Hey guys!

I wasn't going to update just yet but I was feeling pretty empowered and that inspired me to write. I really liked this chapter and I'm really excited to continue this story so let me know what you guys think so far!

I thought it would be interesting to see how the parents reacted to the marches and rallies so I'm going to include that too. Next chapter I'm planning to include Sally so stay tuned for that!.

Disclaimer: As always, I do not own this characters. Also, the title to this chapter is inspired by Les Miserables's song with the same name (the 2012 version).

Please fav, follow and review! Cheers for reading!

Chapter 2. "Do You Hear The People Sing?"

Annabeth was still exhilarated when she woke up the next day.

She had gone to that auditorium with low expectations. Half of her was ready to witness how kids fought about silly things. Half of her was ready to leave that meeting in disappointment over the fact that no progress was made.

The thing was that Annabeth understood she wasn't like other teenagers. While other teenagers had a normal life, which was perfectly understandable, Annabeth had grown in an unjust environment. Being from a poorer social class, she had seen for herself how much her people were discriminated in favour of those who had more. So, wanting to be a student-class president to make a change wasn't because of an altruistic need, but because she was one of the victims of those who ignored the needs of her people. And above everything, she wanted to help so that the next generations were welcomed into a fairer world.

Still, Annabeth always thought she was the only one. As far as she knew, her peers tended to consider becoming student class president because it looks good in college applications or because it's an opportunity to boss people around.

And then, the meeting happened.

And she was surrounded by hundreds who were passionate about helping those with greater needs, just like she was.

In that moment, she understood that people were different. In that room, the hundreds who surrounded her had different backgrounds, different mentalities, different needs, different ambitions. Still, it took nothing but a reason for them all to be united and ready to fight.

Really, no one could blame Annabeth for humming to herself as she got ready for school. You'd have been as upbeat as her.

It had also been a pretty peaceful morning, too. Annabeth was grabbing breakfast to school so she hadn't left her room yet and no one had gone to fetch her. Or that had been the case until a firm knock resonated through her closed, white door just as she was grabbing her backpack.

Annabeth sighed and sat on her chair with a frown. "Yes?"

Her door opened gently, revealing her dad. Already ready for work, Frederick Chase adjusted his thick-rimmed glasses before clearing his throat. "Hey, can we talk?"

With a thudding sound, Annabeth left her green bag on the floor before crossing her arms and raising her eyebrows at her father. "I'm running late but what is it?"

Frederick pursed his lips. "Annabeth, I know what you're going to do."

"What am I doing?" Annabeth asked innocently.


Her father was quite distant, true, but he was never blunt. Having been part of student' rallies and marches when he was her age, Frederick Chase had the same rebellious streak as her daughter.

As such, Annabeth knew two emotions fought within him. Pride because Annabeth was brave to fight and make the world a place with equality and no room for injustice. And fear, because Frederick had been injured during these rallies, and he didn't want to see something like that happen to his daughter.

Because those two emotions had been caught in a vicious fight within him, Frederick had never really voiced his concerns. Now that he was, Annabeth knew for a fact he was being serious.

So, she stood, and smiled with as much confidence as she could muster. "Dad, please. You don't need to worry. I'm not alone, and we take care of one another while marching. You know that."

"Of course I need to worry." Frederick scoffed harshly. "I'm your father and I can't watch my little girl get into a fight with the police without saying something!"

"Dad, you know why we do this." Annabeth tried again, though this time her voice hardened with determination. "You know the resources at school are running low. Sure, the private schools aren't struggling ever since the government cut off the education' budget but we are! We deserve the same education everyone else has! C'mon dad, you were student class president too! You also fought for our rights when you were my age!"

"But I grew up, Annabeth, that's the difference!" Frederick yelled, sighing when Annabeth widened her eyes fearfully. "Look, I know things between us aren't completely smooth but you need to believe me when I say I know better than you."

Annabeth straightened her shoulders and scowled. When she spoke again, her voice was lower and more paused. "I never asked for your opinion, dad."

