Camp Half-Blood Fanfiction

Megara, a mortal who can see through the Mist, lives at Camp Half-Blood with her demigod friends, sharing the same daily routine and adventures.
But she knows that she is different and not worth a quest– Chiron will never let her out of camp for some odd reason he won't speak of.
But soon she finds out she is worth a lot more than she initially thought...

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1. Megara

I woke up to the sound of Chiron's hooves clopping past my door.

I slowly opened my eyes and groaned. I rolled out of bed, wrapped in my blanket, and lay there for a few seconds before realizing that I probably had to move my butt or I would be late for breakfast. I pulled on some jeans, a t-shirt and my sneakers and ran downstairs. The Big House was bathed in the summery morning light and I could see campers trailing out of their cabins in groups, heading towards the mess hall. "Good morning, my dear," said Chiron. "Sleep well?" "Nope," I admitted. "Weird dreams." Chiron sat forward in his wheelchair. "Anything of interest?" I shook my head and smiled apologetically. "Sorry." "Nothing to worry about, dear. The less the better." "By the way, is it Friday today?" I asked. Chiron nodded. I grinned. "Good." He chuckled. He knew what I was thinking; today there was capture the flag, the first game since everyone had arrived at camp. It hadn't been any fun with only the year-rounders to play, and I was looking forward to it probably more than was good for me.  Bianca strolled into the kitchen. "Hey," I said. She waved her hand. She looked just like her parents; jet-black hair and stormy grey eyes. "Chiron, Mom and Dad won't answer my Iris messages," she said. Percy and Annabeth had gone off somewhere on a secret quest that they claimed wasn't dangerous, but you never knew with those two. "They'll be back soon," replied Chiron. "They're just busy." "What are they doing again?" I asked. "Visiting some friends." "Where's Zoe?" I asked Bianca. "Still sleeping," she sighed. I rolled my eyes. The twins were incredibly different. Bianca and I followed Chiron outside onto the porch and breathed in the sweet smell of the strawberries. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the heat was almost unbearable. In the lake, some demigods were fighting a black, slimy sea snake. Pegasi swooped down from the sky and there was a very interesting basketball game going on that included swords and Greek fire. "Meg!" I looked down to see Gabby jogging up to the porch, out of breath. She was wearing her Camp Half-Blood t-shirt.  "Hi," I greeted her lightly, but then I saw the look in her green eyes. Bianca frowned. "What's wrong?" "You better come see this," she said to Chiron. "Where?" he asked immediately. "Half-Blood Hill." Chiron looked over to Thalia's Pine Tree and practically threw himself out of his wheelchair, emerging as a full centaur with white, glossy fur. He cantered down the steps. Gabby, Bianca and I did our best to follow him. "What happened?" I panted as we ran. "We have a new camper," replied Gabby. "If he doesn't bleed to death," she added when she saw my eyes widen. I guess that explained her shirt. All through the camp, demigods were gathering around Thalia's Pine Tree, in a weird mixture of pyjamas and armor.  When we arrived at the hill, we had to push through the throng of campers to be able to see. Immediately, I wished I hadn't glimpsed anything. There was a guy I'd never seen before lying sprawled on the grass. He was covered (and I mean  covered) in blood that seemed to come from a gash in his leg, and what was clearly monster dust. He was twitching and moaning. Chiron and a few of the Apollo campers were kneeling around him, tending to his wounds. "How did he get here?" I asked one of the demigods next to me- a Hecate camper, I think.  He shrugged. "There was a giant scorpion that spewed venom. We killed it, but... Well, see for yourself," he said, gesturing at the dying demigod. I bit my lip and watched as he was carried away on a stretcher. "Alright, everyone!" said Chiron, with one of his classic forced grins. "Time for breakfast!"   As we walked down to the mess hall, I told Gabby, "I don't want him to die." She looked at me. My comment had been a little sudden, I guess. "He won't," she assured me. "He's got the best Apollo and Hecate campers working on him. He'll be fine," she promised. Even with something small like this, I hated feeling so useless. I was just a stupid mortal who could see through the Mist, and stayed at Camp Half-Blood ever since my parents had died from a monster attack and Chiron had found me with nowhere to go. All the other campers had some kind of superpower; the children of Demeter could grow plants with their bare hands, children of Ares were the best fighters... Even the Athena cabin were incredibly clever. I had nothing I could use to help in any way– I couldn't even fight decently. Whenever I tried to use a sword, I ended up dislocating something, I couldn't aim a bow and hand-to-hand combat was definitely not my thing. I couldn't heal and hardly knew any useful Greek myths that could come in handy during a fight. I had nothing. I was nobody. Bianca smiled and put her hand on my shoulder; she didn't need words to comfort me. We'd known each other since we were tiny and had each other figured out. I pushed down the lump in my throat and did my best to enjoy my bagel as I sat at the head table with Bianca and Zoe, who had finally gotten out of bed and was still looking a little sleepy.

