A Tale of Griffins and Half-Bloods

Being a monster is hard enough. Being a monster who needs demigods to help you is even worse. Being a monster who needs help from demigods against other monsters is living hell.
And you thought being human was hard.

(Okay so I'm now realising my huuuuuge mistakes in consistency with the actual books so please bear with me that will be fixed I swear.)

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19. I get the feeling I'm not wanted here. - Cinder

Chiron took a very long time to meet me. I must have been standing outside the barn for at least half an hour before I saw the centaur appear down the path, trotting toward me at a casual pace.

I was leaning against the peeling red paint of the wall, arms crossed, waiting. I did my best to look annoyed, but the centaur was good at ignoring people. I suppose that’s what happens when you have to look after the children of the Gods during their most… colourful years. He must have had centuries of experience filtering out teen angst.
“Cinder,” he said as he got close enough, “I see Alyx found you.”

I nodded, straightening up. He led the way into the barn, flicking on some lights as he went through the doorway.
“I trust she informed you of the nature of these summons?” the centaur continued, making his way toward the wheelchair that he had been sitting in the previous day. He gestured toward one of the sofas beside. “Take a seat, please.”

“She did,” I answered curtly, sitting down beside him. I sat bolt upright, quite unaccustomed to furniture like this. Back in the forest I wasn’t often in human form, and when I was I did not sit. I had only visited a couple of humans over the past century or so, and most, if not all, of the seating I had been offered came in the form of wooden stools or stone benches. So I was honestly rather surprised when the cushion sank beneath my weight.

Man-horse noticed my discomfort as he settled into his fake wheelchair, smiling warmly at me. “Relax, you aren’t here to be executed!” Well, his smile looked warm for the first split-second, before I had time to look at his eyes. He regarded me coldly, brown eyes that I imagined were quite welcoming to half-bloods had hidden malice within them. It was rather off putting, with his expression contradicting his words to such a degree. It added hidden meaning to the statement, suggesting it was perhaps missing a word. Yet.

I shifted rather uncomfortably, unable to ‘relax’ as suggested by the centaur. The seat beneath me moved too much. “You wanted my full account of the battle?” I asked, trying to draw attention away from my obvious inability to sit still.

The centaur inclined his head. “That is correct. Every detail is vital, and you must understand our… suspicions.”
So they didn’t fully trust me. Understandable; I was a monster. Not to speak bad of myself, of course. I was an actual monster. “Very well, where would you like me to begin?”

 

My tale was a long one, as I said earlier. It was so long, in fact, that the centaur decided to pause my retelling a mere hour after I had started. I hadn’t even finished explaining why my flock was regarded with such hatred by other monsters; I hadn’t even begun to speak of the horrors of the battle, or even the overcast sky that had graced that day, its shade foreshadowing something much darker.

I will admit, I was glad when he asked me to stop. The centaur had listened intently, his threatening brown eyes not leaving my face for a moment. He interrupted me occasionally, asking for clarification at times, or to ask a question about something that seemed so natural to me I was genuinely surprised he did not understand.

As head of the camp activities, he had his own duties. Duties that were to him, for the moment, more important than understanding this threat. I had the vague feeling he didn’t quite understand its gravity. Of course, he and Dionysus were currently tolerating my presence, so they must have thought it had some importance, but they weren’t yet putting it above all else. I hoped dearly that it wouldn’t creep up on them and end in something terrible. I had my own revenge to think of, and I knew all too well that I wouldn’t manage without the aid of this camp.
“Return here after Capture the Flag this evening, and we can continue with Mr. D present,” he had said. I didn’t even know what to do all day; I was in a camp for young demigods. Where they were trained to kill monsters. Like me.

I kicked around a stone as I walked down from the barn. It clattered along the dirt path, knocking against other stones. The half-bloods were out and about now, much like they had been yesterday. This morning I’d had quite a lovely stroll, with the valley mostly empty. I had only stumbled across one or two, up early for one reason or another.

I sighed, watching small clusters of godlings trudge across the valley, heading to the archery range, or the arena. Breakfast must have finished, and the day’s activities were beginning. I had no real desire to interact with the murderous little humans, and so decided taking to the sky was a better form of travel.

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