Being an orphan your whole life isn't easy. Especially not when you being chased by monsters every so often.
My life's not a picnic, trust me, but when you suddenly find out that you're a child of the Greek gods, it doesn't get much better.

But here's the thing, I don't have a clue who my godly parent is, and when I'm taken to this 'special' camp and supposed to be claimed my first day there, let's just say that it doesn't go as smoothly as hoped.


8. CHAPTER EIGHT - A not very happy Skull

Swords were drawn as half-bloods rushed through camp and they hurried up the hill. The screams got louder as we got closer and soon enough, we saw who was making the noise. Or really, what.
Once we got there, I saw a girl's hair on fire.
And no, not like she just fought with some birthday candles and lost, I mean her hair was literally on fire! Like it was made out of it or something. Her skin was deadly white, like she'd smothered herself in white chalk, her eyes were a blood red, she had fangs instead of teeth and when I looked at her lower area, I notice her mismatched legs. One was a prosthetic bronze one and a donkey one. She also wore a red dress that reached mid-thigh with lace sleeves. I guess we didn't have to worry much above saving her, it was only a monster.


Oh yeah, I forgot about that little voice in the wind.
The empousa seemed to be dodging sword attacks from another figure who looked like a ghost. Well, judging by his skin he seemed like it. His hair was long, black, shaggy (like he just got out of bed) and frames his face, pretty well I'd say. His black clothes seemed to hang of his skeletal frame like he isn't much of an eater - but the way he moved his black sword, he seemed pretty strong.
Most of the campers stopped when the saw the boy fighting and let him do his thing. Some campers didn't know the demigods in front of them had stopped and bumped into one another (some falling to the ground). I ignored them all and watched the boy fight against the monster, which he seemed to be winning.
Until the empousa ducked under the boys attack and kicked him in the legs, making him topple over, now vulnerable.
I watched in horror as the empousa smiled menacingly and bared her teeth at the boy, making some campers near me cower and whimper at the sight of the beast. However, it didn't seemed to scare Percy as he ran out of the border with his sword out and rushing over to the fallen boy. Just as the empousa was about to bite down on the ghostly boy, Percy swung his sword upwards in and arc and sliced through the monster, disintegrating her into golden dust. I stared at him in awe. That... was awesome!

The boy was breathing heavily as he stared up at Percy. "Thanks," he said, giving him a curt nod.

"Anytime, Neeks," Percy smirked, helping up the ghost boy.

"Don't call me that," the boy replied and sheared his black sword.

They both made their way over to the camp border and crossed it. People greeted 'Neeks' but stayed away from him, I wonder why? Probably because he gave off a death-like aura which didn't seem very nice.

"Hey, Nico," Leo came and greeted the boy, smiling a cheeky smile. "What brings you back to camp?"

The boy - Nico - glanced over at Leo. "I have my reasons."

Hmm, not the talking type. I can accept that.
Nico walked through the crowd that seemed to part like the Red Sea in the Bible. His gazed wandered across everyone's faces until he landed in mine. That's when I realised how dark his eyes were, they were almost completely black with a tint of a madman in them. I wonder who his godly parent was?
Nico and I stared at each other as he continued walking before pulling his gaze away and focusing it back on the ground. What was up with him? He almost looked... scared.


The day droned on until it was lunch time, back in the dining pavilion. I sat with the Hunters of Artemis, as they had allowed me to stay in their cabin, and honestly, it went much better than yesterday's performance. No knives were thrown - which was good - and no one tried to pickpocket my screwdriver. The only thing that was off was the boy, Nico, sitting by himself at one of the tables, eating only a few strawberries.

"What's up with him?" I asked to no one in particular.

Thalia looked up from her plate and looked where I was looking. "Who, Nico? He's just always like that. I guess it comes with being the son of Hades."

I stared at her. "The son of Hades? But didn't you tell me that the gods were forbidden to have kids?"