"Meg, your guard is totally down," Nora told me, and proceeded to slam her sword hilt into my gut. I gagged and spluttered.

“I really don’t think that helps, Nora,” I squeaked. This sword-fighting lesson was going on forever. Every single muscle and bone in my body was screaming in pain, and I had a headache from the glaring sun. All I wanted to do was stick the stupid sword in the dirt and die.

"Raise your sword arm!" she bellowed. "Okay, try the dummy now. Dueling me is no good. But, seriously, raise that arm! I'm gonna kill you if you keep dipping it like that!"

I wiped the sweat off my brow and hefted the sword up higher, with much effort. Anything but getting beat up by Nora. Why did Chiron insist on my taking lessons when he knew I was hopeless at it, even after all these years?

I puffed out air and forced myself upright. I was about to swing at the straw dummy staring bleakly back at me, when Nora said, “Honestly, Meg. You’d think you could at least aim a little.”

That was it. I poured all my anger into the sword and slashed and hacked at the dummy as if it was everything bad that had ever happened to me put together into one.

Suddenly, the dummy turned into every bully I'd ever encountered, every monster I'd run into– suddenly, it was the night my parents died, and I stood in a corner, shivering, listening to their screams and not daring to cry for help.

Finally, breathing heavily, I watched its head roll onto the sand.

I threw my sword on the ground and collapsed onto the bench.

Nora stared at me, eyebrows raised. "That's not bad, mortal," she told me.

"Whatever," I muttered.

I stood and staggered out of the arena, not looking back once.

 

Back at the Big House, I took a cold shower and collapsed on my bed. I was sick of Nora, the stupid straw dummies and mostly, I was sick of myself. I wish I could be sent on a quest and die doing something useful. But no, Chiron had to be his stubborn self and think it was dangerous and not let me move from camp.

I heaved myself up from the bed and made my way down the hall, knowing I was late for Ancient Greek. In fact, I mused, I’d probably skipped more than half of the class.

I was trying to make up some cheap excuse when I passed one of the rooms and stopped short. I peeked inside and saw the demigod that had been found on Half-Blood Hill earlier.

He had a bandage wrapped around his head and his leg stuck out from the blankets, also bandaged heavily.

He was asleep. I don’t know what got over me, but I stepped into the room and stood over his bed.

He was incredibly pale and had a splash of freckles across his upturned nose.

His hair was jet-black and curly, even more of a mess because of the bandage.

I eyed the nectar and ambrosia sitting on the bedside table. I’d never been able to try that stuff– it was deadly to mortals.

Gabby always said it tasted like heaven.

I wondered who this guy’s godly parent was. He kind of looked like a Hermes kid, but somehow that didn’t seem right to me. There was something about him, something that I couldn’t quite place–

He opened his eyes.

I stumbled backwards, startled. They were a surprising color– like gold nuggets.

“Hi,” he said.

I smiled. "I'm Meg."

"Jasper." He tried to sit up and winced. "Please tell me it was a dream."

I looked down at his leg. “Um, I don’t think so. Sorry," I added as an afterthought.

His expression was so depressing that I offered him a square of ambrosia.

“It tastes like heaven, apparently,” I said wistfully, as he chewed on the godly food.

He frowned at that, but I grinned and said, “You have a lot to be told. I can’t do that, I’m afraid. Just rest a little more, you probably need it. I’m late for Ancient Greek.”

That last part probably didn’t help his confusion much, but I hadn’t met anyone outside of camp in years, and didn’t really know how to deal with it.

I smiled at him once more and slipped out the door, feeling a little better. I decided that next time I saw him, I would ask him what the world was like.

Kurt, from the Athena cabin, wasn't too happy when I showed forty-five minutes late for Ancient Greek, but he let it pass. He was a nice guy.

"Next time," he said, "I'll report it to Chiron." But I knew he wouldn't.

After lunch, archery, athletics with the nymphs, and dinner, I sat with Gabby at the amphitheatre, and we sang traditional camp-songs and toasted s'mores.

"You think they'll introduce the new demigod to us now?" she asked.

"I'm not sure," I admitted. 

I told her about meeting him at the Big House and how he hadn't looked great.

"His name is Jasper," I said.

"Ooh, Jasper," said Gabby, wiggling her eyebrows.

"Shut up," I said, elbowing her. She laughed.

"But seriously," she said, "was he cute? I didn't get to see his face before."

I was about to reply that he was okay, when Chiron stamped his hoof against the floor to get everyone's attention.

