Chapter nine! Okay, I lied. This is not the yule ball- however, I hope this is an interesting chapter anyway, this is just too long to add the yule ball to.
Kyle- hmm, I'm not sure if I fully understand you. But in my mind Athena seems to be kind of an 'odd one out' among the Olympian goddesses and she was just trying to fit in with her family by helping Artemis out a bit. I'm going to be rewriting most chapters sometime so I'll try to express that a bit more.
Matt- are these reviews all the same person? Anyway, I think I've figured out how to get Will underwater (if it doesn't work out I'll just snatch Calypso or Artemis) and Kym should be able to protect Nico. For a while. How is he meant to breathe, I don't know yet…
Mike- uh, another similar guest name. Sorry, I just noticed the typo, I'll fix it when I can!
I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Nico had just been hit with the bombshell that he needed to get a date for some stupid ball that champions had to get dates for. Fleur and Krum would be able to get dates easily, but Nico was a weak wizard, creepy, and worst of all, he didn't even like girls. Of course, he could ask Professor McGonagall if he could invite someone from camp (But not Will. Definitely not Will.) but he had a feeling it would be a firm no. Most of Hogwarts disliked him, of course, and he was merely competition for Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.
That left only Calypso and Artemis, neither of which seemed too easy to ask. Hell, Calypso had turned down three invitations already and Artemis was glaring the boys away before they could even ask.
"All of these boys, tripping over themselves to ask me out! Me!" Artemis fumed to Nico and Calypso. "What part of maiden do they not understand? It's bad enough I have to kiss someone for the prophecy, but-"
"Wait what?" Calypso asked. "Kiss someone?"
"When ancient oaths are broken. Luckily, they said I only have to kiss a boy, and I only have to kiss that boy once, after we've defeated Mouldy Boy and it probably needs to be at dawn, when Hemera fights her mother away," Artemis sighed. "Stupid prophecy. Never fear, I've already strangled my dear brother for the prophecy multiple times, but he can't die, so…"
She shrugged, and Nico smiled weakly.
"Uh, that sounds nice," Calypso said unsurely.
"Ooh, it was fun," Artemis said. "And Nico, who are you taking to the ball? You should have gotten some invites, right?"
"No," Nico said. "The girls are probably all going to Harry and Krum instead, not that I particularly care. It's just me turning up without a date is going to look embarrassing."
"I could go with you," Artemis suggested. "You don't like females, so you won't hit on me, like some other people I could mention."
She turned around and glared at a boy who had been coming up to Artemis.
"Sure," Nico said, relieved. "I thought I would have to ask Leo to make me an automaton to take to the ball."
"I'm not that cruel," Artemis rolled her eyes. "Just because I make males into chipmunks, squirrels and a variety of other animals doesn't mean I'm a horrible goddess."
"Artemis! Someone could hear you!" Nico hissed. "And who are you going to ask, Calypso?"
"I don't know," Calypso looked at her feet. "I don't like the idea of going without Leo's permission, so I need to owl him about that soon. Maybe I will go alone, it is not compulsory for me to get a date."
"Well, consider yourself lucky," Nico said.
"Now everyone will at least take a look at me, which means I have to look good, and that's just not me," Artemis said, before gasping. "No, Aphrodite, please, please, don't make me my dress! I'm fine searching for myself at Hogsmeade! Yes, thank you, leave me alone. No I do not need you to do my hair. Shut up or else!"
"Uh, everyone can hear you, Lady Artemis. But is Aphrodite bothering you again?" Calypso asked sympathetically.
"Yes! She was trying to make my wardrobe pink!" Artemis said angrily. "Yes, Aphrodite, I am fully capable of-"
"Why, isn't it the three transfers," Malfoy's drawling voice said, and his ugly blonde pig face appeared in front of the three.
"Who the hell is Aphrodite? But that is not the point. The point is, you three should watch your backs. The castle simply isn't… safe… for you three anymore!"
He smiled and disappeared into the crowd… Nico turned around.
"Artemis, are you going to let him disrespect you like that?" He snarled, pulling up one of his sleeves, ready to give Malfoy a punch, though the Slytherin had already disappeared.
"Nico," Calypso said in a warning voice, and Nico realised his Camp Jupiter tattoo was showing, only half-way. He pulled it back down hastily. No one saw, no one saw, no one saw, he thought.