Thalia nodded and took a bit out of her apple. "Uh huh, but, Nico is different. You can't tell of course, but he's actually, what? Eighty-or-so years old?"

My eyes went as wide as gold balls. "Eighty years old?! But how has he survived that long?" I asked. "He's not immortal, is he?"

Thalia smirked and shook her head. "No, he just grew up in this place where time stands still called the Lotus Hotel with his sister, Bi-"

Thalia froze mid-sentence when she looked over at a certain table. I followed her gaze to see Nico glaring at her with a raised eyebrow. If looks could kill, Thalia would be dead several times already.

Thalia coughed and looked away. "It's not my place to talk about it. Anyways, tell me. How'd you escape from that hellhound? If I'd had known, those things are pretty fast and vicious."

The memory flashed before my eyes and I remembered the frozen hellhound in solid ice that had somehow happened when I blocked myself with my hands. I couldn't tell Thalia about that, people already think of me as a freak enough as it is.

I cracked a fake smile and gave a fake chuckle. "Well, turns out that the hellhound really liked sticks," I lied.

Thalia raised an eyebrow. "You played fetch with a creature form the Underworld?"

I shrugged. "It worked, didn't it?"

"But then how'd you get to camp? We were still a few days or so from getting here. How'd you get here that fast?" Thalia questioned, sounding confused.

"The Gray Sisters," I answered and took a drink from my chocolate milk. "Trust me, it was worse than a roller-coaster."

Thalia laughed and finished off her apple. Her gaze wandered along the tables until her eyes stopped and she nudged me. "I think a certain Hephaestus kid has eyes for you."

She pointed to the Hephaestus table and I looked over there to see a familiar Latino elf staring at me. I smiled slightly and waved which caused him to blush furiously and wave back with a nervous grin. I chuckled, he seemed... cute.

"Ugh, that damn Hephaestus boy thinks he can get any girl he wants," Thalia groaned and rolled her eyes, the other Hunters murmuring in agreement.

"I know right?" said a voice behind us. "He's such a 'dam' idiot."

Thalia and I turned around to see Percy standing there smirking. Thalia chuckled. "Totally, Percy. I wish he would get a 'dam' life!"

They both laughed. Was there something I was missing out on here?

"And he needs to sort out his 'dam' priorities on what he wants," Percy laughed.

I both looked at them weirdly. "Do you guys have something against, Leo, or something?" I asked, confused as Hades. I was picking up on the demigod slang pretty quick.

"Of course you don't, do you Thalia?"

Thalia and Percy's laughed died down as all three of us turned our heads to see a boy with blonde hair, electrical blue eyes like Thalia but not as bright, a cut on his upper lip and looked a tad taller than Percy. He was wearing a purple shirt with 'SPQR' on it and some plain jeans and converses as well as golden glasses. I wasn't sure if they were painted or legit.

"Jason!" Thalia beamed and jumped up from her chair and went to hug him.

"Hey, sis!" Jason replied and hugged her back. "It's good to see you."

"You too," Thalia pulled away and looked him in the eyes. "How's Camp Jupiter?"

Jason shrugged. "Same old, same old," then his eyes seemed to glow brighter like he had an idea. "Come with me, there's someone I-"


Before he could even react, a wild girl appeared and jumped onto him, kissing him passionately. He was startled for a moment before kissing her back.

"Oh get a room you two!"

Piper and Jason pulled apart, laughing as they looked at Leo who was sauntering over with his hands in his pockets, a playful grin plastered on his face.

"Oh, you're just jealous," Piper retorted and ruffled Leo's hair.

Leo scoffed. "Yeah, and you're Khoine," he tried to keep a straight face but could help grinning. "Good to see ya dude."

Jason nodded. "You too."

"Okay, happy reunions are over," Thalia interrupted and clapped her hands. Wow, that was a tad bit rude. "What were you going to show us?"

Jason face palmed. "Right. Just follow me and - who's this?" Jason's finally spotted me and I stood up to greet him.