I turned to see Jasper standing by him and Mr. D. He looked a little pale, but his leg seemed to have healed completely, and I had to confess, I couldn't really say he was okay. He was more than okay.

"Holy Hera," muttered Gabby. I rolled my eyes.

"We have a new camper," announced Mr. D, not sounding the least bit interested. "His name is Joseph Cow."

Chiron leaned in and whispered something in his ear, and Mr. D grunted. "Jasper Howe. Whatever."

Jasper blushed and shifted his feet. Chiron decided to take over.

"Fortunately, he is almost fully recovered and will be moved into the Hermes cabin tonight."

From what I'd heard about a few years ago, normally there would've been a huge groan from the Hermes cabin, but now they seemed to be okay with it. Campers usually got claimed pretty fast since Percy convinced the gods to be more careful about their children, so it was only a matter of time before we found out who Jasper's mom or dad was.

Chiron said something to him and he walked down to the Hermes table. The campers made space for him, a little reluctantly. They were probably thinking about the easiest way to pick-pocket him.

"Now," said Chiron, "pressing onto other matters, we have capture-the-flag to start fresh on since last year, so all of you go and get ready."

The campers cheered and filed off to the open weaponry where we chose our armor. I quickly strapped on a breastplate and helmet while chatting with Gabby. Unlike her other Aphrodite siblings, she loved capture-the-flag and didn't hesitate in being violent when it came to either attacking or defending. People had learned to avoid her during a game.

“Let’s beat’em up,” she said, grinning.

I laughed and followed our team– Hephaestus, Athena, Aphrodite, Hecate, Bianca, Zoe and me– into the woods.

“Alright!” yelled Charlie, the cabin counsellor for the Athena cabin. “Here’s the deal: Hephaestus, you’ll guard the flag. Gabby and Hecate guys; set up traps by the perimeter of our area. Athena will ambush the opposite team. Zoe and Bianca– you're coming with us.”

My heart sank. He’d forgotten to mention me. He probably hadn’t even bothered to give me a job in the first place. I sighed.

Charlie was about to run into the forest with the rest of his cabin, when he turned around and said, “Meg, I almost forgot! You’re also coming. We need a distraction.”

I wasn’t sure whether that was a compliment or not, but I was too happy to care. Gabby winked at me, and the twins gave me a syncronized thumbs-up.

We ran after the Athena cabin.

 

I dashed through the forest, catching glimpses of the opposite team’s base. Charlie had told me to create a diversion, so I was doing my best to improvise while not getting caught.

I had an idea. It was nothing amazing, but it would work. I sprinted as close to the base as I dared and crouched down.

I closed my hand around a rock and hurled it into the nearest bush.

The guard’s face turned in my direction.

“Over there!” she yelled. A bunch of Ares campers started barrelling towards me.

Just my luck, I thought grimly.

I started to run in the opposite direction, but they were too Fast. They quickly caught up with me and I turned around, expecting the worst.

I raised my sword.

“Stupid mortal,” sneered one of them. “You shouldn’t be in this camp.”

He swung his sword at me and I parried, stumbling slightly. He attacked again and managed to graze my arm. At the third go, he knocked the sword out my hand. One of them stepped up and punched me right in the face. I fell on the ground and landed hard on my ankle, twisting it painfully.

They jeered and laughed at me when I cried out.

At least my plan was working.

“Hey,” yelled the guard from their base, “they’re just trying to distract us! Get your butts over here!”

Okay, never mind.

The Ares campers looked disappointed, but they tromped back to their base.

I sat on the ground, feeling defeated and totally lame.

I heard a rustling in the bushes and heaved myself onto my feet, only to get slammed by something and thrown on the ground again.

“Ow!” I yelled.

“Sorry.”

I squinted in the darkness and recognized the upturned nose and freckles.

Jasper!

I immediately rolled on top of him and placed my arm over his throat, ignoring the stab of pain where the Ares camper had cut me.

“What are you doing?” I growled.

“Hey,” he said with a nervous laugh, “cut me some slack. It’s my first game.”

I scowled.

Zoe ran into the clearing. "Meg, are you ok– What the..." she stopped short when she saw Jasper under me and blushed. "Did I, um, interrupt something?"

I gave her a what in Tartarus? glare.

"No," I said as Jasper cleared his throat. "This guy tried to kill me."

"I didn't see you!" he protested.

"Yeah, right!"

He raised his hands. "Look," he hesitated, "Meg. I was just trying to not get myself killed! I mean, come on! You people are psychotic! You use swords and try to spear each other to death!"

"We're demigods," said Zoe, looking a little offended. "It's not like we can just ask monsters to go away."

"Fine," said Jasper. "Could you at least get off of me?"

I realized I still had my arm against his throat and rolled onto my elbows, trying not to think about my ankle.

