Paint seemed to drip from the stars in the sky and Percy was sick of the sight of it.
The Hephaestus kids were injecting homemade fireworks into the air above Camp Halfblood, creating a symphony orchestra of explosion.
It was dreadful.
At least Leo was enjoying it though. He stood at the forefront of the display, brandishing sparklers that looked as though they were about to topple over at any second. That boy was a walking fire hazard if there ever was one.
“Percy.” Whispered a voice beside him, velvety smooth in sound. Plastering a smile on his face he turned his head towards the voice.
“Annabeth.” He breathed, his fingers reaching out for the golden girl beside him. She met his hands halfway and secured them in her grasp. Her thumb softly stroked the inside of his palm and Percy felt a thousand million electrical impulses rage inside him.
The sky wasn’t the only thing on fire tonight.
“You okay?” She asked, peering at him with her eagle eyes. Something in her look told him that Annabeth was worried about him. A lot. Her hair whipped around her in a frenzied halo, wisps of blonde strands attacking her face from all directions. Percy tied a lock behind her ear.
Sighing Annabeth dropped her eyes to the ground below. She tugged nervously at the beads that hung around her neck and kicked at the gravel beneath her feet.
“Hey, I think we kicked enough of Mother Nature’s ass back there.” Percy nudged her.
Annabeth laughed and the sound of it warmed Percy’s insides. If he was on fire already, he was now ready to explode. He would never get enough of his girl. He drew her towards him, resting his head on top of hers.
“It just doesn’t feel right.” He continued. “All these celebrations, it’s-“
Camp Halfblood was in jubilee spirits and the Romans were there to join them. Bunting interlinked the cabins to
one another and each flag displayed the bronzed lettering of SPQR and the handwritten scrawl of νίκη which
translated to victory in Percy’s head.
He remembered the chaos that had greeted him here a couple of days ago. Greek fire was being hosed from
canons and the loud clunk of sword against sword was all he could hear wherever he went. It was as far from
victory as you could get.
And that was just the demigods.
Carnage was all he could think of to describe the home he returned to. The Greeks and Romans should never have been enemies; after all it wasn’t their fault that the God’s decided to acquire split personalities. But the enemies soon turned to allies once Percy and the crew turned up. One long explanation later and the deadly looks
transformed into sheepish grins.
They would fight together and they would succeed as one.
Well, that was the plan anyway.
Percy could hear footsteps approaching him and saw the clunky black shape of a combat boot out of the corner of
“Percy, you’ve been looking into thin air for ages.”
Hazel stared down at Percy, who looked as though he had just come out of a trance. She planted herself down on
the log beside him and Annabeth, chuckling at the sight in front of her.
“I think the fireworks were a bad idea.” She pondered.
By now the Hephaestus kids were running around, yelling for water. A couple of the fireworks had flew into the
trees by accident and the Dryads were shaking their fists furiously at them. Percy even spotted Juniper chasing
one of the Hephaestus kids down towards the river stream. He had to admit, it was pretty funny. Except for the
whole burning trees down thing. Percy was one hundred percent for green peace and power. He blamed Grover.
“If they don’t watch out we’ll have another battle on our hands.” Annabeth grinned.
Hazel stretched out her legs and yawned loudly.
“Gods I am so tired.”
She took a can of Coke from her coat pocket and cracked it open.
“I need me some caffeine.” She declared glugging it down.
By now the rest of the group had converged on the scene.
Frank sat down next to Hazel, watching her carefully as though she might disappear at any second. Jason and
Piper flopped down cross legged on the floor, hands held firmly in each other’s grasp.
With a jolt Percy noticed how everyone seemed to be together.
Like together together.
Even Leo had Calypso now. She was currently negotiating as peacekeeper between the Dryads and Cabin Nine.
Throughout the evening she and Leo had been like Siamese twins, barely leaving each other’s side for a second. It was quite sweet, thought Percy.
He’d been worried about how Calypso would react to seeing him again. Leo had been quite frosty towards him for a while and he feared Calypso would be the same. When she saw him however, she just smiled and asked him if he had planted the flowers in his mother’s apartment like she had asked him to the last time they met. Percy
promised her that he had and that seemed like enough to make her forgive him.
Suddenly Frank clambered to his feet interrupting Percy’s train of thought.
“I can’t stand this any longer.” He announced.
The six of them stared at him.
“Stand what?” Asked Jason.
Frank inhaled deeply and raised his hands in despair.
“I just can’t believe that I turned into a goldfish again.”
The six of them looked at Frank for a second and then burst out laughing, a couple of snorts sounding here and
“Honestly guys, I can’t believe I did it.”
Percy wiped the tears from his eyes and remembered the last time Frank had turned himself into a giant goldfish
at the aquarium in Georgia. Panic had struck Frank again in this battle when he got chucked into the river by a
monster and his instincts kicked in, performing the same trick. Percy hadn’t witnessed it but according to
Jason who had,it was priceless.
Jason was also wiping tears from his eyes and caught Percy’s across the group. The two of them grinned at each
other through their laughter. Percy had grown quite close to Jason throughout the time he had spent with him. He had always admired the way he commanded authority of the air and although he preferred his own sea powers,
he had to admit the fact that Jason could fly – well, it was pretty cool. And annoying.
But in fact, when he looked at everyone surrounding him, there wasn't one person who he didn't feel anything but
They had defeated Gaia.
They had actually defeated the impossible.
And it wasn’t just the seven of them who had. There were others to thank as well and Percy felt a huge rush of
pride for them too. Reyna. Nico. His friends from both camps. Dakota, Tyson, Grover. Even Chiron.