"The Dark Mark," Harry said, gaping at where the sleeve was now covering. "You are a servant of him."
The boy Nico had been sent to protect looked ashen.
"Hermione, Ron," He said, already starting to fade into the crowd. "Hermione! Ron! I need you!"
Dedicated to someone, I don't really know
"So, let me get this straight. Firstly, I find a note about the goddess Artemis in my room without any memory of making the note, when Calypso and Artemis live in the same dorm room as me so could easily have cast 'obliviate' on me. Calypso, Artemis, Nico and you mysteriously have the same dream, where the transfers are training to kill you. Then, you literally see the dark mark on Nico's arm," Hermione finished. "This doesn't sound good for the transfers, does it?"
"No, it doesn't," Ron said darkly. "Bet they're planning to kill Harry during the second task."
"Which brings us to this point- we don't have time to be revealing the transfers' true identities, not until we figure out how to keep Harry alive until the third task," Hermione bit her lip. "Harry, do you know what the task is? Have you cracked the clue in the golden egg?"
"Yes, nearly," Harry stuttered- Hermione knew what Harry looked like when he was lying, but she didn't mention it.
"Is something bothering you, Harry?" Hermione asked. "Something other than the second task and the transfers, I mean."
"The ball," Harry confessed finally. "We've got a while, I know, but I'm never going to be able to find a date!"
"If it's any consolation, di Angelo probably will have no choice but to show up alone," Ron snickered, but frowned when Harry shook his head.
Ronald, it's clear he could just ask Calypso or Artemis, Hermione thought. If you thought things through for once, maybe it would be more clear.
"Nico's already going with Artemis," Harry said, proving Hermione right. "I arrived halfway through the conversation, but apparently this Aphrodite lady in Artemis' head was turning the girl's clothes pink for the ball. Sounds like a nice gesture to me, but Artemis was really mad. Anyway, Malfoy came and threatened them saying Hogwarts isn't safe for them anymore, so we might need to keep careful watch on them-"
"He was interrupted by a huge scream that sounded strangely like Calypso.
"Too late," Hermione said as she dropped her books and ran to where the scream had come from.
A spider. A spider.
A huge, swollen spider with fangs glistening fangs that happened to talk, if anyone wanted to be specific. Every one of his dark eyes bore into the questers, and none of them had ever seen a bigger spider- and this included Nico, who had described to Calypso the terrifying size of Arachne. It was the size of an elephant, for gods' sake! How were any of them supposed to fight it?
"The Malfoy boy," The spider snarled, his voice very different from Nico's description of Arachne's. "He came into my lair. I told my kin to eat him- but he gave us a new offer. We would have three victims, rather than just him. And I do not regret accepting his offer now- you three are all rather strong and lean. A strong body. And that means good blood."
"Aragog, is it?" Nico asked calmly. "Yes, the ghosts told me all about you. What makes you think you will be eating any of us, any time soon?"
"When you are shorter than the Solace boy?" Aragog, the spider, snorted. "One of my grandchildren saw your boggart, di Angelo, and Malfoy told me much about you as well."
"Do you know who we are, then?" Artemis said coolly, while Nico scowled heavily, and Aragog smiled, but they could all see it in his eyes- he did not.
"Well, then you know," Nico said, breathing heavily, "That I can do this!"
He raised his arms, and the shadows rose up around him, ready to swallow Aragog. Calypso and Artemis grabbed his arms, but too late. As the enormous spider disappeared into the shadows, he lunged forward and sank his venomous teeth into the titaness' arm.
Calypso screamed. Her arms shook as pain curled in her arm- she had been struck once by Nico's sword, merely nicked in the shoulder, and it had been one of the worst experiences of her life (seeing as she had spent thousands of years on a boring island, it wasn't saying much), but this was about as bad. Two pieces of bone had just been shot into her body, and judging from the gasps from the crowd, the spider was very venomous. It was fast-acting, too, apparently, because her arm was already numb and the pain was curling up, further up her arm.
Just as Aragog finally faded into the shadows, the Golden Trio burst in- the Gryffindor common room wasn't too far away.
"What happened!" Hermione shrieked, seeing Calypso's arm. And then Calypso realised something.
