Ron Puckerman knew that the time had come for him to deal with Luke Castellan. He had spent most of this story running from and dodging monsters, not to mention escaping from the cruel older demigod on a number of occasions. But enough was enough.
Luke Castellan needed to go down.
Ron said, "You guys go distract those monsters; I"ll deal with Luke." As the others rushed off to engage with the monsters, Ron pulled his pen from his pocket. The pen turned into a sword. Ron held up the sword and thought to himself right, Luke. You and I have a score to settle.
Meanwhile, Jacquelyn was at the Hollywood Tower of Terror. She recalled an incident last year where she and the others were tricked into going on the ride:
Harry said, "No, dude, we're not going on that ride!"
"Then you're not a man," said a boy named Ramiro Glynn. "You can't call yourself a man until you ride a man's ride!"
"I rather we ride the Cars ride," Harry snapped, but Ramiro shoved him into the line for the Tower of Terror. "I didn't come here so that we can ride no damned kiddie rides," he snapped. I came here for the big rides! Now, are you going to ride this ride or not?"
Jacquelyn shuddered as she recalled her cruel older cousin forcing Harry and the others to ride the big rides. At one point, Ramiro took her aside and said, "I would suggest that you leave these guys. They're no good for you. Anyone who isn't part of the family is the enemy."
I should have listened to him, but instead, I played the fool, Jacquelyn shook her head. She had instead screamed at Ramiro and forbade him from participating in any more family activities. No one told her who she could or could not hang out with.
Not until now, that was.
Jacquelyn faced Harry and Hermione and said to them, "This is too good to be true. You guys were behind this, weren't you?"
"What are you talking about?" said Harry.
"You should know who I am," said Jacquelyn, "but you do know who I am not. And since you insist on referring to me by that name that I will not repeat, I have no choice but to issue a fight to the death!"
Harry and Hermione stared at her in fear; whenever a fight to the death was issued, the two wizards would fight until one of them fell dead. If a wizard were to fight a spellcaster, it would be an automatic win for the spellcaster. Harry knew that if he or Hermione were to fight Jacquelyn, they could look forward to an early death.
Jacquelyn said, "Harry, since you are so bold as to state my false name, and don't ask me how I knew about that, I order you to fight me." Harry shook nervously as he pulled out his wand and stepped forward. Hermione knew what was good for her and stepped back in fear. Jacquelyn pulled out the wand that she had stolen from Circe and said, "I'm not sorry that our friendship has to end like this, Harry, but that's how life goes. We can't always keep the friends we have; there will be time in our lives when we make new friends and have to leave our old friends behind, and there are times when we must turn our backs on our friends for many given reasons. I know that I had lied to you in the past, because you are a fool who trusts Dumbledore without question. But when it comes to me, you can only see my toys and games..."
"Why?" said Harry.
"Because when it comes to true magic," Jacquelyn continued, "you'll never know how inadequate you are when you compare yourself to the power and might of a spellcaster!"
As she finished, Jacquelyn raised her hands and she seemed to take off all by herself in the air. Harry summoned his broom and chased after her, with both magicians aiming fire bolts at each other. Hermione gasped as she saw Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, fighting against Jacquelyn-Claire Alexandra Ulrich, who was the former Pink Princess of Hogwarts. Jacquelyn had gone from fourth-best student at Hogwarts to a powerful and deadly spellcaster within a matter of weeks. Harry could hardly keep up with her, as she kept zapping him whenever she could. The tourists, not knowing that they were witnessing a magical fight to the death, applauded and cheered as they saw the duel taking place. Jacquelyn ignored the cheers; she had a score to settle.
During the duel, Ron pounced on Luke and they both fell to the ground. They began fighting as Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Clarisse fought against the other demigods. What started as a simple duel soon turned into a full-scaled battle, with Ron and Luke at the center of the storm.
Luke laughed as Ron struck at him. "You still think that you can defy me?"
"I have been fighting you since I first came to Camp Half-Blood," said Ron. "You said that I would never amount to anything, that I was not a demigod. But you're wrong. I am Ronald Puckerman, the son of Poseidon and Joanna Puckerman. Yes, I was raised by wizards, but they couldn't make me one of them. I am a demigod, and it's time for you to accept that, for better or worse!"
Luke struck him, saying, "You're right, Ronald Puckerman. You are a demigod. But you are also a fool. You are blind to the troubles that you have seen. This so-called "wizarding world" will face destruction from the gods when I reveal to them who had stolen their child." He leaned over and whispered, "And by the way, I never killed your weasel family; I only said that to force you to leave them and their pathetic world. And I guess my trick worked because you no longer belong to them. Molly Weasley killed your mother, and in doing so, the wrath of the gods should have sent her and her family to their graves. But since it didn't happen, I had to switch to the next best thing, which was to have them abandon you and leave you at the mercy of various monsters that lurked in New York.
