laughed and rolled her eyes. Nico looked at me oddly, then at Anna who just shrugged her shoulders and sighed.
“She’ll forgive you, eventually. She’s just stubborn.” She explained to him and I gave her a look of betrayal. She then rolled her eyes and walked over to my side. “Nico, this is Catherine Bancroft. Cat, this is Nico Di Angelo. He’s a demigod son of Hades and stays at camp once in a while whenever he’s not on a quest.”
I sighed after her introduction and finally looked Nico straight in the eye, sticking my hand out quickly. He flinched at the movement and awkwardly took my hand before shaking it slightly before quickly letting go.
“Wait.” I cocked an eyebrow and looked back over to Anna. “I thought there weren’t supposed to be children of the Big Three, except for Percy and Thalia?”
“That’s what everyone says.” The small emo boy mumbled and I kept my eyebrows arched as I gave Anna a confused stare.
“They’re not. Nico, Thalia, and I are the only exceptions because our parents broke the oath. But Nico was born before the oath in the ’20s. Then he was stuck in a time-sucking casino for 90ish years until he escaped. Now he’s here and boom! Child of the big three.” Percy answered my question and ended the whole thing with a shrug as if that was the most normal thing to say, which it kind of was here.
“Okay,” I said like I completely understood.
“So, how long are you staying Nico?” Anna asked once an awkward silence began to settle around us.
“Only until the campfire.” Nico huffed and looked back towards the tree in which he fell out of on top of me. “I still have some business to finish in the underworld.”
Business in the underworld. Okay, steering clear of this guy for the rest of my life.
“Aw, that’s a shame.” Percy walked over and put his arm around Nico’s shoulder, which I could tell the small boy did not enjoy. “Can you at least stay for the night? Your cabin was just finished and you haven’t even slept in it.”
“I don’t really want to.” Nico started, but cut himself off as Percy gave him a pouty lip and the poor boy blushed. Probably because of how awkward this whole situation was. I certainly felt like I was going to die from secondhand embarrassment.
“I-I, guess I can st-stay.” He mumbled shakily and Percy punched his fist in the air with a small ‘whoop’ to go with it.
Just then, the air horn blew for lunch and Percy finally let go of Nico and walked over to grab Anna’s hand.
“See you guys later then,” Anna called as she and Percy walked hand in hand towards the pavilion.
“Um…” Nico mumbled (seriously, he need to learn how to speak up) as we were left alone and I coughed.
“Uh, I should probably head down to lunch now.” I looked anywhere but at him and pointed towards where Anna and Percy went off to. “Don’t want to be late or-”
Just as I was about to run away from this awkwardness like my life depended on it, I heard a sudden noise and a felt a chill go down my spine before what felt like a semi truck slammed into me. Thus, I fell onto the ground for the second time that day with something large and black on top of me.
And that something just barked.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING!?!” I shouted, but it sounded muffled out as my face was under a mound of what felt like fur.
“Mrs. O’Leary!?” Nico’s shocked and slightly high-pitched voice was heard above me and this ‘O’Leary’ thing. “Come on girl, get off her!”
Finally, I was once again reunited with fresh air. Taking in a deep breath, I sat up and sighed in relief since I was happy to not be squashed anymore. But then I felt something large, wet, and scratchy run up along my body.
The O’Leary licked me.
I looked up and felt terror fill my body at what I saw.
Now living at Camp for the past three months, I had gotten used to the unusual popping up around Camp Half-Blood. But the fact that there was a giant hellhound with fluffy black hair and beady red eyes wagging its tail and licking me as I stared at it in shock, I felt a little weirded out.
“That’s a hellhound!” I yelped as it nudged me and licked up my side again.
“Yes, yes, but she’s nice. No biting here, just lot’s of licking.” Nico rushed out and I looked up at the dog just as she licked me straight across the face.
“Cute. Gross, but cute I guess.” I chuckled slightly and finally stood myself up, brushing as much of the dirt and slobber off of me as I could, sighing when I realized that only a shower could get all of that junk off of me. “I guess I should go take a shower and change before lunch. Do you mind taking your dog and telling Chiron I’ll be late for lunch?”
“Oh, I don’t really-”
“Thanks, Nico.” I waved Nico off quickly and sped away as fast as I could, rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath.
Let’s hope nothing like that ever happens again.
Chapter 10: Connor Stoll Is An Idiot… Who Feeds Me Chicken, So He’s An Okay Idiot
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Connor Stoll Is An Idiot… Who Feeds Me Chicken, So He’s An Okay Idiot
“What-What’s going on?”
I opened my eyes slowly and saw a barren wasteland all around me. It went on for miles and miles, with shadows crowding everywhere and a foggy sky looming overhead. I did a full circle, freaking out once I saw nothing but dark and empty land, tinted with a sickeningly green hue.
A chill went down my spine and then I was frozen in place, unmoving as I stared at the empty space ahead of me.
“Oh, you poor little thing.”
My eyes widened as a raspy and honey-like voice echoed all around me. I shivered again as I felt the voice’s words reverberate through my bones. I immediately tried to move around and look for its source, but my body wasn’t listening. I was… stuck.
“Yes, stuck.” My eyes widened and I would’ve flinched if I could have when the voice repeated my thoughts. “Stuck in a place where you don’t belong. Living there for months, feeling unloved, being unwanted. Not even your own parent will claim you. Mortal or immortal.” The voice cackled like my miserable life was some kind of joke to them and I closed my eyes tightly.
“I-I-” I tried to speak, but it felt like someone had their hand around my throat, cutting the air off from my lungs and rendering me speechless.
“You know, I hadn’t planned on you being here, or even existing, but I can work with this.” The voice sighed and I began to tremble, as much as I could when my entire body was left into paralysis. “You will be an even better specimen than the other seven, especially because of your father.”
I slowly felt terror seep into my veins as I felt the hand around my throat tighten.
“Oh honey, you’ll wake up soon. But even in reality you won’t be able to escape me. I’m everywhere you are and everything you see. I’m even in your head.” The voice grew colder. “Yes, you will help me cause more destruction than ever before, my darling. Sleep well, I’ll be here.”
Finally, the coldness slipped away from my bones, but the hands around my neck only grew tighter and tighter.
The world started to grow black as the hands tightened one last time and a scream finally ripped through my throat.
I lurched forward, gasping loudly as I felt fresh air finally enter my lungs.
Looking up and around me, I realized that I was in my bunk back at the Hermes cabin, Anna standing above me with a shocked and scared look on her face.
“Wha-What?” I choked out and Anna lunged at me, wrapping her tan arms around my shoulders tightly.
“My gods, Cat, don’t ever do that again!” She breathed out into my shoulder and I looked down at her confused.
“Do, uh, what?” I asked and she pulled away, grabbing onto my shoulders with her hands and looking me in the eyes worriedly.
“You disappeared after Percy and I left for lunch. Nico said you were going to take a shower and be late so we waited for you and then you never showed. After I was finished I went out to find you around camp, and I, I showed up to the cabin area and I could hear you screaming. Did, did you have a dream?” Anna rushed out all of this and I felt my head spin.
I had heard of these horrible dreams that demigods were apparently got that were super important, some even about real life, but I never knew that they could be this terrifying until then. I could still hear the voice’s words echo in my head as I tried to steady my breathing and answer Anna. But I couldn’t stop more fear from entering my thoughts as I questioned everything that I had been told up until now.
‘If these dreams were supposed to be real, then what the voice said about me being a part of their plan of destruction, and my father? Does that mean-’
“Cat? Catherine! Breathe, it’s okay, it’s okay, just calm down.”
I forgot that Anna was there, so I flinched when I heard her voice break through my thoughts. Only then did I notice how shallow and quick my breathing had suddenly become. Looking up at Anna, I felt dazed as I tried to take in deep and relaxed breaths.
“You went silent for a moment and then your breathing went irregular, are you okay?” She looked me up and down for any physical problems and I turned my head away from her intense gaze.
“Uhm, no, no.” I sighed and rubbed my forehead as a small headache began to form. “I’m fine and, uh, I didn’t have a dream. Well, not what you’re thinking of at least. Just- some old memories.”
“Oh, okay.” Anna seemed unsure, but she understood from my tone that I wanted to drop the topic, so she let it go. For now. “Well, you missed all of the afternoon courses, capture the flag, and lunch, but dinner is about to start. Do you want to head down together?”
I was shocked by how much I had missed that day. I hadn’t planned on falling asleep at all. I just wanted to take a shower and head over to lunch as quickly as possible, my stomach agreeing with me fervently. But I guess the rest of my body overcame my hunger the second I saw how comfy looking my bed was.
“Yeah, yeah sure. Just let me get changed real quick and I’ll be right out.” I smiled and Anna returned a hesitant one before exiting the cabin.
I stood up from my bed once the door was closed and I let my smile turn into a frown as I stared at the plain wood.
Something told me that dream was only the start of something very bad.
I got dressed as quick as I could, simply throwing on a camp T-shirt and some jean shorts. Hobbling out of the door while throwing on some sandals, I joined Anna who stood at the bottom of the porch. With a small laugh towards my “Hopping Shoe Dance”, she put out her arm and I looped mine through it as we walked down to the pavilion for dinner.
We parted ways at the entrance and I automatically joined my friends at the Hermes table, Anna speeding off to her table with all of her other siblings.
“Catherine, over here, I got you a plate!”
I smiled as Connor stood up dramatically and waved his hands wildly in the air as if I couldn’t see him from five feet away. A few of his siblings around him chuckled and some people cast us glances, but other than that the weirdo was left alone.
I chuckled as I sat down next to him, Connor on my left and Abby, a new camper, on my right. I sent Abby a small smile which she returned before I looked over and saw Connor giving me a wide smile with an evil glint in his eyes.