"I think I broke it," I told Zoe.

Jasper looked pale. "God, I'm so sorry–"

"It wasn't you," I reassured him.

He sighed with relief and fished in his pocket. "Uh, here. I grabbed this from the Big House."

He put it in my hand. It was a square of ambrosia. I blushed. "Thanks, but I can't eat that stuff."

"Oh. Okay."

"Um," said Zoe, still looking a little red in the face, "I hate to be the buzz-kill here, but we're kind of on opposite teams."

"Ah, yes," I said, and seized Jasper's arm. He frowned. "Sorry, buddy, but we can't take a risk. You are a prisoner of war."

Jasper huffed indignantly, but he didn't protest when Zoe and I dragged him back to our base.

 

"Ow, Chiron!" I yelled. He was bandaging my ankle, and I couldn't use ambrosia or nectar to speed up the process, so the bone hadn't healed completely and I felt like it was being broiled over a slow flame.

Chiron told me to be quiet. "At least it wasn't a clean break," said Bianca, who was leaning against the porch rail. Insects buzzed around the lamp hanging from the ceiling and the monsters howled in the forest. The air was hot and sticky and didn't help my mood. "I hate Ares kids," I muttered.  "Don't worry, my dear," said Chiron. "They're not the brightest in camp, so they have to compensate by bullying and making a big show of themselves." The fact that Chiron had said that should've made me feel better, but I wasn't really thinking about my ankle. What the big ugly one had said, about me not belonging at camp, had really hit home, even though I knew I shouldn't care about it. I mean, I'd always taken being at camp for granted, never really thought about why I was here. But now that I considered it, why had Chiron "adopted" me? Why had he taken me with him when my parents had been murdered, instead of just putting me in a nursing home? In fact, what was he even doing in the mortal world the night it happened? I thought about asking him, but I ditched the idea. It wasn't like Chiron was into straight answers, and he wasn't going to give me one. Maybe if I did a little research... "Alright, that'll do for now," said Chiron, patting my ankle and making me wince. "Off to bed, both of you. Lights out was ages ago." But I stayed up hours after Chiron and Bianca had disappeared into their bedrooms, trying to figure out a way to discover about my past. Long after my eyelids had gotten heavy from exhaustion and I was sitting in the living-room, drifting in and out of sleep, I heard the floorboards creaking and turned my head to find Jasper standing in the doorway. "I didn't know you were still staying here," I mumbled, drowsy. "Yeah..." he shifted his feet. "Chiron said that I should for one more night. My cut still hasn't fully healed." I nodded, staring at my ankle. "Um, Meg," he said awkwardly, "do you know who my godly parent is?" "Do I  look like I know? No-one does. None of us will, until you get claimed." His face fell. "It just seems like... Everyone has a role to play. You all know who you are, what you're supposed to do. But I still don't understand what happens around here. It seems like you're all preparing for something, training so much, but... what?" "That's the thing about being a demigod. You never know. You always have to expect the worst, and if you don't... You can get a big surprise. Because monsters like surprises." I patted the couch. "Couldn't sleep?" He sat down and shook his head. "I keep having really weird dreams since I came here." "Don't worry," I told him, "It happens to all the demigods. Even me, and I'm mortal." Jasper frowned. "That's what I wanted to ask you about. If you're not one of us, then why are you here?" I sighed and stood, leaning heavily on the arm-rest. "Honestly, Jasper? I don't even know." I walked up the stairs and into my room, collapsing on the bed and falling asleep before I could even change into my pyjamas.

 

"Oh, Hades!" cursed Gabby. "This is so stupid."