"But little did I know that you would bring your spellcasting friend with you, and that other girl as well. I had done my job too well, because I have given Kronos enough information for him to destroy the magical world and everyone living in it.
"Now you know the truth about yourself, Ronald Puckerman, so the next question is this: what are you planning to do with the information that you were given?"
"Well, I intend to tell everyone back at the camp about who and what you really are," said Ron, "and there's nothing that you can do to stop me."
"Is that so?" said Luke. Ron glared at him. "Well, I'm afraid that I will have to stop you from doing that."
"What are you gonna do? Kill me?" Ron taunted him.
"You just don't know when to quit, do you," said Luke. "As you can see, I already won. I got you away from those so-called "friends", save for the spellcaster. I brought you here. But somehow, you must have forgotten about how inadequate they made you feel. The wizards had no right to be keeping you, so I'm going to teach them all a lesson about messing with the gods. Also, I might devise an ending for the girl who betrayed you. But if you play your cards right, you will be known as the Son of Poseidon, and the whole world will know who you are."
"Thank you very much for telling me that," said Ron, "but I must go and see if you are just telling another lie. You know how I get about lies."
"Understandable, seeing as you've been lied to your whole life," said Luke.
In response, Ron smacked him with the remains of his old, broken wand and he fell to the ground, unconscious. He then turned around and saw his friends, who were losing the fight against the other demigods. He rushed over to join them as the large wolves arrived to scare off the cruel demigods.
Meanwhile, Jacquelyn had knocked Harry's wand out of his hands and they both fell on the ground. "Harry!" Hermione screamed as she rushed towards them, but Jacquelyn waved her wand and sent her flying. "Not this time, Hermione," she said quietly. "This time, you don't get to intervene. But don't think that I forgot what you said to me the night before we were sucked into the world of Greek Mythology. You'll be paying for that soon."
She turned to Harry and said, "If you can't beat me, then how do you expect to beat the Dark Lord? You can't. But I have a solution that will benefit everyone."
Harry grew angry and pounced on her, but the Hermaphrodite grabbed him by the waist. "Oh no you don"t," the creature said angrily. "That is MY sweetheart; get away from her!"
"Who do you think you are?" Harry snapped at him.
"You will NEVER touch her again," said the Hermaphrodite. "In fact, I've gotten the perfect punishment for you. You hurt my sweetheart, and for that, maybe it's time that you learned of the innocence of youth. I say we start at the beginning, before she met you!"
And before Jacquelyn could protest, the Hermaphrodite had touched Harry, turning him into a newborn baby. The baby screamed and cried as Jacquelyn yelled, "What have you done to him?"
"Oh don't worry, sweetheart," said the Hermaphrodite. "I didn't kill him, just made him go back to his childhood. This time, he'll be a good boy and not play with magic. I think I know where to put him."
"So, did Luke really kill the Weasley family?" said Jacquelyn.
"Yes, he did," said the Hermaphrodite. "They knew they were wrong to kill that poor woman and steal her son. They deserved the death that we gave them."
"Oh," said Jacquelyn with a strange look on her face. She had liked Fred Weasley, but Fred was dead more, along with the rest of his family. They would never get the chance to marry or have children.
She then picked up the crying baby and said, "What did you intend to do with him?"
"He has another chance," said the Hermaphrodite as he took the baby. "Don't let him waste this chance."
Jacquelyn nodded as she saw a huge bird flying towards them. Not another California Condor, she thought to herself. But the bird swooped down and picked her up, carrying her away. The Hermaphrodite grabbed the baby as another bird picked him up.
Meanwhile, the group was close to losing to Luke's henchmen, despite Ron, Magnus, and Magnus's brothers Hansel and Francis joining them. Sabrina saw a monster reaching out for her to claw her to death, but Ron jumped in front of the monster and it stung him in his chest.
"Ron!" Annabeth cried out in terror, but then a Cyclops pounced on the monster and tore it apart.
"Is that you, Tyson?" said Ron. "Are you reaching me from the great beyond?"
"I"m still alive," said Tyson.
"I thought you were dead!" Ron cried out. "I saw Luke shoot you with a crossbow! How are you still "alive"?"
"Son of Poseidon," said Tyson. "I fall in water and get healed."
"Indeed," said Ron as he tried to sit up, but he was filled with poison. "Oh no," he cried out as he fainted.
"Annabeth, what happened to Ron?" Percy cried out, but then a flock of California Condors showed up, swooping the demigods onto their backs and fighting off Luke's henchmen. When the group was safely on the backs of the condors, the condors took off into the night sky.
~to be concluded...