So that was it.
The war was over.
Gaia and her followers had been defeated, and those that had survived had fled. The demigods, however, were not concerned about those. They would be hunted by the others around the world or go into hiding and survive as long as possible, there wasn’t enough of them left to fight back now anyway.
For now, the small group of demigods just wanted to relax and appreciate the fact that they had survived yet another quest and were together. It was the only chance they’d had since the end of the war to spend time together. So they were going to make the most of it. There was still a lot of work to do. They’d all been busy negotiating with the Roman camp for the past two weeks and Frank seemed to have taken to his new job as praetor well. There was also a lot of cleaning up to do since the Roman and Greek battle, just before they’d made it to camp, had left behind quite a mess. At least they were now on talking terms instead of fighting.
So that’s what they were doing. They were sat on Half Blood Hill, looking out over Long Island, Thalia’s tree just a few feet away, the Golden Fleece hanging low on its branch, glistening in the setting sun and swaying in the breeze. Peleus the dragon was curled up around the base, sending off puffs of smoke as he snored.
He must have grown to at least twice the size since I left, Percy thought to himself.
They were sat in a circle on the hill. Percy sat between Annabeth and Leo, they’d been getting on well despite the whole Calypso business, Piper was on Leo’s other side, next to Jason. Nico sat beside him with Reyna, followed by Frank and Hazel. Even Grover had managed to join them. They were talking about the past few weeks. They’d all been busy, cleaning the camp, negotiating with the Roman’s and visiting family they hadn’t seen since the beginning of the quest.
Percy – August 18th
The sun was rising outside my window as I woke and had bathed the Poseidon cabin in a warm, golden glow. It was strange knowing everything was finally over and was somewhat back to normal. Waking up in my cabin, the sun shining through the window, Tyson’s snoring coming from the top bunk, it all felt like home and I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it whilst being away.
I climbed out of my bunk and turned to see Tyson still sleeping, if it wasn’t already obvious from the noise, and got dressed. Being able to share a cabin with Tyson again was great. I’d missed him so much whilst I’d been away but now things were back to normal. Even though Tyson had been spending a lot of time with Ella it was great to spend time as brothers again.
Annabeth and I had decided to meet before breakfast so we could go see Chiron. We’d spent the past two weeks waiting for the chaos to calm down and Annabeth and I had hardly seen each other. When we had spent time together she’d spent it asking about me visiting my mum. Annabeth had told me one day we’d been having a break that she’d been visiting her whilst I’d been missing and neither knew where I was. My mum had worried, obviously. During the quest I hadn’t had time to think about home but now I was back I realised how much I missed my mum’s little apartment in Manhattan.
As I left my cabin the camp was already bustling with Greek and Roman demigods. Some of the Roman’s had stayed behind after the final battle and been living in tents next to the cabin’s. As I looked up I saw I was approaching the Big House and Annabeth was stood on the porch. As I climbed the front steps she smiled and said, “Morning, Seaweed Brain” and kissed my cheek.
“Morning” I smiled. She took my hand and we went inside.
“Percy, Annabeth.” Chiron greeted. He was folded in to his wheelchair looking just like he had all those years ago when I’d first met him at Yancy Academy, a bit greyer maybe.
“Chiron,” I replied, “We came to ask if we were needed or if it would be possible to visit my mum for a few days?”
“Of course you can. I’m sure we can manage without you for a few days. Before you leave, however, I just wanted to say well done. This war was difficult and I’m very proud of you both. Well, I’m very proud of all of you.” Annabeth and I just smiled. It had been difficult but they had managed, they always would.
They stayed with Chiron for while longer before saying goodbye and leaving Camp Half-Blood to catch a taxi to my mum’s apartment. We sat in the back holding hands and just enjoying the peace. There hadn’t been a lot of that since the start of this quest. I looked out the window and saw the tall, towering buildings of the city surround us. It was strange being back in such a large city, seeing all the people who were so oblivious to the fact the world nearly ended just weeks ago.
“Percy, we’re here.” Annabeth called. As I turned my head I saw the building that contained my mum’s apartment. I climbed out of the cab, passing the driver some money and walking round to the curb. As Annabeth and I climbed the steps to my mum’s door I suddenly began to feel nervous. I hadn’t seen my mum in so long, what if she’d changed? I knocked on the door and waited. I glanced at Annabeth and she smiled encouragingly.
Suddenly the door opened and there stood my mum.
She stared at me for a few seconds before enveloping me in a hug and starting to cry.
“Percy, oh my god, we thought we’d lost you.” She cried.