"The name's, Anna, Anna Hendry," I stuck out a hand for him to shake which he gladly did.

"Nice to meet you, Anna. I'm Jason, Jason Grace," Jason said.

"Oh, I'm aware," I smirked and let go of his arm as I eyed something on his arm. "Nice tattoo."

"Huh?" Jason looked at his left forearm and smiled. "Oh right. This old thing. It's just something I have as an indication of the years I've been at camp."

I raised an eyebrow. "I haven't' seen you around."

He chuckled. "That's because I don't go here. I go to Camp Jupiter in San Francisco, for Roman demigods. But after certain events, I spend most of my time here, where I feel more comfortable."

"Roman demigods? But-"

I was cut off by a girl calling Jason's name outside the pavilion. Well last name.

"GRACE! Stop making out with your girlfriend and get over here!"

Jason and Piper blushed furiously as everyone stared at them. Talk about awkward...

Leo coughed to break the silence. "Well if the daughter of Pluto summons you, Superman, you'd better go and see what she wants."

Jason just nodded and gestures for all of us to follow. "Come on, there's someone I want you all to meet."


We followed Jason out of the pavilion as he had an arm around an grinning Piper. They kept joking around and laughing with each and sometimes Leo made a smart comment which only consisted of Piper slapping him in the back of the head and calling him an idiot. Leo just laughed and ran a hand through his hair. A few times I caught him sneaking glances at me but I acted as if I didn't see it.
Eventually we reached the beach. The waves lapped gently along the shore and a few campers were already down there, soaking up the summer sun, getting a tan (Aphrodite kids) or just having fun in the water. Out in the water, there were two people wearing the same shirts as Jason. One boy and one girl. They were laughing and splashing each other with sea water as they ran around in the water.
The girl was African-American with cinnamon brown, curly hair that reached her shoulders, although it seemed longer since it was wet, I caught a glimpse of a tattoo similar to Jason's on her arm, although it had a different symbol rather than an eagle, and a few times I thought I saw her eyes shining in the sun like gold but I just thought that it was a figment of my imagination. She seemed pretty fit.
The boy looked Asian (not to be racist) with a military style haircut done with his black hair. He was tall, lean and muscular with broad shoulders and was certainly a handsome guy. His muscles were showing through his shirt and he his tattoo had another different symbol to the girl's and Jason's. I wonder what they meant.

"Oi, you two!" Jason called with a smirk on his face as he had one arm wrapped around Piper. "I've brought some friendly faces for you to see!"

The boy and the girl stopped splashing each other and looked our way with playful smiles on their faces. They ran through the water and up the beach, stumbling and pushing each other while laughing and chasing after one another.

"Hey guys!" the girl grinned as she stopped in front of us, the boy putting an arm around her shoudlers. "Long time no see."

"Hey, Hazel," Leo smiled and hugged the drenched girl then moved onto the boy. "Frank, my main man!"

"I thought I was your main man?" Jason pouted.

"Eh, I like Frank better," Leo said then they both cracked up laughing.

"Who's this?" the girl - Hazel - asked and looked at me. And that's when I realised that her eyes were literally the colour gold. Whoa, now you don't see that every day.

"I'm Anna," I introduced myself.

"Well then hi, Anna. I'm Frank Zhang, son of Mars, and this is my girlfriend, Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto," Frank extended a hand as a friendly gesture.

"Pleasure to meet you," I took his hand and shook it firmly before letting go.

"So what brings you guys to Camp Half-Blood?" Percy asked.

"Well you know, we were just passing through and we were like, 'hey, I wonder what the Greeks are up to?' And so, here we are," Hazel stated. "Plus we also brought a new friend with us."

"A new friend?" Piper questioned. "Who?"

Frank turned his head and looked at a girl with long, wavy chocolate-brown hair who was sitting on the sand and drawing pictures. Her hair was covering her face so I couldn't see it properly.

"Hey, Skull! C'mere and meet our friends!" he called.