I had gotten reasonably close to both of the Stoll brothers after my first few weeks at camp. They both were really nice to me, Connor especially since he helped me deal with understanding everything about camp life and fitting in. We got even closer after my first few months and they’re now one of the very few people I hang out with the most at camp, besides Anna. They even promised to keep their thievery to a minimum when it came to my stuff, which was a pretty big step for them.
“Way to stay low, Stoll. You looked like an idiot.” I rolled my eyes and he nudged my side with his elbow playfully before sliding over a plate full of American fries and chicken.
I then widened my eyes and licked my lips as I stared at the heavenly beauty in front of me.
“You were saying?” He rose a brow and I patted his face slightly as I continued to stare at my plate.
“You’re a beautiful person,” I mumbled half-heartedly and quickly then began to scarf down on my food.
“That’s what I thought.” Connor laughed and Travis came up behind him, wacking his head slightly.
“Wuzzup, losers, Oh hi Cat.”
I laughed at the other Stoll brother after wiping some food from my face and gave him a small solute.
“Counselor.” I nodded my head and he nodded back respectively before laughing.
“Hey, I’m the counselor too, why don’t you respect me like him?” Connor complained and I patted his head again before he swatted my hand away.
“Because you deserve about the same respect as a chicken deserves.” I smiled deviously and took another big bite out of a piece of my chicken.
Connor whined as Travis laughed, a few others who heard our conversation joining in.
Lunch passed quickly with a few more witty remarks from Connor and even more teasing on Travis and I’s end. After clearing all our dishes off, every cabin headed down to the amphitheater for the campfire. Loud chatter filled the entire open area as each cabin sat under their own respectful banner, me joining the Hermes kids under theirs, as usual. The Apollo kids then made their way to the front and the campfire songs began.
Connor and I spent the entire time singing along loudly and off-pitch, others joining in at times for a good laugh, but mostly leaving the two of us alone to embarrass ourselves. As Connor and I snickered and continued to sing along, Travis snuck off to “Prank” the Demeter cabin, when we really knew he was just going to see his “just a friend” Katie Gardener.
I looked around as I hummed along to the campfire song I actually didn’t know, smiling when my eyes met the stormy grey ones of Anna. My smile then turned into a smirk once I noticed that Percy wasn’t under his own banner, but sitting beside her. Looking farther to the back of the theater, I noticed that Nico kid leaning against the walls in the shadows. I frowned as I felt a little bad for him being all alone, but just as I was going to go over and actually talk to him, I felt a sharp jab in my ribs.
“Cat, come on, don’t ignore me.”
I looked over to Connor who was smirking at me, his blue-green eyes twinkling in the firelight.
“Huh? What?” I mumbled confusedly and he laughed.
“You really gotta stop zoning out so much, ain’t gonna help ya if you do that in the middle of a battle.” He laughed again lightly and flicked my forehead playfully while I scowled. “But seriously, are you okay? You seem to out of it lately.” His tone quickly switched to worried and I sighed lightly under my breath as I looked away from him.
“Yeah, just, thinking a bit I guess.” I shrugged my shoulders and Connor scrunched his eyebrows together.
“Look,” He looked down as he placed his hand over mine as it rested between us. “I know that it’s, it’s been a while since you got here, but I’m sure that you’ll be claimed any day now. You just gotta wait a little bit more. Sometimes, they tend to like adding some extra flare to their claiming, you know?” He laughs lightly and I bite my lip harshly as I look down as well.
Shoot. He hit the target I had been trying to avoid so desperately straight on.
I've tried forgetting about the whole not being claimed ordeal, but after that dream I had, the heavy feeling had settled its way back into the pit of my stomach. All the words that the voice had said opened up and brought out all the fear and insecurities I felt into the light and the calm I finally began to feel flew away into the wind.
“I, I’m fine.” I smiled reassuringly and grabbed onto his hand with a squeeze. “I’ve just had a lot on my mind. I don’t really worry about that much anymore.”
He smiled back at me and nodded his head.
“That’s good, and anyways, I like having you around the Hermes cabin. It’s like having another partner in crime besides Travis.” He pointed towards his brother who was currently holding a water balloon behind his back as he (cough) flirted (cough) with Katie.
I laughed as he then slammed the balloon onto her head and you could hear her screech loudly as Travis made a run for it out of the amphitheater, a soaking wet Katie hot on his trail.
Connor and I both held our stomachs as we laughed, the dark and unsettling thoughts about my dream earlier slowly receding to the back of my mind.
More time passed and soon enough, people began to get claimed left and right. I kept my hand in Connor’s the entire time, needing the comfort as I felt anxiety settle over me once in a while, praying silently that whoever my godly parent was, would grow a pair and finally claim me.
Okay, that last part was a little too aggressive, but you get what I mean.
As the night began to grow out longer I felt my heart begin to sink lower and lower, until finally, I couldn’t take it.
I stood up from my seat, ripping my hand away from Connor’s harshly before walking away as fast as I could, up the stairs and out of the amphitheater, away from the teasing smiles of the newly claimed kids.
I ignored Connor’s calls and walked away from the glow of the fire, down the fields and towards the beach, ripping my sandals off as I came towards the shore. I sighed the moment my feet hit the cool water, the glow of the moon falling over the lake and making it sparkle as it rippled around my ankles.
With another sigh, I stepped out of the water and walked onto the doc, sitting at the end with my legs dangling off the edge as I rested my head against one of the poles.
I took a deep and shaky breath as all of my emotions began to bubble up, the words of the voice in my head, the happy faces of the newly claimed kids, the cabins filled with kids who knew that they were really home because they were with their family. I thought of it all and, soon enough, I felt the burn of salty tears begin to fall from my eyes.
I weakly wiped them away as I took another shuddery breath and gently kids at the water with my feet, whimpering lightly as more tears began to fall.
I gasped lightly and looked up to surprisingly see Percy standing there, shifting awkwardly from foot to foot as he looked down at my hunched up form.
“Oh, Per-Percy.” I stuttered slightly as I stood up and faced him, quickly wiping any remains of my tears from my face. “Uhm…”
“Want to talk about it?” He asked kindly and I felt myself freeze up as his kind green eyes looked into mine.
When I didn’t answer he nodded his head and walked over to me, sitting down on the edge of the doc where I was earlier. A few beats later I joined him and leaned myself back against the pole. We stayed in a comfortable silence for a while, until I felt my heart beat rise as I took a deep breath and looked over at the tan boy.
“I don’t understand.”
He looked over at me with a questioning gaze and I dropped my now green eyes to look at the water below us, it’s rippling blue surface calming my nerves.
“Everyone gets claimed, right when they get here, even when they aren’t thirteen. And I’m sixteen and have been waiting for three months for any sign, any sign from my parent.” I felt my shoulders slump and eyes begin to water again, but I bit my lip harshly as I tried to keep my tears at bay. “I’ve been staying here, sitting at every campfire, waiting for some god to get the nerves to just simply point at me and call me theirs. I don’t even know who my real mortal parents are anymore. I’m just lost and confused, and I want to get some sort of understanding of, of all of this. I mean, I look at all of these different cabins and try to see myself living in one of them, but they, they all seem so foreign. I just, I’m starting to question if I, if I really belong here…”
I felt a weight fall off of my shoulders after finally letting all of my thoughts and worries out into the open. But even then I started to the tears fall down my face again and Percy quickly turned towards me. He placed a hand onto my shoulder and I looked up at him, his eyes staring deeply into mine.
“Hey, hey, I completely understand what you’re feeling and it’s, it’s okay to cry, you can cry.” He gave me a small yet comforting smile. “I spent twelve years of my life not knowing who my real dad was, and after getting to camp it then took him quite a while to actually claim me too. But I never gave up hope at the thought of him. Sure, I wasn’t even supposed to be born, but I hope you realize that they have to claim you eventually. I mean, my dad knew if he claimed me he would get a load of hades from Zeus, but he still did. Even if they claim you soon, you have to realize that you don’t need their title to help you belong here or feel at home. You belong here because we all love you and we’re all family, no matter what. No one is ever left behind or left out.”
I smiled through my tears and turned to tightly wrap my arms around Percy’s shoulder. He chuckled lightly before wrapping his arms around my shaking form as I cried into his side. I pulled away after a few moments and wiped away the remains of my tears, smiling up at Percy happily.
“Thanks, Perce, that really helped.” I thanked him and he nodded his head with another gentle smile.
“Anytime. Now, let’s get back to our cabins before the harpies come out and find some late night snacks, a.k.a. Us.” Percy chuckled and I laughed as we both stood up together and began to walk down the doc.
Just as my bare feet hit the wet sand at the end of the doc, I heard Percy gasp and I froze, looking over at him to see his eyes widened as he gaped at me. I gave him a confused look as I noticed that he was bathed in a strange green light. I then noticed that he wasn’t looking at me, but above… me…
I felt my heart stop as I looked up and saw a glowing green trident floating above my head.
I was claimed.
“Woah.” I gasped in awe as I gazed up at the magic symbol, my eyes darting to Percy as realization dawned on me. “Wait, a trident. That, that means that I’m, your my, I’m your-”
“Sister!” Percy belted as a wide smile spread across his lit up face and I was suddenly lifted up as he spun me around in his tight embrace. “Oh my gods, I have a sister!!!”
He laughed happily as he let me down and I let out a small laugh as well, my heart soaring high as I felt relief and excitement fill my body all at once.
“Percy, you’re my brother,” I said it as if I almost didn’t believe it was true, but the glowing symbol was still about my head, though it was starting to fade away slowly.
“Oh, wow.” Percy breathed out, then gasped loudly before grabbing my wrist. “OH! We have to tell Chiron!”
I was then dragged away from the beach and the disappearing trident, my new half-brother taking me away happily.
My new brother.
Now, the chapter everyone already saw coming. Enjoy!
Chapter 11: My Life Is A Mistake, Whoop-de-doo!
My Life Is A Mistake, Whoop-de-doo!
Coffee goes all over Chiron’s desk as he sputters in his cup and a few of his hair curlers pop off.
Percy and I both stood up from the armchairs and called out if he was okay.