She was an immortal. Calypso was an undying titaness, living forever, with golden ichor- the full package. Now, she was bleeding, and she was leaking golden blood onto the floor.
"What the hell?" Ron asked, eyeing the place Aragog had disappeared. "That Acromantula- Harry and I met him a while back. He tried to eat us."
"Calypso? Clearly, you're in pain, but I'm sorry… you should be dead by now," Hermione said, wide-eyed. "Acromantula poison acts strangely fast, and kills even the strongest of wizards and witches in minutes. You should have been dead a minute ago."
Calypso's world spun.
"This golden blood is a sign of me," She slurred. "It is… harder to kill me, let us say. I am a healer and blessed by some of the greatest healers in America. They lay low, though, so very few know of them. But I am harder to kill."
"What are their names?" Hermione asked eagerly, and blushed. "I'm sorry. I know you're in pain- some people have run for Madam Pomfrey-"
"It is fine. I can heal myself perfectly fine. But if you must know… uh, Diana, Phoebus, Pallas," Calypso said, trying to think of other names for gods and goddesses who might help. Phoebus Apollo, Diana, the Roman version of Artemis, and Athena was sometimes called Athena Pallas. Why Athena? Calypso had no idea. Maybe it was just because Athena was more likely to be a healer than say, Ares or Zeus.
"Anyone else? Any ways to contact them? Any-" Hermione broke off when Calypso let out a loud groan in an effort to shut the witch up.
"Let me try," Artemis said solemnly, putting her hands directly on Calypso's wound. "My powers of healing are nowhere near as established as my brother's, of course, but I've put up with him for a long time… over 4000 years."
She whispered the last part with a small smile, and Calypso nodded, closing her eyes in pain.
"Try to not touch the poison," She warned. "You are more susceptible to this poison than usual. But with both our powers combined, it might be easier to fight off this Acromantula venom."
"Everyone else, she's going to scream in a few moments, so cover your ears," Artemis called to everyone else, and then pumped all of her limited healing powers into Calypso's injury while trying to avoid the poison. As soon as the titaness felt Artemis' powers flowing in (accompanied by immense pain, a feeling of lava rushing through her veins and a sudden craving for mango ice cream) she put in all of her healing powers gained from centuries of healing heroes, and let out a huge scream.
Everyone covered their ears a moment too late, and fell back. Artemis was the only one who stayed up- Calypso herself had crash landed face-first on the floor. The goddess of the moon had fought in many wars in which she had many screams of gods and was basically used to it, though admittedly her ears were ringing anyway.
"Even us two combined couldn't heal this completely," Calypso observed, rubbing her sore nose with her good hand.
"If only my brother was here," Artemis said mournfully. "He is busy fighting his own battle in his head, unfortunately. I hear At- Minerva and the more peaceful of my aunts have been unable to leave his side in fears he will lose control of himself and do something terrible. Power comes with a terrible price."
"With great power… comes the great need to take a nap," Nico smirked, repeating what he had said a while back (or at least what Leo had told her when loudly talking about every single detail of his quests).
"Haha," Artemis said dryly as she helped Calypso up with help from Nico. The titaness was cursing inside, thinking modern swear words while dusting herself off, when Madam Pomfrey ran in.
"An acromantula attack!" The healer shouted. "Ridiculous! Of course, I shall be notifying the headmaster of this, I heard a witness say the spider blamed some Slytherin boy? What is your name, girl?"
"Calypso," Calypso said, her speech vague and slurred. It was difficult to get her name out.
"Why are there no teachers here yet?" Madam Pomfrey said angrily.
Calypso, through her numb pain, had been wondering that as well. This was meant to be a heavily protected castle under supposed protection of the ministry, with multiple heads of schools and one of the 'best headmasters there had ever been' and no one had come to rescue Calypso from a dangerous creature that had been snuck in by a teenage boy.
"We were dealing with another problem upstairs- Peeves and the Bloody Baron were working together to terrify first years," Snape snarled, coming into view, with Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout behind him. "They were tempted by a Slytherin fourth year who wishes to stay anonymous, Peeves claims. We have very few suspects, however, I doubt one from my own house will have done this."
"We have been assured that if there is proof that someone asked Peeves and the Bloody Baron to stage this attack, they will be punished accordingly. A group of Beauxbatons girls, including their champion, Fleur Delacour-"
Professor Sprout broke off.