The girl looked up and sawing her facial features for the first time. She had piercing blue eyes like they stared straight into your soul and looked very intimidating, high cheekbones, a slender body figure, pale pink lips and dark eyeliner to cover the bags under her eyes. Her skin was pale but still had a slight Californian tinge to it, she wore black skinny jeans, black high top converses, a Good Charlotte shirt and a three-quarter black leather jacket.
No... i-it couldn't be her. Could it? She had changed so much.
The girl wandered over to us, dusting off the sand from her jeans and out her hands in her pockets as she came and stood by Frank who gave her a pat on the back.

"Everyone, I'd like you to meet a special demigod who happen to stumble upon our camp while being chased by a manticore," Frank said. "This is, Diana."

"Hi," she smiled sheepishly. Oh yeah, it's her. What is she doing here?!

Everyone said a different sort of greeting while I just stared. This isn't possible.

"Everyone meet, Diana. Diana, meet Percy, Leo, Piper, Thalia and-"

Her eyes went just as wide as mine. "Anna?!"

We locked eyes and stared at each other is disbelief. Everybody was switching glances between us and honestly, I don't know who was more confused.

"Umm..." I began nervously. "H-hey, Di."

Diana just glared and crossed her arms. "You don't get to call me that anymore."

I was about to protest and ask 'why?' when Jason cut in. "Do you guys know each other or something?"

"Unfortunately, yes," Diana muttered. "We used to know each other."

"Wait, whataya mean 'used to'?" Leo asked, just as confused as everyone else.

It was my turn to talk. "About a year and a half ago, in Saint Hilda's orphanage," I explained. "We used to live there together and were basically inseparable until-"

"Until you ran away and left me behind," Diana spat.

I blinked a couple of times. "What?"

"You heard me," she sassed. "The night you left, you promised me that you'd come back for me and we could getaway together."

"But I did come back," I stated.

"Yeah?" Diana raised an eyebrow. "And how long did that take you?"

My eyes tore away from Diana's and towards the ground. I was ashamed of it.

"Exactly," Diana hissed then turned to Piper. "Hey, Piper. Could you show me around?"

Startled by her sudden outburst, Piper stammered a bit. "Uh... umm, yeah, s-sure," she pecked Jason on the cheek. "I'll see you later."

And with that, she walked away with Diana following in hot pursuit, probably to get as far away from me as far as possible. Diana purposely shoved me with her shoulder as she walked passed and didn't even look back. I watched her as she disappeared over the sand dunes and went after Piper.

It was an awkward silence until Hazel broke the tension. "I guess you two know each other then?"

I just nodded sadly, wrapping my arms around myself.

"If you'd like, we could talk about it?" Thalia said and gently put her hand on my shoulder. I shrugged it off.

"No," I croaked, tears brimming my eyelids and my breath shaky as I glanced back at them. "I just wanna be left alone for a while."

I didn't wait for their answers as I walked away towards the forest, wishing I had drowned at the bottom of the lake so I wouldn't have had to face this. It was heartbreaking, and there was nothing I could do about it.
I had lost her.

As Anna sadly walked away to wherever she was heading, we all just stood there in stunned silence at what just happened. Seems that that 'Diana' girl isn't too happy with Anna. I wonder why?

"So..." I started, trying to get a conversation going. "What kind of a nickname is 'Skull'?" I asked.

Jason shrugged. "Just something to do with Diana's last name."

"Which is?" I pressed for answers.

"Calvariam," Hazel said. "It means 'skull' in Latin so we decided to call her that."

I pushed out my bottom lip and nodded. "Smart."

They just nodded.

Thalia scoffed. "Are you guys seriously just gonna stand around here and not go after, Anna?" she exclaimed. "It's pretty obvious that she's not all rainbows and sunshine right now."

"I know, Thalia," Jason said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "But she said she needed to be left alone."

"So?!" she spat, pulling away. "That doesn't mean we can't comfort her. She's clearly upset right now and we're not doing anything about it."