"Gabrielle, you better get up or you'll taste some pinecone!" called one of the nymphs, darting through the forest like a shadow. I panted and coughed. Athletics was Chinese torture, and it was  not fun to get beaten by a tree. It kind of damaged one's self-esteem, and we all know how Meg fares in that sector. We had been going for half an hour, stumbling over tree-roots, getting branches in our faces and mosquito bites all over our exposed arms and legs. It was starting to get a little tiring, except for the Apollo campers doing it with us, who seemed to be perfectly at ease, dashing in between trees and bushes like gazelles. "Show-offs," I muttered. Gabby recovered and took off once more. I had no choice but to follow her. Suddenly, we heard shouting from a little further ahead, and something roaring. I glimpsed a flash of light and shot a glance at Gabby. "Monster?" I asked. "Monster." We ran faster, ignoring our aching legs, and emerged in a clearing, where the Apollo campers were doing their best to fend off the biggest drakon I've ever seen. It was the size of a school bus, with purple scales that didn't seem to let anything through, and enormous iron-clad claws that made you want to crawl into a hole and hide. " Peleus?" I said incredulously. "What in Tartarus..." muttered Gabby. Peleus was our guard drakon. He would never attack any of us. I watched him carelessly toss aside the Apollo campers, one by one, and search out the next victim with paralyzing, yellow eyes. "Tom!" yelled Gabby. The son of Apollo was helping one of his wounded siblings up, and somehow didn't see Peleus barreling towards him, practically foaming at the mouth. I made a split-second decision and slammed against Tom, sending him flying about five feet away, which was enough to disconcert Peleus. Fortunately, he quickly found another target. Unfortunately, that target was me. As he slithered his way to me calmly, almost as if knowing I had nothing to fight with– no powers, no incredible brain to get myself out, no strong, able legs to run away with– I kind of thought,  Well, that's it. I stood there, breathing heavily, staring into those horrible eyes, knowing that I was going to die. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see my friends' faces as I got torn apart. Suddenly, I felt scaly claws closing around me, and I felt myself lift off the ground. Oh, great. Peleus had wings. I screamed as one of the claws bit into my arm, then froze. I couldn't hear anything except a soft hiss, a hiss that made my skin crawl. Bring me the mortal, said a sickly-sweet voice. I felt the drakon shuddering, as if in some kind of trance. Terrified, I looked around. I was at least twenty feet off the ground, so I shut my eyes quickly. Suddenly, I heard Peleus roar and his claws released my arm. I tumbled towards the ground, screaming. Just when I was about to hit the branches of an enormous tree, I got slammed into– again– by a wall of water. It slowed my fall, but I still managed to land on my broken ankle. My vision washed red with pain, and the last thing I heard was an ear-splitting explosion before I completely blacked out.

 

"Oh, gods," I muttered, opening my eyes slowly. "Please tell me they put me in Elysium."