"Why, the Olympus champion is here," She said quietly. "Is this a coincidence? Two champions, attacked by the same day, though it seems it someone else instead."
"This is dangerous- clearly, the attacker does not care how many they injure," Nico said in a dangerous voice, but they already knew who the 'attacker' was, clearly. Why Beauxbatons had been caught up in the mess, none of them knew- perhaps they had accidentally sprung a trap.
"Acromantula venom," Madam Pomfrey cursed, as she glared at Snape. "Severus, I must ask that you make the blood replenishing potion, as well as a sleeping drought. I am surprised Calypso dear has already made it this far. She is in for a rough night, I can confirm that- if she makes it through."
Snape turned around and left immediately.
"Poppy? Is there anything I can do?" Professor Sprout asked. "Fresh ingredients from the greenhouses, or taking Calypso to the infirmary?"
"No, Pomona," (I think that's Professor Sprout's name?) Madam Pomfrey replied. "I shall take her up myself, but Severus may come to you for ingredients."
"Minerva and Pomona. We shall go with the other professors to secure the castle," Dumbledore said darkly, joining them. "In less than an hour, we have been proven wrong about the safety of the castle. We cannot have any students, Hogwarts, Beauxbatons or Durmstrang, in danger. I am calling a meeting between Karkaroff, Madame Maxime and myself- meanwhile, I would like you to gather all staff but Severus and Poppy, and secure this castle. Once you have the team working on it, heads of houses must go to their houses and reassure students- Durmstrang may go with Slytherin and Beauxbatons with Ravenclaw. Aurora will take Severus' place for now. Make sure to alert head boy and girl as well as prefects and get them to their dorm rooms as quickly as possible."
"Yes, Albus," Professor McGonagall nodded her head respectfully. "We will secure this castle. Is it safe to assume that the Yule Ball and the second and third tasks shall continue on as planned?"
"For the moment, yes," Dumbledore said. "It is tradition- but if the culprit has not been found a week before the Yule Ball, we may have to cancel it."
"That's reassuring," Artemis grumbled. "Professor Dumbledore? May I go with Calypso?"
"And me," Nico butted in, and Calypso tried to shake her head, but failed miserably.
"No, no, Calypso needs some privacy and rest," Madam Pomfrey said, but Artemis didn't seem ready to give up quite yet.
"What if there is another attack?" She asked. "I respect your skills, Madam Pomfrey, but when you are giving Calypso and her health all of your attention, it may be better to have backup with you."
"I doubt I will need help- and if I do, I am sure one of the staff shall be enough," Madam Pomfrey rattled. "You two, you are only in fourth year. If I did ask a student for help, I would take head girl or boy, or at least a prefect."
"Please," Nico said. "We will be enough. We promise."
"Perhaps, Poppy, it would be best to allow them to join Calypso," Dumbledore said thoughtfully. "We understand the strength of some friendships."
Friendships? Artemis, Nico and Calypso all looked at each other. Artemis was a goddess, a huntress, and a hater of all males, Nico was a son of Hades from the 40's who was not romantically attracted to females, and Calypso was an immortal hater of most heroes for leaving her behind, and Olympians for forgetting about her.
Hmm, a very normal friend group, though a powerful one.
"Hmmph," Madam Pomfrey said, clearly disgruntled. She cast a hovering charm on Calypso to take her to the infirmary and with a look at each other, they began to walk towards (or in Calypso's case, float) to what they thought was safety.
What do you think? It's a good 3000+ words, and there was some action, though not quite as much as say, a task. Don't worry though, the upcoming chapters will mostly be full of action (Camp Jupiter point-of-view sometime soon, the Golden Trio finding out about the demigods' existence, the Yule Ball…) hopefully.
By the way, I'm pantsing this story (pantsing in writing is not planning it) so I'm just writing as ideas come to me, it could either come together as a great fanfiction full of action, or it could be a terrible one with complications that accidentally don't end up being resolved. I'm usually a planner, but I'm pantsing this one. Me+ pantsing fanfictions = trouble. Oh no.
Well, if like this story so far don't forget to follow or favourite (or both) and if you have time, please leave a review, it makes me write so much faster! Thanks!