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.)


17. Ugh. Too bright. - Cinder

I had made myself a sort of nest in one of the trees pointed out to me by Alyx earlier that day, finding the highest branch that would still support my weight. It wasn’t much, certainly not when compared to my home, but it was something. I fell asleep watching the dying embers of the campfire. The demigods had called it a night a couple of hours ago, the last of them wandering away to their cabins in the darkness. I sighed, finally able to enjoy some peace and quiet, unbound and without demigods trying to stick spears in me.

It did not take long for me to drift into sleep.


Sunlight danced through the branches above me, falling right in my face. I was lounged on the branch I had chosen, stretching from the scraps of feathers and cloth I had put together near the tree’s trunk. I looked up wearily, noting the distant figures moving around the valley. It was too early to wake, the sun was barely above the horizon. I shifted my beak to the other side of the branch, shutting my eyes again in shadow. Perfecto.

It seemed as though mere seconds had passed since I had moved to a better position when I heard muffled voices from below. “Wake up bird!” came the voice. It seemed vaguely familiar, but it sounded as though it had travelled through thick treacle to reach me up here.

I mumbled something incoherently in the language of griffins (which, for all intents and purposes, sounds like bird chatter to you humans), snuggling the branch I lay on. Believe it or not, branches can actually be very comfortable. I mean, nothing quite compares to a cave, but there were far too many pesky monsters running around these woods, claiming all of the best caves. The only ones I’d been able to locate that were not occupied were either tiny, or leaking. You can’t have a leaking cave. It’s impossible to make one feel homey.

The voices below were silent for a while, waiting for a response they could understand. When I didn’t give one, I heard faint whispers, like voices on a distant wind. They fell silent again, and I felt something hit my back.

My eyes opened groggily, peering over my shoulder. Damned half-bloods. Alyx stood at the base of the tree with two other demigods. She was picking up another stone, preparing to throw it at me.

I shuffled my wings, croaking at her indignantly. The fuzziness of waking up was starting to fade, and I could see her frowning for a moment, caught off guard by my bird-like noises.

It didn’t last long, and the next stone hit my shoulder, near where my wound was. Or had been. It had mostly healed now. “You’re gonna miss breakfast!” she yelled, picking up yet another stone.

“I don’t need breakfast!” I yelled back triumphantly, “I had lunch last Tuesday.”

She went silent, before she looked to her companions, one blond, the other black-haired. They exchanged a few brief words, which I didn’t hear. I was already curling back up again. I wasn’t getting up if I didn’t have to; I’d missed a lot of sleep in my rush here.

“Chiron needs to speak with you, monster. You need to fulfil your end of the arrangement.”

Okay this voice was different. It sounded similar to Alyx’s in a vague way. It also sounded very familiar, although the last time I’d heard it, the previous day, it had been arguing for my death.

I looked over my shoulder at one of Alyx’s half-sisters, eyes narrowed and cold. I didn’t like this girl that much, I could tell the feeling was mutual. “Dufz ciar jozepij,” I growled, starting to rise from where I was perched. “Cia ior ino gerninaren ix exerni,” I finished. My tone was threatening. The demigod seemed to pick up on this, and scowled.

The last of the trio, the black-haired kid that I now recognised from dinner last night, spoke up. He had to tilt his head to see me. “You do know it’s only Greek and English that we understand, right?”

I was perched rather precariously on the branch, talons wrapped around tightly while my hind paws balanced beside them. I flicked my tail in mild annoyance. “Of course. I wouldn’t be speaking like shek if I wanted you to understand.”

Alyx sighed, raising a hand to shield her eyes from the sun, which was slowly climbing higher in the sky. “Stop making things complicated and just go see Chiron. Keep going like this and we’ll have to come up with a cover story for Annabeth.”

If I had a human face I would have been scowling. I was not in a good mood this morning. Probably had something to do with my rude awakening. I let out an exaggerated sigh, readjusting myself on my branch, before I lunged forward into the air.

Is it bad to admit that I took delight in the momentary fear that sparked up in each of the three demigod’s eyes? The black-haired kid- I think his name was Percy- immediately drew a pen, uncapping it to reveal a sword. Annabeth, Alyx’s most annoying sister, pulled out a long knife. Alyx herself prepared to dodge, immediately dropping close to the ground.

Of course I wasn’t stupid enough to immediately null the temporary protection I had been granted. I spread my wings mid-air, soaring over their heads without so much as skimming them with my tail. I landed rather gracefully on the other side of them, shifting into human form as my feet touched the ground.

“What the bloody hell did you do that for?” Alyx cried, straightening up. The other two lowered their weapons slowly.

I tilted my head, striding toward them. “Do what?”

She gestured toward the tree in which I had been perching moments before. “That!”


“Lunge toward us like you were going to separate our heads from our-”

“Well how else did you expect me to get down?” I interrupted, rolling my eyes. “It’s your own fault for standing too close.” She practically glowered at me. Her sister wasn’t far behind. The Percy kid seemed a tad more relaxed. I shrugged, starting toward the barn where we had found Chiron the previous day. “I’ll wait for the man-horse at the barn,” I said. “I have no desire to watch you humans eat your food.”

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