He spotted Reyna and Nico making their way towards them from the Big House.
There was something distinctly different about Nico now and it wasn’t just his appearance. He no longer slouched
which made him appear taller, but he seemed to move with a confidence that came with being proud of who you are. He smiled more now too, as though he had nothing to hide. And he didn’t. It was almost as if he had been
hiding his secret under that old scowl of his for years.
Percy couldn’t believe that Nico was afraid of telling them that he was interested in guys. When Annabeth told
him that Nico was into him he barely batted an eyelid. Well maybe he did, a little, but he was totally cool with it after the shock subsided.
To be honest, Percy was still getting over the fact that Annabeth liked him, let alone a guy.
He would never tire of seeing her face. When she smiled, every care that niggled in Percy’s mind melted away. He kissed the top of her head.
“What was that for?” She smiled at him.
“I just love you.” He returned kissing her again, his mind going blank with any thought other than how good she
looked in the moonlight.
“I love you too Seaweed Brain.” She reached up to him interlocking her arms around his neck.
“Erm get a room you two.” Nico joked emerging on the scene.
Annabeth pushed him jovially and Percy high fived him as he walked past. Reyna followed closely behind him
holding something wrapped in silver paper in her hand.
“What’s that?” Hazel asked.
Reyna whipped her head round and hailed for Leo to come and join them.
“This Hazel Levesque, is the box of memoriae.”
“The box of what?” Asked Piper.
“Memories.” Jason translated frowning at Reyna. “What are you planning on doing with that?”
Leo ran towards them his no longer sparkling sparklers tucked into his shirt pocket.
“What’s up?” He beamed at them all.
“Sit down Leo. I need to say something.” Commanded Reyna.
Leo lay on the floor, his arms cushioning his head.
Reyna inhaled deeply and snuck a look at Nico. He nodded and urged her to carry on.
“Demigods. Guys. Today has been eventful to say the least. I see the smiles on all your faces in front of me, but
believe me, I know the struggle you’re going through inside.”
Percy tugged Annabeth closer to him and stared intently at Reyna.
“Friends have been lost, friends have been gained.” She continued, “To the friends we lost, they shall be
remembered forever. To the friends we gained, well, I’m looking at them now.”
Percy peered at the rest of the group. They mirrored him, sneaking glances at each other from all angles.
“We may have been thrown together for the intention of defeating Gaia and saving the world, but no God could
have predicted the friendship that would blossom between us.”
Nico revealed a wad of paper and pens and whispered to Annabeth to pass them around the group. Percy took them his brow creasing.
“What are these for?” He asked Nico.
“To write down our memories. I mean, we may have battled some unbelievable odds the past couple of months
but we’ve also created some incredible memories too.”
“Yes and it’s about time we shared them. We’ll write down our favourite memories from our travels together and put them in this box. Then we’ll take turns reading them out. ” Said Reyna.
“Dude I am so writing about that time you turned yourself into a giant goldfish.” Leo told Frank who groaned into his hands.
“Too late Leo, we already discussed that.” Laughed Hazel rubbing Frank’s back. “And besides it wasn’t that bad.”
Everyone looked at her in disbelief.
“Okay it was pretty bad. But hilarious at the same time.”
“Enough of the fish!” Frank shouted, “So basically we note down a stand out moment and then share it with
“That’s a great idea Reyna.” Annabeth beamed at her. It really was thought Percy.
Reyna waved her away. “I just thought it would help raise our spirts a little.”
Everyone began to scribble furiously onto their paper their favourite memories.
When they were finished they dropped their papered memories into the silver box and placed it next to the fire.
Reyna shook the box, mixing the memories and reached her arm in to kick start the process of reading them out.
“It’s Jason’s.” She said, opening the folded paper and reading what he had written aloud, “My favourite memory
is right here, right now. There are so many memories to choose from, but none of them compare to the present.
Seeing all of you guys sitting so close to me now, knowing that some of you could have not been here - words can’t describe how that feels. I just want all of you to know that no matter what path the fates direct us to from this
point onwards, you’ll always have a home in here.”
Reyna stopped reading and looked at Jason who pointed to his heart.
“In here.” He said.
Percy sat there in dumbstruck silence. Since when did Jason become so poetic?
“That was beautiful.” Piper's voice sang.
“Well, that makes mine sound terrible. Thanks Jason!” Leo said shoving Jason jovially.
“I think Jason just put everything we needed to say into words for us.” Agreed Reyna
Percy went forward to hug him.
“Dude, that was amazing and remember you have a home in our hearts too.”
Jason smiled at his friends.
“I just spoke the truth.” He shrugged.
The heroes of Olympus sat side by side, a circle of solidarity against the world outside. Percy wondered how he
had been so lucky to receive friends like those seated around him. And Jason’s words. They echoed in Percy’s
head. No matter what path the fates direct us to from this point onwards.
Percy had been wondering a lot about what the future held in store for them, and had to admit he didn’t think it would be bright. They were demigods after all. There was bound to be some surprise lurking round the corner.
And whether it would be good or bad, they would have to wait and see.
The stars were no longer dripping in paint. Instead they seemed to wink at Percy as they twinkled in the blanket
of the dark sky.
“Did I ever tell you guys about that time I disappeared in the middle of the night and entered some strange
legion?” Percy asked the crew.
“No. What happened to you?” Smirked Annabeth.
Percy smiled at all his friends, Greek and Roman.
“I had the time of my life.”