“I am, I-” Chiron coughed once more before clearing his throat and straightening up in his wheelchair. “This is uh, well, news.”
I looked over at Percy nervously and he nodded reassuringly. I understood how Chiron was so shocked and confused. Technically, I wasn’t supposed to be alive, my existence literally being illegal to the gods that ran the world. Yet there I was, same age as Percy, the living, breathing, daughter of Poseidon.
As a deep silence settled over us, we all looked over to the corner where Mr. D was chuckling quietly to himself.
“Well, shit.” He laughed out and Chiron scolded him. “What? This is pretty funny. Who bets once Zeus finds out about this he’s going to smite little miss Katie-”
“-Whatever, from the very face of the earth?”
I felt anxiety settle over me and just when the room began to tilt, I felt Percy grab my hand and squeeze it tightly. I took a deep breath before squeezing his hand back, then looking Chiron in the eye, who was lost in thought as he reviewed the situation in his head.
“This...is a very delicate matter.” He started off, stroking his beard quizzically. I almost laughed at how cliche that was, but instead, turned it into a cough and stood up straighter as Chiron looked at me weirdly before continuing. “Because of the oath, you technically shouldn’t have been born, but with the matter of the prophecy already being fulfilled by Percy, and the fact that none of the kids of the big three have posed any threats lately, we might be able to keep you at favor in Zeus’ eye. For now, lay low, don’t cause any havoc, and until the time is best, you probably should not return to Madison Academy or go see your family.”
All of this swirled in my head, but one thing was clearer than others.
My family that was most likely not my family.
‘ Oh my gods, this is horrible. My family isn’t actually my full family. And, Josh- oh gods, he doesn’t even know that I’m here. And what about Micha and Louise, they, oh my gods, THEY PROBABLY THINK THAT I’M DEAD, EVERYBODY DOES,! I LITERALLY LEFT WHAT IF THEY’RE ALL SEARCHING FOR ME AND POLICE ARE LOOKING AND, OH MY GODS WHAT HAVE I DONE-’
“Cat, Catherine, hey, hey, breathe. It’s okay, just breathe. It’s okay, just breathe, you’re not in danger.” I felt my world straighten once again as I listened to what Percy was telling me. He placed his hand at the small of my back and looked over at Chiron nervously. “Chiron, I think we should just continue talking about this in the morning.”
“That seems best.” Chiron sighed, looking apologetically at me and then nodded towards the door. “We’ll discuss more of this in the morning, and then I can announce your parenthood at lunch.”
I nodded nervously before Percy lead me out quickly before I could hear anything else that might’ve made me freak out again and we quickly walked back to the cabins.
Well, shit indeed.
I decided that I wanted to stay just one more night in the Hermes cabin before I switched over to cabin three, the night already feeling a little too exciting for me.
Once I entered the cabin, I was thankful that everyone else was asleep. All except for a certain son of Hermes. Connor pretty much body slammed into me with a tight hug the second I walked through the door. I laughed as he dramatically cried about thinking I was dead and I reassured him I was very much alive. He then asked me what had happened, but I was so drained from the past night’s events so I told him I would explain tomorrow.
With that, we stayed up a bit longer, talking to each other and laughing about some kids who fell down the amphitheater stairs when Connor tried to chase after me. Eventually, we both fell asleep, leaning against the wall with his sleeping bag resting on our laps.
“Shh, Shh, don't wake them up, they look so cute.”
“Oh my gods, Beck, get your camera so we can keep this as blackmail.”
“Aww, he has his arm around her and she’s drooling…”
“Oh, oh guys they’re waking up.”
I groaned as I heard excessive giggling and I opened my eyes to see the entire cabin gathered around me, flinching back when I was blinded by a bright flash.
“Morning sleeping beauties.” Travis smiled crookedly as he chuckled and I looked at him confusedly before I felt something move alone my side and an arm snake around my shoulder.
My eyes widened and I looked over to see a drowsy Connor snuggling himself into my shoulder, blinking his eyes slowly as he started to wake up.
“What’s everyone crowding for?” He mumbled tiredly, but all everyone did was point towards me and he looked over, all tiredness leaving his eyes when he saw my face. Like that, he jerked away from me like I was on fire and I rolled my eyes at the ‘sweet’ gesture. “Oh! So-sorry, Cat.”
“Glad to know you’re repulsed at the thought of touching me.” I rolled my eyes again and looked up at everyone with my usually grumpy morning glare. “And why do you guys all think it’s so cute to take a picture of my drool? Show’s over, move along!”
I shooed everyone away as I stood up and Connor awkwardly followed suit before I walked over towards my bunk which I shared with Sawyer, everyone else understanding I wasn’t in the mood and quickly beginning to get ready for the day.
I changed into a green T-shirt and some high-waisted jean shorts with my usual pair of sandals. I quickly tucked the shirt into my shorts and threw my long, dark hair into a high ponytail. I then walked out the door, smiling quickly at Connor as to not make things too awkward, and stepped out into the mid-morning sun.
Immediately, as I was walking towards the pavilion, just to get their early for once, I was once again body slammed and crushed into a hug.
“Oh gods, hello, Percy.” I laughed and he chuckled before letting go, a heartwarming smile on his face. “And you don’t have to hug me like this every time you see me.”
“I know, I just,” He took a deep breath and leaned away with a wide smile on his face. “I still can’t believe it.”
“I know, I can’t either.” My smile matched his and he seemed to vibrate in excitement like a child on Christmas morning, waiting to open his present.
“Oh, and you’re totally moving in tonight.” He commanded me jokingly before gasping and I laughed at how energetic he was about all of this. “We should also sit together for breakfast!”
“Uh, Percy, wait.” I stopped him as he grabbed my wrist and dragged me towards the pavilion. “You’re being really sweet right now, but one, we have to go talk to Chiron, and we should probably bring Anna with us. She should be the first to know as my best friend and your girlfriend. And two, I kind of want to ease into this, at least until the announcement at lunch, then I can sit with you.”
“Okay.” He looked like a puppy that just got refused a treat, but he nodded his head in understanding.
Soon enough, we started walking towards the Athena cabin with Percy’s arm rested across my shoulders. After finding out we had the same father, it seemed that Percy believed we were connected at the hip. It should’ve been annoying, but I found it endearing to have another clingy and older sibling again.
“WAIT!” I shouted out suddenly and both of us came to a halt just before the Athena cabin. “We’re both sixteen, which one of us is older?” I asked and his eyes widened.
“August eighteenth, how about you?” He asked cautiously and I mentally fist-bumped as a smirk grew on my face.
“July twenty-ninth.” I cackled as he groaned and as we finally walked up onto the Athena cabin porch.
Right on time, Anna came out of the door and raised an eyebrow as she saw Percy grumbling with his arm thrown across my shoulders as I cackled like a little old witch.
“What’s going on here?” She asked and just like a switch, we both went stoic as a harsh nervousness fell over us.
I had to take a deep breath as I tried to calm down.
‘It’s fine, this is just Anna. I can tell her anything.’
“Hey, Anna, we uh…” I froze slightly, looking up at Percy for some help and he finished for me.
“Annabeth, we need you at the Big House. It’s kind of important.”
“What!?!” Anna shouted in shock, standing from the love seat as Chiron, Percy and I all stood by the desk, looking at her in surprise. “How is that possible? I thought the pact- if Catherine- Wait, she’s older, shouldn’t she have been the child of the great prophecy? And HOW IS SHE EVEN ALIVE RIGHT NOW!?! ZEUS WOULD’VE TRIED TO SMITE HER THE SECOND SHE STEPPED ONTO CAMPGROUNDS AND MONSTERS SHOULD’VE BEEN TRYING TO CLAW OUT HER GUTS AN-”
“Annabeth, calm down.” Percy ran up to her and grabbed her shoulders, stroking his thumbs across them gently as he tried to calm her down. “I know it’s confusing, we’re all lost about this, but look on the bright side of things. She’s been claimed, she’s my sister, and she hasn’t even died yet! It’s a win, win, win!”
“Oh my gods, how are people going to react to this at lunch?” Anna looked towards Chiron who shrugged his shoulders slightly.
“Mostly shock, but other than that, it should be milder considering Thalia, Percy, and Nico’s cases.” He explained and Anna sighed before looking up at me with a smile.
“I guess.” She mumbled and then walked over to wrap me in a tight hug. “But I am so happy for you Cat. I can’t believe you got claimed. How do you feel?”
“A little woozy.” I laughed and we both slowly pulled away from each other. “But after the whole finding out I’m a demigod thing, I think I’ve learned to handle shockers like this a little better.”
“That’s good.” Chiron cut into our little moment and we all grew quiet as we looked over at him. “Now, lunch will be soon, all of this will eventually clear up. But, for now, go off to your activities and Catherine, I suggest you should start packing your bags for the move.”
With some nods and short replies, we all walked out of the Big House together.
I leave for Cabin Eleven to pack the little things I had while Percy and Anna ran off to go teach the classes that they had.
Lunch came a lot quicker than I expected.
I quickly packed everything that I had into a small camp bag without anyone in the cabin noticing and threw it under my bed just as the horn blew. Connor then showed up to get me and we walked down together. Just as we got through the entrance, I stopped him and turned to give him a nervous smile.
“Look, Connor, I.” I paused and took a tiny breath before looking up into his curious gaze. “I can’t sit with you at lunch today.”
“What? Why?” He asked and his eyes widened as he grabbed my hand quickly before immediately letting go. “I, uh, I’m sorry, it’s just… Is it about this morning? ‘Cause, I didn’t mean to fall asleep on your shoulder and I, uh-”
“No, no, Connor, it’s not that!” I was quick to stop his nervous rant and I grabbed his hand as I looked at him sweetly. “I just, well, last night-”
“Excuse me, everyone!”
I was cut off and Connor and I both turned to see Chiron standing in all of his centaureus glory (Is that a word? If it’s not, I don’t care, I just made it up), and I felt my stomach churn.