I heard a giggle. "You're not dead, Meg." I saw Bianca and Zoe standing in the doorway, and Chiron in wheel-chair form beside my bed. Chiron grinned. "A few friends came to your aid." Suddenly, Percy Jackson appeared in the doorway, followed by Annabeth. Percy held a hand up to his forehead in salute. "Wise Girl and Seaweed Brain, reporting for duty." I gasped. "You're back!"  Even though they were old enough to be my parents (and they might as well be), we got along really well. I'd grown up knowing them and they felt like family. "Just in time, apparently," said Annabeth. "What happened?"  "Peleus went haywire," I said, sitting up in my bed with difficulty. "Where have you been?" said Zoe, completely changing the subject. Her sister elbowed her in the ribs. Annabeth folded her arms and Percy looked down at his shoes. "We told you, honey," said Annabeth. "We were visiting some friends." "Can't we just tell them?" said Percy, exasperated. "Come on, Seaweed Brain!" she said. "Partners, remember?" "Okay," he mumbled. "But can I be partners next time?" I frowned, but decided to bite my tongue. "We don't know why Peleus acted like that, do we?" I said. "He didn't," Annabeth said. We all looked at her, even Percy. "Um, Annabeth, he kind of  did." She leaned against the doorway. "No, I mean he didn't  choose to act like that. Someone else did– someone who for some reason wanted  you, Meg, as takeaway. Someone who would...  Possess Peleus in some way so they could infiltrate the camp." "I hope he feels bad," I muttered. "He nearly clawed my arm off." "That's the point," said Bianca, catching up with her mom. "Peleus wasn't the one who did it. Someone did it  through him." Zoe and Percy looked at each other and rolled their eyes mutually, like,  I hate it when they do that.  "Wait," I said, the whole scene suddenly rushing in on me. "I heard someone's voice– like a hissing sort of thing. It said,  Bring me the mortal." I literally felt the mood in the room darken. A stab of pain went through my brain, as if someone was sticking a hot splinter through it. I winced. "Are you alright, my dear?" said Chiron. I nodded. "Whoa, whoa. Backup." Percy made a time-up gesture with his hands. Bianca and Zoe rolled their eyes. So did Annabeth. "You're saying somebody wants  you for something, but we don't know what or who that person is." "It doesn't make sense," agreed Bianca. "I mean, why would they want  you? You're just a mortal." That came out a little harsher than she must've intended. I looked down at my hands, and Bianca bit her lip. Suddenly, I remembered something else that had happened before the black-out. "What was that huge explosion?" I asked. Everyone developed a sudden interested in their shoes.  I looked at Annabeth, since she was the only one who ever gave me straight answers about anything. "What explosion?" said Chiron. I glared at him and put on my best Mr. D voice. "Chiron the Centaur, you are officially awarded the Worst Liar Medal. I mean, come on! It was enormous!" Annabeth sighed, "We don't know what it was." "I don't believe that either." "Okay, fine!" she raised her hands. I could feel the  don't do it vibes coming off Chiron without even looking at him. "It was you." I blinked. "Uh, what?" "You heard me. You exploded when Peleus dropped you." "Annabeth, I really don't think I did. I'm still here." "No, I mean... You  created an explosion." I frowned. "But... Wait," I said, horrified, "Did anyone get hurt?" Annabeth shrugged. "Well, there wasn't any fire, but it was kind of like a force-field, so a few broken bones, nothing serious." "Broken b– Hold on. How did I do it?" "Does it look like we know?" said Zoe. Seriously, Meg. You're a mess. I looked up, not knowing who had said that, but no-one looked like they had, so I let it pass. Could it be– no. No, not possible. Definitely Annabeth's voice. I still don't know what we're talking about. Sounded like Percy. What is up  with Meg? That was Bianca. I looked up as they went on about it, and realized something weird.  Their lips weren't moving. But we defeated her– Oh, gods... Poor Peleus, he must feel so bad. I really hope we don't get one of those prophecies again... "Alright, stop it!" I yelled. Everyone turned towards me.  "How are you doing that?" I asked them, totally freaked out. "How are we doing  what?" said Bianca. "You're talking, but you're not moving your lips!" Chiron sighed. "Alright, Meg, you should rest some more. The explosion probably has you a little–" "Wait," said Annabeth. She locked her stormy eyes on me, and without moving her lips, said, Frizzy brown hair, dark eyes, short. "Who am I describing?" she asked me. "Um,  me?" Annabeth folded her arms. "You can read minds," she said incredulously.   " What?" said Bianca and Zoe at the same time. That's so unfair! "Why, because you guys have combined powers from two gods?" I asked casually. Bianca threw her hands in the air.  Now she's gonna show it off! Yes, I am, I thought to myself.  "But..." Zoe was at a loss for words. "How?" Everyone turned to me, but I spread my hands. "Honestly, guys, I have no idea. It feels really weird... It kind of hurts the backs of my eyes." I was starting to feel self-conscious, sitting there in bed with everyone staring at me. The mind-reading thing freaked me out as much as it did everyone else. "But why  now?" asked Annabeth. "Why not when you first came to camp or when your parents... you know." I shook my head. "I have no idea. Seriously, I'm just as confused as you!" I looked over at Chiron, like,  Please help me. Besides, I had the feeling he was the only one in the room who knew  exactlywhat was going on here. "Meg needs to rest," he said. "Everybody out, give her some space. Zoe and Bianca, I believe you have classes to attend." Zoe spread her hands. "It's Saturday." "Homework, then." "I still don't think it's fair," muttered Bianca as they shuffled out of the room. I buried my face in my hands. "Oh, gods, Chiron! What is happening to me?" Chiron shook his head. "I must admit, I've never witnessed anything so very strange. A mortal with a power..." Yeah, right, I thought. He patted my knee and pushed his wheelchair out the door. "Get some rest, my dear. You definitely need it." He stopped right outside and turned his wheelchair. "And when you wake up, Megara, I will help you to find everything about yourself." He smiled kindly. I smiled back, thinking about how much I loved those crinkles that formed at the edge of his eyes and mouth whenever he did so. I knew his promise wasn't just about me being able to read minds or create force-fields. He was talking about my past, all the things he seemed to have been hiding from me for so long. He was going to tell me about it. I decided it had waited all my life, it could wait a few more hours. I curled onto my side, wondering what Annabeth had been talking –thinking, whatever– about when she'd found out about my mind-reading.  I remembered her words.  That's not possible, we defeated her...  I had a sneaking suspicion Annabeth already knew who we were facing, and it wasn't pretty. What with all the horrible ideas going through my mind, my aching ankle and my sliced-open arm, I couldn't get a wink of sleep, so I swung my legs out of bed and put on my slippers.  