“I’m fine mum, honestly. I’ll explain everything later.”
She pulled away and smiled, “I love you.”
“I love you too.” I grinned back. God, I’d missed her.
She hugged me for a while longer, to the point where I thought I couldn’t breathe before she ushered us inside where we were greeted by Paul who also pulled me into a hug.
“Good to see you Percy.” He said squeezing me.
After more hugs and tears, mostly from mum, we sat in the kitchen eating some sandwiches my mum had made. (They were blue, obviously).
“Well, we might as well tell you now Percy.” My mum said looking at me from across the table. She looked happy, but older. I suppose your son going missing does that to you. I smiled and nodded for her to go on.
“Me and Paul, were getting married!” She said grinning at Paul, more tears coming to her eyes. “We didn’t want to get married straight away in case you came back.”
“That’s great mum, congratulations!”
I looked across to Annabeth and smiled. I was so glad I had my family back. I had my life back. And my mum and Paul were getting married. Looking at them grinning at each other, I realised how happy they were together. At least now she had someone whilst I was at camp and I didn’t have to worry about her being alone.
It was nearing evening now and the living room was washed with the reds, oranges and purples of the setting sun. Annabeth and I had decided to stay the night so we could spend tomorrow with my parents. As my mum and Annabeth were heading to the sofa Paul grabbed my arm.
“Percy, can I talk to you for a second...”
Leo – August 20th
I’d spent the past two nights fixing the Argo II. The damage from the final battle had been shocking and I hadn’t been able to sleep knowing it was so damaged and still needed work. I’d lie in bed just thinking about what needed fixing and how long it would take. After an hour or so I’d realise I’d been building small parts I could use to fix the ship with things from my tool belt. So when I hadn’t been meeting up with the others I had been working with some of the guys from my cabin to get the ship out and working again.
Jason and Piper had been by earlier in the week so we could get some dinner. Sat on the beach of Long Island Piper had said I looked like I needed some sleep.
“I can’t sleep when I know the ship still needs fixing.”
“This isn’t just about the ship Leo, something else is going on.” Jason had replied. I looked up at him and he looked concerned. I must have looked worse than I thought.
“I’m fine, honestly. I just need to finish fixing the ship and then I’ll sleep.”
Honestly, fixing the ship hadn’t been the only reason I hadn’t been able to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I’d remember my time on Calypso’s island and hate that I couldn’t work quicker to get her back.
“I’ve spoken to my Dad.” Percy had said to me whilst we sat on the steps to his cabin, a few days after I’d met Jason and Piper. “He said he’s doing everything he can but Zeus is difficult. I just feel bad that I never checked if the Gods had freed her.”
“It’s not your fault. You trusted they’d do as you asked and they let you down. It’s not the first time the Gods have done something like that.” I’d replied. I’d been so ready to hate Percy for not helping Calypso but the Gods had let him down and that wasn’t his fault. At least now we were working together to get her back.
It was 3AM now and I headed out side for a break. I’d been working on the Argo II for nearly 12 hours straight and I needed some fresh air. When I got to the front steps of the Hephaestus Cabin I looked up at the stars. The sky was clear, the stars were gleaming and the moon washed the camp in a white light making everything look pale and ghostly. It reminded me of my nights on Calypso’s island when the moon shone down on where I’d slept at night. Gods, I missed her. I’d been working on a way to get back to save her when I wasn’t working on the Argo II but it was taking a long time. I hated that she was there on her own. But I wouldn’t give up. I wouldn’t be the seventh wheel anymore and she didn’t deserve to be alone on that island. I’d been praying to my dad to help me but nothing has happened and I can only assume he’s busy or doesn’t want to help. Looking back up the stars I tried one more time,
“Hey, dad. Look I don’t know if you can hear me, or if you can’t help but please, if you can do anything to help me save Calypso, well I’d really appreciate it. Erm, thanks.” Gods, this was awkward.
“Give me a chance son; it takes some time to convince the Gods to let a girl like Calypso go.” I heard a deep voice chuckle behind me.
Spinning quickly, I saw Hephaestus leaning against the side of the cabin smiling. I stared, letting his words sink in.
“Wait, let her go?...”
Nico – August 22nd
The sun was just setting and we’d been sat on Half-Blood Hill for most of the afternoon. It had been nice to have a break, especially after spending the week avoiding Percy. It had been awkward at first, explaining everything to him, but now he knows everything seems a lot easier. That doesn’t mean I’ll be staying at camp, I still don’t feel like I fit in, but I’d spoken to Chiron and he’d enrolled me in a boarding school. I’m not sure it will work out but I suppose it’s worth a try.