’REGRET, REGRET, SO MUCH REGRET.’
“This may come as a shock, and some of you might be a little scared, but it is all fine and figured out. But, our very own Catherine Bancroft has been claimed last night.” There were a few curious gazes sent my way, but no one seemed to care as they continued to eat their food, until Chiron’s next statement. “All hail Catherine, Daughter of Poseidon, Earthshaker, Stormbringer, and Father of Horses. All hail the daughter of the Sea god.”
A large gasp then ripped throughout the pavilion and suddenly, all eyes were on me. A lot of shocked faces, some people screaming, and even one kid fainted was the sum of the entire crowd’s reaction.
‘Well, that’s a little dramatic.’
I felt awkward as everyone slowly but eventually bowed down to me. I blushed as I looked over at Connor who just stood in shock beside me. I gave him a nervous smile as he continued to stare at me, but eventually, once everyone got back to eating their food (most still gaping at me widely), He slowly let a small smile grow on his face as well before giving me a hug. I sighed in relief as he hugged me and once he pulled away he let out a puff of breath before giving me another smile.
“Wow, Cat, uh, wow.” He let out slowly and I shrugged awkwardly with a nod. “You were claimed.”
“Uhm, yeah.” My smile widened as I heard those words leave his mouth and I gave him a grateful look. “Yeah, I should, uh, I should probably go sit by Percy now.”
“Yeah, yeah.” He nodded as he looked down, his hands stuck deeply in his pants pockets. “See you later, Cat.”
With that, our conversation ended and I awkwardly shuffled over to the Poseidon table, looking away from the obvious shocked and confused stares. As I looked back I could see Connor sitting down at the Hermes table, looking like someone had just stoll en his puppy. (Get it, Stoll, stole, ‘cause it’s his last- nevermind).
Percy was super excited as he finally had someone to sit by at the cabin three table. Well, except for the few times our younger cyclops brother (whom I found out about just that morning), who visited once in a while.
A few friends congratulated me as I sat down, and after a while, I began to feel the peace finally fall over me and the excitement of being claimed began to overwhelm me. I wasn’t forgotten, or left behind, or rejected.
Someone actually called me theirs.
I almost felt like crying out of pure joy, but I kept myself together through the rest of the day as Percy pretty much preached over and over about (cough) older (cough) sister.
Night time came just as quick as lunch and I felt sad to leave the Hermes cabin behind. I had gotten really close to most of its inhabitants and it felt almost wrong to say goodbye. Still, we gave each other some heartfelt goodbyes, even though we soon realized that we still lived at the same camp and would see each other every day. Just not at night.
After bidding farewell to everyone, Connor offered to walk me over to cabin three and I happily agreed. With my bag on my shoulder, I stepped off of the porch and Connor and I walked through the misty night towards the giant cabin by the beach.
We stayed silent the entire time and once we were standing right in front of the dark grey cabin I turned to Connor and gave him a quick hug.
“Night.” He mumbled as we pulled away and, like that, he was gone.
Looking up, I was finally able to take in the full beauty of cabin three in the light of the moon.
It was a long, low building with windows facing the ocean. The cabin was made from rough sea stone, pieces of coral and seashell embedded into the outside walls, and a trident with a big bronze number 3 was hung over the door. I felt oddly calm at the smell of the breeze, which reminded me of sitting on the beach back home in Michigan.
At that moment, the wooden door swung open to reveal an excited looking Percy. He quickly shoved me inside with a quiet welcome and I laughed at him for the millionth time that day.
I had never been inside the Poseidon cabin before, so I couldn’t help but gawk at how gorgeous it was on the inside. The interior had walls made of abalone, little designs and mini heroes chiseled into them along the floor, which made me smile. Six neat bunk beds with silk sheets filled up the room and a salt water fountain that was made out of a glowing grey sea rock stood off to the side of the cabin. It had these funny looking fish statues that spouted out water from their mouth with beautiful coral decoration. From where I was, I could see the shining bottom that was covered in most-likely hundreds of golden drachmas, which were used for Iris messaging.
“It’s beautiful in here Percy,” I said, awestruck, and walked over to the open window view of the sea. Little unknown sea plants and corals growing on them which Percy commented were, “Better than any Demeter kid could whip up.”
I laughed lightly at that comment, knowing that Katie would beat his butt if she ever heard him say that. With a small sigh, I hoisted my bag’s strap farther onto my shoulder and gave Percy a small smile.
“So…” I drawled out. “Which bunk should I take?”
“Take the one from across me in the center. That way, we can face each other if we wanna talk or something and not have to strain our necks anyway.” He explained and I nodded my head as I walked over and threw my bag onto the bed, almost melting the second I fall onto it and feel the sea silk sheets. “Tyson took the bunk above mine, otherwise I totally would’ve let you have that one.”
I nodded my head again as I laid out my pillow and comforter.
“Cool. Well, it’s super late now and I do not wanna be super grumpy for breakfast, I heard they were serving pancakes, so… g’night.” Percy plopped down onto his bed and I laughed again as he dramatically spread out his limbs with his blanket just barely covering his lanky form.
The lights then suddenly went out, almost like the cabin knew we were falling asleep, and the sound of Percy’s quick snores burst through the room’s silence.
Huh. Feel like home.
Chapter 12: Do I Get a Bonus Point If I Act Like I Care? No? Well, Goodbye Then. . .
Do I Get a Bonus Point If I Act Like I Care? No? Well, Goodbye Then. . .
“Hey, Cat, grab Tideraiser and let’s head down to the arena.”
I looked up from the Greek book I was reading and leaned up on my bed, sighing when I saw Percy standing in the doorway of the cabin, holding riptide in sword form in one hand and a bottle of nectar in the other.
“Ughhh, but it was just getting to the good part…” I complained like a five-year-old and Percy rolled his eyes and walked over to rip the book from my hold, throwing it somewhere else off into the room before I could react. “Hey!”
“We need to practice for Capture the Flag.” He started as he grabbed my feet and began to drag me off my bed. “And you’ve been avoiding everyone by sitting in here every day just to read ever since Annabeth told you about those Greek translation books.”
I let him drag me away, yelping when my back hit the floor as I fell from my bed. He then continued to drag me across the floor, taking my sword off from its stand on the wall as he walked by and dragged me out the door.
“I’m sorry, I actually like reading and find it fun.” I crossed my arms across my chest and tried to glare at him as best as I could from the ground. “And I’ve practiced enough, I can wait ‘till the games and do fine.”
He ignored my protesting and continued dragging me away. Just as we were passing the other cabins, Anna came out of her’s and started to laugh once she saw her boyfriend dragging her best friend across the ground.
“Morning, Annabeth!” Percy called out with a wave and pointed to me behind him as he held onto my legs with only one arm. “Heavy load today, see you at breakfast!”
“Hey! Anna, help me please!” I cried out and all the traitor did was continue to laugh and wave back. I groaned and started kicking my feet in his hold. “Fine, fine, I’ll go with you! Just let me go, my shirt is getting stains on it!”
With that, Percy shrugged his shoulders before dropping me completely onto the ground. I let out another yelp and quickly stood up to glare at my ‘oh so sweet’ brother, ripping my sword from his hand. With a chuckle, he threw his arm over my shoulder as usual as we began to casually walk down to the Arena. I rolled my eyes at him but felt comforted at the now familiar gesture he had been accommodated to doing whenever we were with each other.
Everyone was outside more around that time since it was officially the spring and things were starting to warm up. Because of that, It was much nicer and easier to spar in the open arena without us feeling too cold.
Despite the controlled weather, we all sometimes enjoyed when the gods allowed it to snow, but then that would mean lunch, fire, and combat lessons would all be a little chilly.
Well, really chilly.
Yeah, we were freezing our butts off.
“Hey, dumb and dumber, you here to spar?”
Percy and I both looked up as we walked into the main ring to see Clarisse La Rue holding her sword in one hand and the decapitated head of one of the practice dummies in the other. I almost laughed as the head loped around and I looked the older girl straight in the eyes.
“Good morning to you too, Clarisse. Decided to get in some early training too?” I let Percy’s arm drop from my shoulder and took my sword out of its sheath.
“Yes, but now my mood is destroyed at the sight of you two sea squirts.” She huffed and crossed her arms and I rolled my eyes.
“Do I get a bonus point if I act like I care?” I mirrored her crossed arms and we stood there for a few moments, giving each other harsh glares as our gazes didn’t waver.
Then, she starts laughing and I let a small smile grow onto my lips.
“My gods, Cat, you always have the right amount of spunk to throw around.” Clarisse chuckled and walked over to jab me in the ribs with her elbow. “Save some time to combat with me later, good?”
I nodded and she walked away, hitting Percy on the back harshly before exiting the arena.
“I still don’t know how you two are such close buddies” Percy grumbled lowly as he rubbed his sore shoulder.
I laughed and instead of answering him, raised my sword in challenge.
“Less complaining, more stabbing.” I probed him lightly and with that, he raised riptide and we began.
Fighting with Percy was tiring, especially with the time of day and the fact that he still had the blessing of the river Styx. That meant, that no matter how hard I tried or how harshly I attacked him, I would barely leave a scratch.
Of course I steered away from the special spot he told me not hit, his weak spot. I was shocked when he told me about it, promising that he trusted me, as a close friend and as his sister to tell him. The very fact he told me strengthened our relationship even more. And I was really thankful to have someone like him with me at Camp.
As we fought, Percy would randomly shoot water out of some nearby bottles and try to hit me. He said he was trying to get me to use my powers to stop it, using the element of surprise, but each time I would freeze and duck away.
“You can’t keep backing out last minute!” Percy sighed as he easily flicked his hand and the water was sent back into the bottle. “If it’s a life or death matter you can’t back out, you have to give it your all.”
“I know.” I sighed and stabbed my sword deeply into the ground. “I just don’t feel it like you say I should. I’m thinking really hard, I am, but it’s just not working.”