I thought about going to see Bianca, but she was probably still mad about my super-power, which was totally unfair because she could manipulate water and was almost as clever as her mom. That shouldn't be legal. Zoe couldn't concentrate on homework with me sitting there, and Percy and Annabeth were most likely busy. Chiron wanted me to rest, so I couldn't go to him. I walked out of my room, shutting the door quietly behind me, and knocked on the door of the first room to my left, the one Jasper had been staying in.  No-one answered, so I opened the door and stepped in. Jasper must've already moved into the Hermes cabin, because the room was almost empty. It smelled of mothballs and clean blankets. I sat on the bed and closed my eyes, breathing in the dusty air. Suddenly, I heard a rattling from the window. I opened my eyes to see Jasper outside, waving at me. "What in Hades...?" I muttered, sliding the window open. "Jasper! Why didn't you use the door?" He jumped in and dusted off his knees. "Oh. Uh, old habit. I guess." "What do you mean, old habit... Okay, never mind. I don't even want to know." He gave me a half-smile and walked over to the bedside table. "Just... Picking up this bag of ambrosia. Thought I could use it if... You know. I got attacked in the forest or something." He stuffed the bag in his pocket. I could swear he was blushing. "Why  did you come?" I said, just to tease him. He shoved his hands in his pockets. "I heard you got attacked by a dragon, so I figured since you can't eat ambrosia or nectar, you might be able to use some company." I decided he definitely reminded me of a Hermes kid. He had that cheeky smile, even under his shyness. And come on, I'd caught him sneaking in through the window. I smiled. "That would be great."   "Does Chiron  really wear curlers in his tail?" asked Jasper as we walked down the stairs. I laughed. "Who told you that?" "One of the Hermes campers," he admitted. "Don't tell him I know." "I won't," I promised, opening the screen door that led onto the porch. "And it's not true." But I cracked up as soon as I saw his smile. "Okay, we'll leave it at that." "So," I said, anxious to change the subject, "made any new friends?" "They all keep trying to mug me." I shrugged. "Take it as a sign of affection." He snorted. "Sure." "Fine, then. Are you any good at sword fighting?" "Uh, no." I laughed. "Neither am I, so don't worry about it. I've been practicing since I got here." Jasper leaned on the porch rail. "When was that?" I looked down. "I was six. It was scary, but I got over it." Jasper nodded. Apparently, he didn't want to pry. I had a sudden idea. "Come with me." I limped down the porch rail, still in my slippers. Jasper followed me past the forges and the strawberry fields, without saying a word. The sun glared down on us, baking the strawberries and making the air look fuzzy. I was starting to get a headache from trying so hard not to read his thoughts. It just didn't feel right. He trudged silently beside me until we reached the pegasus stables.  I swung the door open and went over to the last stable to the right, where a pegasus the color of chocolate whinnied and bobbed his head at me in greeting. Hey, miss.  I stumbled backwards. It included  horses? Did that mean I could speak to animals? I recovered quickly, before Jasper could see. "Hi, Murphy," I said, stroking his muzzle. No reply. Maybe it came in moments. "Is he yours?" asked Jasper. "Yeah. Pegasus riding is basically the only thing I'm even  okay at, so when he was born they gave him to me." "He's cute," said Jasper, leaning on the door to Murphy's stable.  I smiled and sat down (not without difficulty) against the wooden wall of the stable. Jasper sat beside me. "I kind of want one," he admitted. I laughed. "You could ask. That means that the next one that's born is yours." "What does it feel like when you ride them?" "Really cool. It makes you feel free, in a way." Jasper played with a piece of straw and didn't say anything. I was getting a serious migraine from my efforts not to infiltrate his thoughts. I bit my lip, forcing off the pain, but I was starting to feel really dizzy. I blinked a few times. "I'm... not supposed to be here," I muttered. "If Chiron finds out..." "Oh, okay," said Jasper. Some part of my brain registered that he sounded disappointed. He got to his feet and helped me up. Unfortunately, as soon as I did, I stumbled and fell on top of him. "Sorry," I mumbled. "Meg, are you okay?" he asked, sounding worried. "I'm fine, just... dizzy. If you could just help me get to the Big House..." Jasper draped my arm over his shoulder. When we walked out, I realized it had gotten dark outside, and thunder was rumbling. I frowned. There was something not quite right about that. Murphy whinnied and banged his hooves against the door of his stable. I felt Jasper tense, and involuntarily heard,  What's going on? There was a faint smell of something in the air... Something I'd never smelled before, and yet somehow I knew exactly what was going to happen. "Jasper, go," I said. "What? But, you need help..." I pushed him away as hard as I could, which wasn't that hard. I was fighting to keep myself upright. "Go! Something bad is going to happen." "What are you talking about? Go where? Meg-" "Jasper, please." He looked me in the eyes, then turned and ran towards the forges. I looked around, feeling like I was going to collapse any moment. The air was charged with energy, and everything looked blurred. I felt the someone's presence there, even though I couldn't see anyone. Give up, little mortal, purred a female voice.  You and your little friends are no match for me. "Who are you?" I shouted, feeling sick. The voice chuckled.  Soon, my dear. Soon, I will watch you die. I clenched my fists. There was a flash of light and a deafening explosion. The voice faded, the sky cleared and the sun shone again. I collapsed. "Meg!" I groaned. I felt Jasper's arms under me, felt him pick me up and shake me gently. "Oh, gods... What was that?" This is my fault. "Jasper, it's not your fault..." I croaked. He ignored me and started carrying me towards the Big House. I was already starting to feel better– I could feel the energy seeping back into me. "I'm okay now," I told him. "No, you're not. Shut up." "Jasper, seriously! Put me down!" I pounded his chest. Reluctantly, he lowered me onto the ground.  "Thank you," I said, totally embarrassed. I hadn't realized how much bigger he was than me until he'd picked me up. I felt tiny. He folded his arms. "What happened?" "I just got a little dizzy," I said, realizing as soon as the words left my mouth that it was a lame excuse. "But... that explosion." "I'll tell you at the Big House. Come on."   As soon as we were safe in the living room, I told him everything. Well, almost everything. I left out the part about me being able to read minds. "I've only done it twice– I don't know how it happens. Mostly when I get mad." I smiled and punched his arm. "I guess you're gonna have to be really nice to me from now on." That's fine by me. He smiled back at me, his golden eyes shining. I kind of wanted to pretend that everything was okay now, but I wasn't stupid. I knew we weren't the only two who had seen my explosion, and I was probably about to face an angry Chiron, which I wasn't really looking forward to. I looked down at my hands. "You should go. We both have homework." He stood and stuck his hands in his pockets. "Okay." Why does she keep pushing me away? "Bye," I said as he walked down the porch steps. He didn't reply.