Jason sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. I could tell he was getting irritated by his older sister's stubbornness. Sometimes I think Jason is the older one, keyword, sometimes. Otherwise Thalia would probably kill me if she found out.

I raised my hand like back in preschool. "Umm, just a thought," everyone turned to look at me. "What if what Thalia is saying is right? I mean, shouldn't at least one of us go and see if Anna's okay?"

Jason shrugged. "I don't know, dude. I just think that we should give her some space."

"But you saw how she was, Jason," Thalia stated. "She needs someone to go comfort her."

Jason sighed. "I guess you're right."

"Thanks," Thalia nodded and began to walk away.

"Which is why I think Leo should go."

Thalia froze and looked over her shoulder. "What?!"

He shrugged. "Leo should go and see if she's okay."

"Why?!" Thalia and I both exclaimed at the same time.

"He doesn't know her like I do!" Thalia said.

"I don't know her like she does!" I repeated.

"I know, but which one of you has ran away from an orphanage before?" Jason asked, looking between us.

Thalia clenched her jaw and I slightly raised my hand. Well it is true, I've escaped plenty of times.

"Exactly," Jason said as if he could read my mind. "Diana said that Anna ran away from St Mary's or whatever-"

"St Hilda's," Hazel corrected. I forgot they were standing there.

"I don't care," Jason replied. "The point is that who knows how many times she ran away from gods knows how many orphanages. And if anyone knows about running away from a home where you don't belong, it's Leo."

Thalia turned to stare at me as if she was pulling me apart limb from limb and see if I was capable enough for the task.

"Fine," she spat. "Just go easy on her, she's had a rough life this past year and a half."

"Got it," I nodded, a little too eagerly and headed off. "I'll be back soon!"

"And no flirting!" Thalia called. "I know what you're like, Valdez!"

I just laughed and kept on running in the direction of where Anna had run off too. I hope she was okay.


I wandered through the forest for a good solid two and a half minutes until I heard quite sobs coming from my left. I followed them and they got louder as I got closer until I came across a fallen tree with a figure sitting on it.
It was Anna.
Her hair was messy and sticking to the side of her face, her eyes were red and puffy and she looked downright depressed. I didn't think I'd ever see this side of her. She's always so tough and defensive. I understand it though, it's a good way to hide the pain underneath. Plus I've only known her for a day or two.
I slowly crept my way towards the crying girl. I'm no Hermes kid but I was pretty impressed with my effort so far.
Until I stepped on a twig and it snapped.
Anna shot up and pulled out a screwdriver from her back pocket and pointed it at me. I held up my hands in defence and looked between her and the tool in her hand.

"Are you gonna screw me to death or something?" I said, then my eyes went wide when the realisation hit me. "I didn't mean it like that!"

Anna looked at the tool and groaned as she then twisted the handle and a celestial bronze sword appeared where the screwing part of the screwdriver was supposed to be.

"Whoa!" I yelled and backed up a step. "No need to get feisty!"

Anna breathed heavily as he lips trembled and she dropped the sword in despair.

"Just leave me alone," she mumbled and sat back down in the log, looking sad and isolated.

"Hey, are you alr-"

"I said, leave me ALONE!" Anna turned and stared at me with the best death I have ever seen. "Jeez, you're so stubborn."

I laughed. "Oh you haven't met stubborn yet, butterfly."

"Don't call me that," Anna murmured.

"Okay, then, butterfly."

Anna glared at me but said nothing as she turned back around and wiped her eyes, sniffling. Wow, that 'Skull' girl must've left quite the impression on her.
I cautiously made my way over to Anna, slowly taking one step at a time so I don't rush her, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. I felt her tense but she didn't say anything so I took that as an invitation to speak.

"Hey, are you okay?" I asked, even though it was a stupid question since she clearly didn't look okay.

"I'm fine," Anna choked.

I scoffed. "Yeah, and I'm a mermaid."

Anna's body shook as if she was laughing. Or was that crying? I couldn't tell without looking at her face which she covered with her hair.