“Hey, I get that,” Percy spoke sympathetically and I groaned. “It took ‘till I was terrified, until the very last moment for it to work and even then I didn’t get control of my powers for years. But back then, I didn’t have much help. It’s different for you, though, ‘cause you have me. I’ll be here every step of the way for you. I’m not leaving anytime soon.”
“Thanks, Perce’.” I smiled at him and he nodded his head once before lifting his sword to a ready position once more.
Eventually, we were both drained, me more than Percy for obvious reasons, and just when we decided to finish we heard the horn for breakfast. Deciding not to take a shower since we were the only ones at our table, we headed straight to the pavilion in all of our sweaty glory.
As we walked to our table together as we were both greeted by a few campers until Anna stood from her table to say hi to Percy. Said love-sick boy quickly ran over to my best friend and they greeted each other with a small hug and quick kiss.
I smiled happily over to them and then turned to take a seat at my table.
Glancing up after a few minutes, my eyes wandered over to the Hermes table and, sure enough, there sat Connor Stoll, picking at his scrambled eggs and glancing around every once in a while. I waited until he noticed my gaze and once we locked eyes I gave him a small smile and a wave.
His face immediately lit up before he waved back at me.
For a moment, I stole a glance and saw Percy still talking to Anna and I rolled my eyes. Looking back at Connor, I pointed towards the two and mimed a gagging motion.
He laughed with me and a moment later I saw him send a quick glance over towards Chiron, who seemed busy talking to two Nymphs. In one swift motion, Connor pointed to me and then the empty spot next to him and I quickly realized what he was saying.
Looking all around me, back at Percy, and then Chiron, I grabbed my plate, discarding my drink and snuck over to the Hermes table.
I was greeted with some smiles and tiny cheers and I felt a sense of nostalgia fall over me.
“Hey, Hon’,” Connor whispered and I poked his stomach, making him flinch and give me a confused look. “What was that for?”
“One: You made me walk all the way over here.” I stated as I grabbed his drink and took a sip of the nectar filled O.J. “And two: I had to leave my precious glass of milk over there, so I’m a little salty.”
He groaned dramatically as I took another sop of his drink before placing it right between us.
I stayed for the rest of the breakfast time at the Hermes table, only getting a pointed look from Chiron once. When Percy saw I wasn’t at the table anymore, he gave me a playful glare and then sat down with Anna, acting like he just had to since he didn’t want to sit alone.
Breakfast was finished I was going to take my sweaty self to a shower, but Clarisse grabbed me last second and I was once again dragged to the arena for more training.
I went through the rest of the day sweaty and tired.
Clarisse kept me at the arena for another few hours and I had to go off and help Anna teach a sculpture lesson, and then Percy wanted to demonstrate beating me up in the arena in front of his class, then Chiron tried showing me how to do some archery (which ended with a few arrows in his beard), and so I had absolutely no time to take a shower, at all.
Before dinner, I met up with Anna again, since all we ever did was train together. We talked strategy for the Capture the Flag that our team put together at lunch. Every Friday we always found a way to get on a team together, and we were super excited to put together another game as co-leaders. Only the two of us were on a team while Connor, Percy, and even Nico, who showed up earlier that day and actually agreed to a game, were on the red team (much to Percy’s disappointment).
After a while, Anna went off for some alone time with Percy down at the beach before dinner.
And so, tired and still sweaty, I decided to torture myself even more and went down to the stables to fly my pegasus, Felicity. Down at the stables, I saw Jazz, a Hecate girl, there as well and we both caught up before taking the horses out for a few rounds through camp.
Soon enough, the air horn was blown for dinner and we both returned our pegasi before walking down together, Jazz explaining all of the new potions that the Hecate cabin was conjuring up for the past few weeks in an excited (and slightly scary) voice.
At Dinner, Percy and I actually sat at our respective tables and laughed when Chiron gave the both of us a pointed look. As Dinner progressed on, Percy kept trying to crack me for any details on the blue team’s strategy for capture the flag, but I kept my mouth shut, throwing a few grapes at him for extra measure.
Anna’s wrath seems a lot less appealing than having to deal with Percy’s annoying (yet stupidly effective) pout.
When the evening was beginning to wind down and everyone was finishing up their food, Nymphs sweeping around and picking up plates from the tables in a slight blur, Chiron stood up above the crowd to greet all of the new campers.
I held in a sympathetic snicker as a few of them did a few double takes as they stared at Chiron in all of his stallion glory.
“Hello, campers, old and new!” Chiron called out over the crowd’s soft chatter and all of the voices slowly began to die down. “I’m glad you’ve made it safely and hope that you’re enjoying your time. You have arrived on a Friday, so that means it’s time for capture the flag!”
A few Ares kids stood up and started hollering and cheering. No one made mention of their usual pre-capture the flag war cries and Chiron waited until they put their weapons back down before going on to explain the rules.
(A/N: This next part is pretty much the list of all the rules regarding capture the flag /RESEARCH/ so you can skip over it if you want, I’ll put a lil’ ‘***’ at the end.)
“Yes, thank you Ares cabin.” Chiron refrained from rolling his eyes with the rest of the camp as he continued. “Now, this is like any other game of capture the flag with just a few, well, extremes that will prepare you for going on a quest and fighting monsters. The game is played in the forest, where the monsters are located and hiding. Two teams are made, the red and blue, and each team given a banner that represents your team’s flag. On each side of the forest, both the teams hide their flag somewhere visible, but easily defensible.”
“To win for your team, you must capture the opponent’s flag and carry it across the river that divides the middle of the forest. That is the main border between the two teams. I will serve as battlefield medic and referee. Captured opponents can be placed in the jail and aren't allowed to leave unless freed by another camper from their team.”
“The rules are very easy to remember. Every camper who is not injured has to play. The creek is the boundary line. The woods, playing field for the game. The entire forest is considered ‘Fair game’. All magic items are allowed. The flags must be prominently displayed and can have no more than a few guards around it. Prisoners may be disarmed, but not bound or gagged. Killing or maiming is NOT allowed. The punishment for breaking this rule is loss of dessert for one week. And finally, guards are not allowed to stand within ten yards of the flag.”
“Games will begin once everyone has finished and gone to their cabins to prepare. Now, have fun and don’t lose any limbs!”
I’ve been able to participate in quite a few games since I got to camp, so I was pretty excited for this game. I was determined to finally give it my all and win the game for my team and for Anna. She put a lot of faith in me to be her co-captain, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.
And so, we all returned back to our cabins and quickly suited up into some armor for the games. Grabbing Tideraiser as I ran out the door, I silently pumped myself up and ran to meet up with my team.
Anna and I had decided to place the flag up at the base of Zeus’ fist, our flag being placed upon the top at the rockiest and steepest part of the cliff/hill. As Co-team leaders and strategist, Anna and I stood at the front of our group and went through the plan.
Anna would take one part of the team and flank left, another team set on the right to retrieve the flag. I would lead my own team to the barrier creek, keeping watch and guarding, but eventually, I’d take my own small team and try to capture the flag straight from the front. The rest of the blue team would then stay and guard the flag and barriers around our territory.
Once each team was done strategizing, Chiron blew the horn and all of us split into our teams and headed out to our positions. I took the ten campers I choose, three Apollo girls, two Hephaestus boys, and five Nike kids, and placed two Nike girls on each side of me before we headed out.
Once at the Creek, we saw at least two campers, one Ares boy and a Demeter girl. We already had our weapons out as we met them across the barrier and they were taken down easily. Two kids from my team then went with them to the jail to make sure they didn’t cheat and try to escape, leaving me then with eight on my team.
We stayed at the barrier for a while, keeping out middle defense strong and getting rid of any kids who tried to sneak past us anywhere, a few kids getting shot out of trees by arrows and some gaining new haircuts courtesy of Tideraiser.
As the game drew out longer and we had to deal with a few monsters who popped into the mix, I heard the familiar sound of Anna’s conch horn. Giving my two flanks the signal, we ran out of the middle of our team’s surrounding barrier and ran to where we found the flag last our team checked.
“Okay guys, straight forward until we hit the geysers, their flag is at the base of the southern woods,” I told the Nike girls and they nodded before one of them flew up into the trees to get an advantage. The other Nike girl stayed on my right as we ran through the woods, using the directions that Anna gave us to the flag.
Some of the red team tried to stop us, but a bit of protection came from our team and we were able to slip by easily. I slowly began to smile as we got closer to the flag, and after a few stops caused by some Hecate kids, I noticed the giant red banner up ahead, sitting a the base of the woods just as Anna had told me.
The Nike girl from the trees was already there, fearlessly fighting off the two guards by the flag and the other Nike girl on my right quickly ran into the mix, swinging her large sword around at three of the other guards.
I hid in the woods behind a few bushes until I saw an opening straight for the flag.
Without a second thought, I sprang up above the bush and ran right towards it, my eyes tunneling right towards the flag and nothing else in my peripheral vision.
Because of that, however, I was slammed on my right side in the ribs and I fell to the ground with the air knocked out of my lungs momentarily.
Looking up as I gasped, I dizzily too note of the impish smirk Connor Stoll held as he straddled me.
“Gotcha.” He chuckled as he went to grab for my hands to take me to their jail, but I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Sliding my hands away from his grasp, I bucked my hips up and rolled over so he could easily be pushed off. As he gasped in surprise, his dagger fell from his grip and I quickly kicked it away. I then went to grab my sword that had fallen several feet away, but stopped as I felt something snag at my feet and I turned to be met with Connor as he held me at point with the dagger that he miraculously got back into his hold in record time.
“Close one.” He let out a puff of breath and I narrowed my eyes at him. “But you didn’t think you could get away from me that easily, do you?”
I held my glare as I looked his right in the eye, seeing my sword just in my reach from where I was laying, Connor once again straddling and holding my entire lower body down. As I saw no other way out of this predicament, I decided to fake it and looked up at him hopelessly.