 

"You are grounded, young lady!" said Chiron, furious.

"Um, what?" "I said, you're grounded!" "Wait. Does that mean I don't have to do any of the activities for, like, a week?" Chiron frowned. "No! It means you shall have to do them working harder than ever!" I spread my hands. "How is that any different from what I always do?" He sighed. "Megara, you are in no state to argue with me." "But I'm in good state to climb a lava-wall and sword-fight? Figure it out, Chiron!" "How dare you go out of the house when I clearly instructed you not to? Sneaking out with random demigods when you should be resting from your injuries!" "You did  what?" gasped Bianca, coming down the stairs. "Nice one, Chiron," I muttered. "Go to your room!" Chiron told Bianca. She did as she was told, hands raised. Gods, everyone is going psycho.  Chiron turned back to me. "You must not tell anybody about this–" "It's a little late for that, Chiron! I bet everyone saw that explosion. And I didn't just do it for no reason! There was someone there, I swear, and she wanted to watch me die! The camp is in danger!" " She?" "Look, I don't know what's going on here. But you promised you would tell me about my past, didn't you?" Chiron had gone pale.  She? That's impossible– "Chiron, stop. Just tell me what's happening to me, because I can tell you know. Stop thinking about everything else for a second." He sighed, his brown eyes sadder than ever. "There's a prophecy–" "There's a  what?" gasped Bianca and Zoe, running down the stairs. "I swear to Zeus, guys!" I yelled. "Alright, you two, sit down," said Chiron. "You ought to know as well." I rolled my eyes and flopped onto the sofa with the twins, who were smirking and looking suspiciously self-satisfied. "So?" said Bianca eagerly, "What's the prophecy?" "I swore on the River Styx to never utter it," admitted Chiron. "Well, that's great," I huffed. "What was all the fuss about?" said Zoe. Chiron glared at her, then turned his attention back to me. "Long before you were born, Meg, the Oracle recited a prophecy about a mortal who held the fate of Olympus in her hands. At the time, we had too much to deal with, what with Kronos' attack, so it was almost forgotten. Then, a few years afterwards, one of the satyrs lodged in New York alerted me of strange happenings. He told me about you and how you didn't seem to be a demigod, what with two mortal parents, but attracted just as many monsters as a half-blood, maybe even more. I started taking trips to New York to supervise you, and sure enough, you were the child of the prophecy. I talked to your parents about bringing you to camp, but they wouldn't have it. So, one night..." he looked at me apologetically. "You know. A monster attacked and I arrived too late to help. I found you hiding in the wardrobe and brought you here. You trained, just like a normal camper. Nothing happened... Until now." I stared at him. "Why didn't you tell me? All along, I thought I was nobody." Bianca slapped her thigh. "And now you're one of us! Sorry, sis. Normal life is over! Should've enjoyed it while you could." I glared at her. Chiron suddenly looked a lot older. "I'm sorry, my dear. I didn't want to put you in danger." Zoe jumped up and down excitedly. "I want to know what the prophecy is." "Well, you won't be hearing it from me. I made an oath." I grinned, an idea suddenly popping into my mind. "Maybe I  will hear it from you." They all looked at me. "Chiron," I said, " Think about the lines of the prophecy. Then I can read your mind and technically, you won't have broken your oath." Chiron nodded. "An excellent idea, my girl." He closed his eyes, and so did I. I concentrated on his presence, searching for his mind. Finally, I managed to grasp it.   The child of man alone shall stand, the fate of Olympus in her hand She shall make a choice and sacrifice all But in the end, face the final fall.   To be continued...
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