We’d been talking about the things we’d been doing since the war ended as we hadn’t had much time to spend together.
“...So my mum and Paul are getting married.” Percy announced.
“That’s great!” Piper said, smiling. Annabeth looked at Percy then, smiling and said, “Go on then, tell them what Paul asked you.”
“He wants me to be best man.” Percy grimaced.
“And that’s a bad thing?” Hazel asked. The look on his face looked like he’d just been told Gaia hadn’t been defeated and she’d taken over the world.
“No it’s great, just means I have to wear a suit.” He mumbled.
Everyone laughed at that.
“But you’re all invited. My mum says she wants to meet you all.”
“Well I’ll definitely be there. Anyone that goes out of their way to make blue food, I have to meet.” Leo chuckled.
I looked out to the horizon, the sun was hardly visible, just a small glow peaking above the water. Everyone was saying goodbye when a young girl joined the group and Leo put his arm around her. She must be Calypso. I’d heard about her from Percy and Leo. Apparently Hephaestus had managed to persuade the Gods to free her from the island. She and Leo were both smiling and it was the happiest I’d seen Leo since I’d met him. He’d always been happy but there’d always been a loneliness about it. It was gone now he was with Calypso and it was good that Calypso had forgiven Percy for not managing to free her.
After everyone said good bye and had headed back to their cabins I looked out over the camp from the hill. From where I was stood I could see Blackjack flying back towards his stable. It was going to be strange starting school, trying to fit in. I just hoped it worked.
“Not going back yet?” I turned to see Percy smiling at me.
Smiling back I replied “No, not yet. Was thinking of heading to the beach for a bit. Get some of peace and quiet.”
“Want me to leave you alone or can I join you?”
“You can come if you want.” We started walking down towards the beach slowly. It was strange, not feeling awkward around Percy. I’d always thought he’d figure out that I liked him just by being near him, but now he knows I don’t have to worry about that.
Once they got to the beach they sat on one of the dunes and looked out at the water. It was peaceful out here, calm. In the distance Percy and I watched Mrs O’Leary scouting the woods and protecting the camp.
“Chiron told me you were starting boarding school after summer. Are you looking forward to it?” Percy asked curiously. He was smiling and for the first time I felt like someone cared. Maybe that was why I’d liked him so much; he was always the one who looked out for me, made me feel like someone cared.
“I suppose. I don’t know if it will work out but I thought I’d give it a try. Maybe it’s time I tried to have a normal life.” I replied pulling my jacket closer to keep me warm. Percy smiled sadly at me and nudged my shoulder.
“Well I think it’s a good idea. You deserve a normal life, the chance to be a normal 14 year old. But I’m still here for you if you need anything. I’m starting college after summer but you can call if you need anything. I’m always here for you.”
“Thanks.” I murmured. “That means a lot.”
We sat in silence for a while longer before I began feeling tired. Standing and dusting the sand off my jeans I said, “I think I’ll head back now. But thank you. For everything.” I hope he knew I wasn’t just thanking him for what he’d said but for everything he’d done for me since Bianca had died.
Looking up Percy smiled and said, “Before you go, when I was in Manhattan I went to this shop. Came across something I thought you’d like.”
Standing he started towards his cabin and I followed close behind. What was he doing? What had he found?
Once we’d arrived Percy invited me inside and started rummaging under his bed. With a “YES!” he pulled a box out, stood and hid it behind his back. Smiling at me he said excitedly, “You ready?”
“Mm-hm” I replied cautiously.
Pulling the box from behind his back he handed it to me. I opened it and pulled out one of the small figures inside.
“It’s a complete set. I thought that if you were going to be going to school you needed something to keep you entertained.” He smiled nervously.
Inside the box was a complete set of Myth-o-magic cards and figures. I didn’t know what to do or say. I just stared at the box with my mouth hanging open. Looking up I saw Percy rummaging in his pockets. Pulling something out, he held it up for Nico.
“It’s not the same Hades figure Bianca got for you. Sorry, I don’t know what happened to that but I found this just after the Battle of Manhattan but I didn’t know when to give it to you.”
Finally, I smiled. I don’t remember the last time I smiled like this. Taking the figure from Percy’s hand I felt, for the first time since Bianca died, like everything was going to be okay. My smile grew bigger and I looked up at Percy, who was grinning back, and he took the box from my hands and said,
“So, you going to show me how to beat you at this game or not?”