“Connor, you don’t want to do you this to me, do you?” I asked desperately, looking up at him with betrayal displayed all over my face (I didn’t get into one of the top acting schools in the world for nothing).
Connor then looked down at me as if he had seen a puppy get thrown into a busy highway, until his face hardened again and he rolled his eyes.
“That card won’t work on me, Cat, and you know that.” He huffed and pulled the dagger slightly away from me so it wasn’t too close to my neck and I smirked lightly as I saw my opening.
“Oh, too bad.” I sighed sadly before swiftly moving his dagger away, grabbing his collar to place a quick kiss at the corner of his mouth before throwing him off of me.
Thus left a dazed and disarmed Connor sprawled out onto the ground, looking out at nowhere in particular as I stood into a fighting stance with Tideraiser back in my hold.
I then took on to slash a few guards down before my two flanks drew back to my sides and took care of anyone else as I ran to the flag, picking it up and immediately making a sprint for it.
Once the guards were handled by the Nike campers, they joined my side as well and we all dashed through the woods. Some other campers on the blue team noticed me booking it with the banner in hand and went to handle the red team players that were trying to get to me.
As we came to the barrier, the other six from our team crossed and tried to make a path for me to run through.
I thought I was all home free, until I was stopped as a large wall of water rise from the creek and blocked my path from crossing.
Glancing over my shoulder, I saw Percy standing there with his arms stretched out as a lopsided grin grew on his face.
“Oops.” He shrugged and I growled as the red team starting advancing on us.
Just as one Ares kid from the other team was going to grab me, I made a last minute stupid decision and ran straight towards the giant water wall, hitting it straight on and spurting out onto the other side, soaking wet, but still holding the flag.
The wave quickly fell back into the creek as the red team stood there in shocked silence before a loud cheer ripped through the blue team’s battalions.
I smiled wildly as my friends hollard in victory and some even lifted my onto their shoulders as I raised the flag over my head and waved it around. Looking down, I smiled at Anna who gave me a wide smile with a thumbs up and cheered. I then noticed Percy standing across the creek with a proud smile as he shook his head side to side in disbelief at how crazy I was. And it was after that, that I noticed Connor standing off at the edge of the woods, gazing at me blankly.
I blew him a kiss and winked with a bright smile as the rest of my team crowded around me and I was carried all the way to the dining hall for the extra desserts the winning team always got, a proud feeling filling my chest as a light blush spread across the freckled boy’s cheeks.
Chapter 13: Can I Mentally Sound Any More Sarcastic
Can I Mentally Sound Any More Sarcastic?
After our little victory party, it was time for the campfire. The celebration certainly didn’t end there, however, and I was thrown into dancing and cheering with my team as the Apollo kids stood at the fire playing their camp songs with swingy tunes.
The light of the fire was high and a bright golden, only a little dampened by the red team’s mood. Still, almost everyone was enjoying their time, some of the red team (losers) joining us in dancing around as well.
Eventually, the music died down and I thanked the gods as I finally sat down next to a beaming Percy under the Poseidon banner.
“You did great today.” He praised me and gave me a warm side-hug. “And quick thinking on that wall of water. Not what I thought you would do, but it still worked.”
He laughed and I smirked with a little shrug before joining in on his laughter. Chiron’s loud voice was suddenly heard above the crowd’s loud chatter and the both of us silenced ourselves, nudging one another to shut up.
“Alright, alright, good job today blue team,” Chiron called out and a few of the blue team members shouted out some hoots (me being one of them and Percy being one of the red team to grumble silently to themselves). “Yes, yes, you all did wonderfully. I hope you enjoy your extra dessert for the next two weeks. Now, before we get to the s’more making, I have a few announcements for the new campers. Welcome to Camp Half-Blood. This is our nightly bomb fire, don’t get too close or you will most certainly die…”
I slowly started zoning out as Chiron continued through the same introduction speech I heard almost every day since I got to camp. I slowly began to feel myself zone out even more as I thought back to my very first campfire. I remembered how I felt so out of place but like I still belonged at camp more than anywhere else.
And now, I’m here.
I had been claimed by Poseidon, I had a half-brother, and I found my own way to fit into this crazy world that I now call my own.
I was happy.
Even happier than when I had found out about Madison Academy, or that Anna and I were roommates, or even meeting Mme. Marin herself. All of that seemed so small compared to the joy I feel whenever I’m at camp; Whenever I’m with the people I love who actually love me too.
As I was thinking. Chiron continued his speech and once I shook myself out of my dazed state, I realized he was done.
“Now for the s’ mores!” Chiron called out and the entire crowd cheered, mostly all of the little kids who were standing up and already running to get a hand of their own melty, chocolate goodness.
When Percy stood up to grab some of his own, he turned over his shoulder and nudged his foot with mine.
“You want me to get you one?” He asked.
“Nah, I’m gonna be getting enough dessert this week anyway.” I smirked up at him and he grumbled with a small smile and an eye roll before walking down the steps and meeting with Anna and her cabin at the bottom.
As I sat contentedly under the Poseidon banner, I was shocked when someone tapped my shoulder.
“GAH!!!” I yelped and turned around to see a slightly surprised Connor Stoll leaning away from me in fear as I raised my fist in defense.
“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” He shouted loudly and I rolled my eyes before wacking him upside the head.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that or I will find a way.” I warned him and he audibly gulped, nodding his head like an obedient child who just got threatened by his mother.
“Yes, ma’am.” He gave me a tiny salute and I laughed lightly, nudging him in the side.
“Okay, Stoll, what do you need? Shouldn’t you be sitting with the losing team?” I teased him and rolled his eyes, placing his hands on his hips sassily.
“You only won ‘cause of your incredibly stupid recklessness.” He said and cut me off before I could tell him off again. “Anyway, that’s not what I was going to say.”
He sat down and I looked up at him patiently, waiting for him to tell me whatever he was going to, but he was cut off when Cedar walked up to us.
“Hey-Hey guys.” Cedar friendly waved and I sprung up from my seat to tackle him in a full-body hug.
“Oh my gods, Cedar, what the Hades have you been doing!?!” I yelled out and he chuckled nervously.
Cedar had stayed a bit after I arrived at camp, but eventually, he had to return back on the road to recruit more campers, leaving too soon every time he got back for me to even say hello or goodbye to him.
Of course I had iris messaged him occasionally, especially after I got claimed. He had been so happy for me and told me that he was getting a feeling that he was my dad, but didn’t want to say anything too soon.
I was shocked he was even here with the new and constant deposit of more and more demigods. But still, I was so happy to have an old friend here who had been with me since the beginning of this crazy train wreck my life had become those last few months.
“I’ve been a bit busy.” Cedar chuckled awkwardly after I finally let go of him. “Th-There has been a lot of new kids coming in from everywhere. I’ve had my hands full for weeks.”
I nodded in understanding and Connor stood up and across from Cedar, right next to me.
It was kind of odd to think that all that Cedar and I went through at Madison Academy happens to all of the kids who show up to camp every day. All the trials I went through once, Cedar had to go through multiple times to get all of those kids somewhere safe.
“That’s understandable. All of you satyrs have been doing an amazing job, you guys should get more credit.” I gave Cedar a genuine smile and he blushed with a tiny thank you.
“Uh, yeah.” He coughed out with a nervous smile before looking over at Connor. “So, you ready to leave in the morning?”
I was confused by what he said and why he was asking Connor of all people, so I turned to said boy with a raised eyebrow.
“What does he mean, ‘are you ready to go?’ Go where?” I asked and Connor looked down at me with a glimmer of guilt in his eyes.
“That’s what I was going to tell you.” He sighed and looked over at Cedar. “There has been a really tough case of monsters in a certain area of Michigan, right where a demigod has been spotted running around and roaming the woods for a while now. No satyr can seem to find her except Cedar so I’m supposed to go with him and help with the monster and get her back safely.”
“If it’s in Michigan I should go!” I spoke quickly, looking over at Cedar in excitement. “That’s my home state. I could find them so easily ‘cause I know-”
“It’s not that easy, Cat,” Connor said sadly and looked over at him with my eyebrows drawn together. “You’re still not allowed outside of the camp with your predicament, and we already have Cedar who can find her. We need someone to fight the monsters, and you can’t do that yet.”
“But I’ve been training so hard these past few months!” I looked between the both of them as I spoke desperately. “C’ mon, I know I can do this. I need to do this.”
“You can’t, Cat.” Connor sighed and I looked over to see a sad expression in his green eyes. “If I could, I would bring you, but it’s Chiron who would never approve. I’m sorry.”
I finally sat back down in my seat in defeat.
“I guess that seems pretty reasonable,” I mumbled and nodded my head sadly, Connor sitting down next to me a few moments later. “Just don’t get hurt, okay, spaz?”
I poke his side and he nodded as he took another deep breath, the kind in which I’ve heard too much in my lifetime.
“Yeah, yeah. But the thing is…” He trailed off for a few seconds and I felt my heartbeat falter for a second, and not in a good way. “Since it’s such a fragile case and there’s a lot of monsters we’re dealing with, and it’s all the way in Michigan, we might be gone for a while. Two or three months at the most.”
Immediately I felt the rest of my happy mood from earlier drain away and I looked over at Cedar to see if what Connor said was true and, of course, he nodded grimly as my face went slack.
“Oh,” I mumbled and looked down at the ground. “That’s...That’s… A while.”
“It’s a lot like your case Catherine,” Cedar said and that made me feel even more terrible.
My case was dangerous, so dangerous that I probably shouldn’t be alive right now. I don’t want anyone to ever go through something like that, especially two of my closest friends.
Truth be told, I felt like I had grown considerably close to the Hermes boy himself. Connor had been there for me since my very first day at camp, helping me along, keeping me happy on nights I felt unworthy, and making sure I knew that no matter what, I could always find a family here. To suddenly lose someone like that for a few months is frankly a little heartbreaking.