"Listen, butterfly," I said, climbing over the log and sitting beside her. "I know how you feel."

Anna looked at me with a raised eyebrow. "Really?"

I nodded. "Mhmm."

She rolled her eyes. "I highly doubt it."

"Well then give me a chance, I might just surprise you," I smirked.

Anna huffed rubbed her puffy and red eyes. "I don't suppose I don't have a choice now, do I?"

I shook my head while grinning like an idiot. "Nope, not in the slightest."

Anna ran a hand through her hair and sighed. "Okay then. Try your hardest," she said.

I put on a face that made me look like I was thinking really hard before speaking. "What that girl said back there-"

"Diana," Anna mumbled.

"Right, Diana," I nodded. "Anyway, she said that you ran away from Saint what-its or whatever. Does that mean you've done it before?"

Anna shrugged. "Not that Diana knows of but yeah, I have," Anna rubbed her eyes. "What has this got to do with anything?"

"Just give me a moment."

She gestured for me to continue.

"Right, so you said you ran away from numerous orphanage's, correct?" I questioned and Anna nodded. "How many?"

"Twelve, from seven different places."

My eyes widened. "Whoa, that's got to be a record, even for me!"

Anna looked at me with an eyebrow raised. "For you, whataya mean?"

A small smile grew on my lips but it quickly faded. "Well believe it or not, I was just like you once."

"Really?" Anna said.

I nodded. "Ever since I was eight, I was constantly running from foster home after foster home. After my sixth time when I was fourteen - almost fifteen - I was sent to this boarding school where I met Piper and Jason."

I smiled at the memory. Who would've thought that all three of us were demigods and then just were suddenly thrown into a quest to save the world? Small world.

"What has any of this got to do with me?" Anna questioned.

"Just listen," I smiled. Damn this girl is impatient. I guess it come with being a demigod. "My point is, I don't know how you're feeling about finding your friend back there, but I know how it feels to lose someone."

"Who'd you lose?"

I was quiet. I never talked about my mom so easily before, so why now? I looked down and stared at my hands as I absentmindedly took out the assortment of gears and wires from my belt I've been playing with the past few days. I don't know what it is but I'm just going with it.

"Leo," Anna spoke in a sweet, reassuring voice. It calmed me. "Who was it?"

I sighed and felt my eyes burn. "My mom..." I choked.

I heard Anna gasp and cover her mouth with her hands. "Oh my gods, Leo. I'm so sorry, I-I didn't mean to pry i-it's just-"

"It's fine."

Anna scoffed. "Yeah, and I'm a mermaid," she mocked me from before.

I let out a small laugh. Anna's cool, I like her.
We both sat therefor a while, not saying anything but just enjoying each others company. It was nice.

"Hey, grease head," Anna put a hand on my shoulder. "It's okay. At least you had a mom."

I glanced over at her in the corner of my eye, through my curly hair. "Don't you have a mom?"

Anna shook her head. "No. I've been an orphan all my life."

"So that's why you were so eager to get claimed," I stated. "You just wanted to know who our godly parent was."

Anna shrugged. "I guess. But I also just wanted to belong."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that it doesn't feel right here at camp. No one really likes me and they tried to drown me for gods sake!"

I flashed her a gentle smile and grabbed hold of her hand. Don't know why, I just did.

"You'll be claimed, Anna. I promise."

Anna looked up at me with her chocolate-brown eyes. "You think so, grease head?"

I grinned and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She was so pretty!

"I know so, butterfly."

Anna smiled gently and squeezed my hand a bit. "Wow. Your hands are really warm," she said.

I chuckled. "I could say the same to you, but yours are actually quite cold."

Anna laughed. Gods, I love her laugh. It's so uplifting and makes me smile. Holy Hades, what is happening to me?! I've gone mad, bonkers! Out of my mind! I've finally lost it over this one girl who isn't completely out of my league (I think?).
And I couldn't be happier.

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