“But I promise, pinky swear, that I’ll Iris message you as much as I can. Every second I have, whenever you need me, I’ll be there.” Connor looked me deeply in the eyes and I felt a little calmed by that small promise. It wasn’t any Styx promise, but a genuine promise from Connor that I knew he would never break.
Okay, there goes the good kind of heart falter.
After our mood dampening conversation, Cedar decided to stick around with us for some s’mores but eventually had to leave early to get ready for the next few months. The same months in which Connor wouldn’t be here.
As my thoughts started to take me far away, I felt someone nudge me harshly in the ribs, making me flinch harshly and blink around in shock.
“Sorry, sorry, I was just trying to get your attention, you had that dazed look on your face again.” An apologetic Connor smiled awkwardly at me and I took a calming breath.
“No it’s fine. I was just thinking about things.” I sighed and looked down at the fire, gazing into the glowing flames deeply, the bright orange color so not matching my mood.
Ooo, way to sound mysterious Catherine, you don’t sound totally insane or depressed at all .
Can I mentally sound any more sarcastic?
We stayed silent for a few more seconds until Connor stood up, surprising me as he reached his hand out.
“You wanna get out of here?” He asked and I smirked slightly at his outstretched hand, silently taking it and letting the boy hoist me up and out of my seat.
With that, we crept up the stairs and along the wall, out of the entrance, and finally sprinted down the strawberry fields onto the docks.
We didn’t do anything stupid like jump in or try to wake one of the cleaning harpies (like some other stupid cases done before). All we did was sit at the end with our shoes off and pants rolled halfway up so we could dip our toes in the cool water. I splashed my feet around a bit, getting Connor and myself as we both laughed. The water made me immensely calm and I felt my spirits brighten a little, just sitting there with Connor and relaxing.
We stayed silent for a long time, all the way past sunset, just sitting in silence with the sound of distant monster calls coming from the woods and the campfire songs being echoed across the valley from the fire.
Finally, Connor looked down at the water where our feet were weaving through the warm current and took a deep breath.
“So… How’s your power training been going?” He asked, letting the words drawl out slowly in a relaxed manner.
Oh, mood dampened again.
“Eh.” I shrugged and looked down at the now teasing lake. “Not too well. I haven’t been able to even move a single drop of water that Percy throws at me. I know he’s not voicing it, but Percy thinks and I’m also starting to believe that I might not have even inherited water powers and I’m just a normal demigod. Well, as normal as you can be.”
I kicked the water, making some more water splash up and some mist to fall over us. Connor sighed then placed his hand over mine, an action that he had actually become accustomed to whenever we had heart to heart moments like this. I found it endearing and never really told him not to do it, so it kind of became our thing. Whenever the other was in a bad mood, a simple touch of our hands would remind each other that we’re here, we’re with them and that we care, no matter what.
“You know it doesn’t matter if you have super water powers or you’re as normal as possible. You’re still Catherine, an amazingly spunky, sarcastic, and kind-hearted girl who doesn’t need a title or a talent to define her. You are amazing just how you are and you don’t need to rush change. I mean, look at me.” He gave me a pointed look and I had to remind myself to keep breathing. “I have no special powers whatsoever, but I’m still trying to be the best person I possibly can be and completely embrace my dad. Even though he’s pretty lame.”
We both laughed and I felt another wave of peace wash over me, this time caused by Connor and not the water that lapped at my feet. I then grabbed Connor’s hand completely and squeezed it tightly.
No one, boy or girl, had ever told me anything like that. I never really think about my good characteristics or if anybody really likes how my personality is. So it felt so foreign yet so heartwarming to hear all of those words come out of Connor’s mouth.
“Thanks, Con’.” I said quietly and smiled warmly at him. “You’re pretty amazing too.”
I then leaned over and gave him a long and warm hug.
I was really lucky to have a friend like Connor with me.
When we pulled away I looked into his deep green eyes. They weren’t like my muddy green ones, brighter, and they held a spark of mischief in the moonlight, his gaze warm and carefree.
The longer I stared into his eyes, the more I fell deep into the blankness of my mind.
Just when I realized what was happening and how close we were getting to each other, the final conch horn blew for the end of the campfire and the start of lights out.
I flinched and leaned away from Connor quickly, not missing the look of hurt that flashed across his eyes and I felt guilt claw at my chest.
Connor is amazing, a great friend. But no. I don’t have enough time, peach of mind, or room in my life to deal with a boy. Especially one who was way too good for me.
Silently, we both stood and despite the awkward tension in the air, Connor offered to walk me back to my cabin. All I did was nod before we went off, walking with a respective distance between the two of us.
I quickly walked into Cabin Three once we made it there, only turning to give Connor a quick hug and good luck on his quest.
With the door finally shut, I took a deep and free breath as I dragged myself across the room and fell onto my bed with a loud thump. Percy was already asleep in his, drooling the life out of himself and holding his hellhound plush close to himself.
I rolled my eyes, but I wasn’t one to call someone out, seeing as I drained the camp store of all its plush toys and I drool half of the water out of my body when I sleep.
With another deep sigh, I quickly threw my hair into a bun, not even changing out of my camp T-shirt and jogging shorts before falling asleep easily, ignoring any unsettling feelings I had.
Chapter 14: Number One On My Hit-List: Mr. Smirky Nico Di Angelo Himself
Number one on my hit-list: Mr. Smirky Nico Di Angelo himself
One Month Later…
He never messaged me. Not once.
The next morning I woke up to him and Cedar already packed and gone.
I get that it’s a super tough mission and they’re probably really busy, but still.
He never messaged me.
So far the past month had been uneventful and lonely. May was around the corner, so everything had started warming up and the sun finally came out more often, beating down on us mercilessly during our training and activities.
Camp was even more lonely with Percy back in school and Anna back at Madison Academy. She also had work at the Empire State Building she had to finish up (You know, that same internship she had where in fact the entire time she was actually rebuilding the entire city of the gods themselves...yeah).
I guess I still had friends. A lot of people actually talked to me, but there was no one I was as closer with than I was with Connor, Percy, and Anna.
So as I wallowed in a pile of my own self-pity, sitting under the covers of my silk sheets and nibbling on more pieces of ambrosia brownies than I really should have been, I made the decision to throw my warm comforter off of me and stand up.
Like a zombie, I changed into some jogging shorts and a light grey sweatshirt. Throwing my hair into a ponytail, I threw on my Nikes before grabbing Tideraiser and running out the door.
Stepping out into the warm mid-day sun did not help my tiredness at all. With a long and deep yawn, I finally began my trek over to the combat arena.
I felt my mood immediately brighten when I noticed that the grounds were, for once, empty. Perfect alone time for me to try some new moves I didn’t like testing out in front of others.
I got to work right away, slashing and cutting at all the dummies and target boards available, putting myself in the shoes of a demigod who was on a quest and had to defeat a horde of monsters on their own. I continued on for a while until I was surrounded by piles and piles of wood splinters and straw.
I turned around to see Nico Di Angelo standing at the edge of the mess I made of the arena.
“Oh, uhm…” I mumbled awkwardly as a heavy blanket of silence fell over us.
I wasn’t all that close with the Hades boy. Sure we were technically cousin and I really should get used to his presence since he likes to hang around Percy and Anna, but he was just too awkward. Trying to spark a conversation with him was like trying to teach your pet goldfish to do dog tricks.
It doesn’t work.
But I guess it wouldn’t be too bad to just try…
“I, uh, I was just coming down to practice.” Nico looked uncomfortable just standing there in front of me, nothing like the creepy and intimidating person I had heard of from everybody else. “But I’ll just go if yo-”
“ BOOF, BOOF!!! ”
“Hey, girl!” I called happily as I saw Mrs. O’Leary come bounding into the arena.
Said dog immediately waltzed up to me and began attacking me viciously with her tongue. I laughed before finally grabbing a piece of a broken chest plate and threw it across the arena for her to chase after. Once she left, I was reminded of the mysterious boy still standing and watching Mrs. O’Leary and I’s interactions.
“Uh, yeah, I’ll just, um, go now.” He quietly turned around and began to walk away, but I quickly called out for him to stop.
“Wait, don’t go!” I said, a little louder than I intended, and he stopped abruptly, turning around to look at me with wide eyes. “I, well, truth is I’m kind of bored and lonely down here cutting up random dummies. It would, I mean, I’d like to have someone real to practice with. Would you mind?”
For the first time ever I saw a light spark in his eyes and I saw a genuine smile twitch at his lips as he gave me a small nod, his much needed to be cut midnight hair falling into his eyes.
With that, he threw the long strands back into a rubber band and came down to stand in front of me, immediately going into a ready stance and holds up his beautiful Stygian Iron sword out as a challenge.
I smirked in return as I lifted Tideraiser to match him and without warning lunged fearlessly at him.
For such a thin and frankly short boy, he kept up pretty good. His stance was great and anytime I went for sequences he would respond with parries and beats. At one point our swords were at lock and I quickly disengaged my sword, cutting it down at his feet and hitting the blade flat against his ankles.
He yelped as he fell back and onto his butt and I set the tip of my sword at his chest, just a few centimeters from making contact.
"You lost, call it off Di Angelo," I smirked at him and he looked up at me with a matched smirk, making my confidence waver as I was trying to think of what he was planning.
Without a warning he caressed my sword with his and slid his into my hilt, bending it slightly and immediately disarming me.
I stood there dumbstruck as he was standing, holding the edge of the blade against my throat and I could practically feel the pride radiating off of him as his smirk never dropped.
"Call it." He smiled evilly and I swear that boy was now on my official hit-list.
I stood there for a moment, thinking of any scenario in which I could possibly take advantage of the situation and get back on higher ground, but I couldn’t think of anything.
Just as I was about to give up and give him the victory, I felt the ground move slightly. Suddenly, Mrs. O’Leary popped out and tackled Nico to the ground, giving him a vicious round of attack licks.
Nico cried out as the large dog covered him completely and wouldn't let him go no matter how much he yelled. All the while I stood there, holding my stomach in pain as I laughed harder than I ever had in my entire life.
Eventually, I wiped the tears from my eyes as I saw Nico turning blue and he looked like he was ready to go all hulk and lift the dog off of him by himself.
“Come on girl, come get the yummy chest plate,” I said in a cheerful high-pitched voice as I picked up the now slobbery and dented chest plate for her. Mrs. O’Leary then immediately jumped off of Nico and started to chase after it once I threw it as far as I could.
“Thanks.” Nico coughed as I grabbed his hand and helped him back onto his feet, laughing again as I thought about what had just happened a few moments ago.
“Looks like Mrs. O’Leary one that match.” I chuckled out and Nico rolled his eyes and grumbled about stupid dogs and needing to get a giant leash, but I didn’t miss the genuine smile that finally began to appear on his face.
Huh, would you look at that...Goldfish trained.
“What is this mess you two!?!”
So Nico and I were both given dish duty for a week because of the huge mess we both (mainly me) made of the combat arena. At least we got to stay late and eat together after every meal. This time I actually got to talk to him and he couldn’t just mysteriously disappear again.
After finishing up with cleaning some dishes from breakfast, I left to go shower and get into some less dirty clothes for lunch. There are seriously way too many kids and way too many plates in this camp.
Newly refreshed, I headed back to my cabin to take a little nap before I actually had to go back and socialize with people. Ew.
Okay, maybe Nico and I have been spending a little bit too much time together…
But the last thing I expected to be in my cabin, lying on my bed and eating straight from a jar of peanut butter, was a small yet still terrifying cyclops.
Of course, I screamed and went for an immediate lunge for my sword the second I saw it, but before I could even reach my hand around the hilt the monster looked up and gave me a giant peanut butter filled smile.
With that, I was pulled into the tightest and most bone-crushing hug that I had ever had in my life, even worse than Mrs. O’Leary’s.
I stood there, frozen, completely terrified and confused at the same time. Until my brain suddenly connected the lines and I looked up at the large cyclops hugging me.
“Oh, my gods.” I breathed out once he finally let go of me. “You’re Tyson, aren’t you?”
“YES!” The monster, my half-brother boomed out happily and I let out a small laugh at how energetic and childish he was despite his size. “Did brother tell you about me?”
I nodded my head with a smile and he seemed happier at the thought of Percy mentioning him.
“Daddy let me come visit you since I have not seen you yet. You are even more pretty than how he described.” I blushed at Tyson’s words but felt my heart stop as I comprehended the last part of his sentence.
“Wait?” I paused and looked up at him in confusion. “Poseidon mentioned me? He-He knows what I looked like?”
“Yes!” Tyson nodded happily as he walked back over to my bed and grabbed the open jar of peanut butter. “Daddy always keeps watch over all of his kids. He is really proud of how well you have been doing.
My father, whom I have never met, is actually proud of...of who I am.
Before I could fully grasp what I was just told, an Iris message popped up next to me, scaring the living Hephaestus out of me.
For a moment my heart started to pound as I thought it was Connor finally calling me. But I was disappointed when I saw my other half-brother on the other side, all dressed up in his school uniform.
But only slightly disappointed.
“Percy!” I called out happily and Tyson actually squealed beside me like a schoolgirl who just saw her crush.
“Hay, Cat and Ty, I didn’t know you were gonna be here,” Percy spoke quietly and I realized that he was actually in the public bathroom at his school, the tiled walls and distant sound of lockers slamming shut giving him away. “That actually makes this so much better. I was just calling to tell you, Cat, that I’ll be coming home soon for spring break and I’ll be able to stay at camp for most of it.”
“That’s amazing!” I shouted happily and gave him a bright smile. “I’ve been missing having someone around here to tease all the time.
He rolled his eyes with a small smile of his own and was about to answer me when the sound of a door slamming open cut him off.
“Yo’ Jackson, you doing your makeup or something?” Some random kid yelled out and without a second glance, Percy hurriedly ran his hand through the Iris message, immediately disconnecting our conversation.
I didn’t mind, however. Nothing could dampen my finally happy mood now.
Chapter 15: Feel My Wrath and Extreme Self-Doubt
Feel My Wrath and Extreme Self-Doubt
Another month passed with no news from Connor or Cedar. Even when Chiron went to check up on how they were doing, they never answered or responded to any attempt of interaction.
Truthfully, that made me a little scared. It had already been two months and hearing nothing from them made multiple fearful scenarios fill my head. Still, I had to trust that Connor and Cedar knew what they were doing and stop worrying over them night and day.
Anna decided to stay in school over spring break and it’s true that I felt a little jealous at the fact that she got to stay in my dream school, while I wasn’t allowed to leave the camp because I exist. I understood where Chiron was coming from, it was very dangerous for me out there with all of the monsters and gods that wanted me dead, but I felt like I was ready to return back to the real world and live a sort of normal life.
At least I loved it here and it was reasonably less lonely with Percy being back. He had showed up the day after he Iris messaged me and Tyson was really upset when Poseidon called him back to the palace before he could see his brother.
Nico had also started visiting more often, which made my training time go up tenfold. Everytime he came to camp we always found a way to spar with each other. So far the score was Nico-4 and Catherine-6 and I admit to being quite proud every time I beat him.
Yes, feel the pain of my wrath and extreme self-doubt…
He also sat next to Percy and I at the Poseidon table so he wouldn’t have to be alone, and he seemed to be noticable happier with that. I still can’t believe that people were actually afraid of him or thought of him as creepy. Sure, he was antisocial and had one hell of a glare, but other than that, all I saw was a scarred kid who just needed to be accepted.
Hey, look at that, I made a friend and I’m not lonely anymore. Good job me.
Later on Percy and I were hanging out before the campfire, playing around and sparing some in the strawberry fields.
“Good.” Percy spoke slightly out of breath after I finished another attack combination on him and I felt proud to see him at least a little tired from keeping up against me. “Now, catch the water.”
He sent a quick stream of water my way and I concentrated as hard as I could, lifting my hands and willing it to stop and shoot back at him. As it got closer and closer I became less and less confident. Just when it looked like it stalled in its travel, it continued and piled onto my head.
“Ah, Hades.” I sputtered and threw my now wet hair into a ponytail, wiping my face with my dark blue sweater sleeves. “I really thought I had that one.”
“That’s the thing.” Percy sighed, a tad bit of disappointment in his voice, but he still gave me a reassuring smile. “You’re still thinking too much. You’re supposed to feel the water moving, feel its energy and try to match it with your own. Only then will it listen to your thoughts.
“Thank you for your wise words, Master.” I bow down dramatically and he rolled his eyes as I laughed at how cliche his pep talk sounded.
“Again.” He raised Riptide in his one hand and I sighed, lifting Tideraiser to match his stance.
“Can’t we take just a small break?” I complained and smiled up at him angelically. "We can go get some leftover cookies that I hid under my bed."
He seemed at a struggle with his choices and just when he was about to answer, he was interrupted by the sound of three loud horns.
We both flinched and looked at each other, wondering the same thing.
What the Hades was happening.
We ran back to the center of camp and saw a bunch of kids heading down to the beach at top speed. Just when I was about to ask someone what was wrong, Lacey from the Aphrodite Cabin came running by and stopped when she saw Percy and I's confused faces.
"Connor and Cedar are back with the new demigod." She said quickly and I felt my heart rate pick up immediately. "But they were followed by some monsters and went around to the beach to get away from them, but they got in. Come on."
Without a second thought, I started running towards the beach and when I got there I felt a little woozy.
Cedar was off to one side, passed out on the ground and barely breathing. Connor stood in front of a girl whom I assumed was the demigod. He had a deep gash in his side and blood was seeping through his shirt quickly as he fought off three hellhounds with just his small dagger.
He was weak and soon enough his arm dropped as he stumbled and the hellhounds started closing in on them again. Percy and I both sprung into action at that.
I went in front of Connor and the girl, lifting my sword threateningly as Percy went behind the monsters to keep them there. The one closest to me growled and snapped at me and I responded by slashing my sword across his nose, setting them all off at once.
Two came at Percy and he kept up with them while the other one I had slashed was quickly trying to take a bite out of my side, but I slashed and cut at him anytime he got close to me.
Just when I was about to finish mine off, there was a howl and another hellhound popped up next to this one. I then looked up and saw two other hellhounds in the crowd of kids, holding them back and keeping them busy.
I looked up to see Percy struggling a bit as one clawed at his arm and he was knocked over, thankfully not hurt because of his Achilles blessing. That seemed to be the last straw for him and he raised his hand, a tall stream of water beginning to form in the water, but before he could hit the beast, one of them came and hit him in the side harshly, his body sent flying until it hit a tree, his back making a cracking noise before he fell limp.
No, no, no, no!
I was terrified.
Percy, Cedar, and Connor were all knocked out, There was no sign of Mr. D or Chiron, and everyone was slowly getting over powered by all the hellhounds attacking.
Seeing my camp being attacked and all my friends, my family, being hurt badly made something deep inside me stirr. Next thing I know there is a heavy, pulling feeling in my gut and I raised my hands, watching in shock as a giant tidal wave rose above all of us. I let out a loud scream as I threw my hands and the water crashed into all the hellhounds, surprisingly listening to me and weaving around the campers, only hitting the monsters and sending them all back to where they came from.
I stood there, frozen as water trailed around my feet and slowly moved back into the sea. Everyone else was also frozen, staring at me with wide eyes and open mouths. I almost wanted to laugh at their faces but I was still in shock.
The only thing that got me out of my trance was the tight gasp heard behind me.
I turned around to see the demigod lying on the ground, gasping and holding a deep cut across her collarbone and down her stomach. She seemed like she was going in and out of it so I ran over and kneeled next to her, calling out for an Apollo kid. However, I didn't finish my sentence as I lost my ability to breathe and looked down at the demigod in complete confusion.