"Well, I'm telling you anyways!" Frederick retorted. Then, he looked at his daughter pleadingly. "Annabeth, sweetheart, I thought just like you. I thought we the students were the only ones capable of changing everything if we just fought for it. Then, I grew up and all those rallies and organizations, I saw them for what they really are. Reckless and irresponsible! Annabeth, your responsibility is to your family and your family only; and you will fulfill it by taking care of yourself and continuing your education."

"That's what I'm trying to do, dad. I'm fighting with my fellow students so we have the school we deserve!" Annabeth chuckled humorlessly, her arms raised with frustration.

Frederick shook his head vehemently. "No, what you're doing is getting yourself hurt!"

"I always thought you were brave. No matter what happened between us, no matter the distance, I always admired your bravery." Annabeth took a step back, unused of an outburst coming from her usually calm father. After a second, she recovered, picked up her bag from the floor and looked at Frederick almost with pity. "Now, I see you for who you are. You might have been brave during high school but now...now you're just filled with fear. I'm disappointed."

Frederick scowled. "Hey, have some respect, Annabeth. I'm your father."

"You still have to earn it. Father or not." Annabeth retaliated as she walked past him and down the stairs. "Excuse me, I need to get to school."

The second meeting went much smoother than the first one.

As it was only between the volunteers to organize the rally, the attendants were much less so the element of chaos in the first meeting was now absent.

Again in Olympus High, Reyna led them all through the meeting with determination and seriousness. She was deaf to the many remarks coming from Octavian, and ignorant to the noise Leo Valdez made as he rushed through the room and fixing some thing or the other. She was even able to dissolve the quickly evolving fights between some of the volunteers and without any lasting disruption to the organization of the upcoming rally.

All in all, Annabeth had decided she had found her best friend.

As they had much to discuss, the meeting ended after several hours of careful planning, discussions and arguments. Still, as everyone was finally dismissed by Reyna, they picked up their things with a certain feeling of success in their hearts.

Everything had been decided.

The march was scheduled for next week's friday, meaning they had ten days to promote it amongst their highschools, get in touch with local authorities in order to arrange for the roads towards the Senate to be restringed for vehicles, and write the petition they were going to present at the Senate.

As Annabeth stood from her seat, the same she had chosen for the meeting the day before, she did so with a barely hidden grin. She could already imagine the law being approved and the funds granted so that students were allowed to travel for free on the bus. She could see the relief that would mean for families who didn't have enough income or for those families whose kids had to take several buses a day because they lived far away from the school.

She could barely wait until that dream became a reality.

As she was walking towards the entrance to the auditorium, a tan hand grabbed her from the shoulder gently and Reyna Ramirez-Arellano herself stood besides Annabeth with a proud look.

"Annabeth Chase, right?" Reyna asked with the same determined, strong tone as always.

Annabeth was slightly baffled. "How do you know my name?"

"I've asked about you after your intervention yesterday. What you said was incredibly helpful to get things going," Reyna replied with a shrug before smiling. "Hey, do you want to come with us to Hestia's Diner? We're going to write the petition."

Annabeth couldn't help but smile at that. "You're going to write the petition that could change hundreds of lives in a diner?"

"I know, right?" Reyna rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "There should be more ceremony to it but the boys in our group think better when their stomachs are full. So, what do you say?"

Annabeth's smile widened. "I just need a phone so I can call my parents and tell them I'm going to be late."

Reyna nodded and smiled victoriously. "Come, there's one in the Administration' Office."

Hestia's Diner was Annabeth's favourite place in the world from the moment she stepped a foot into it.

With brown leather seats and dark brown tables, it was the sort of warm, homey place Annabeth could see herself studying in after school. A counter was placed by the left side of the diner, from which three waiters were setting up three different orders. The floor was made of wooden floorboards and by the end, a big jukebox was blaring 'The Ballroom Blitz'.

"Do you guys come here often?" Annabeth asked as the group squeezed around the table next to the jukebox.

"I work here, so Hestia gives me and my friends free milkshakes when we come to study after school," Percy replied in front of her before smiling sardonically. "In case you were wondering why these idiots hang around with me all day, now you know."

"C'mon, Percy, you know it isn't like that," Thalia countered from Annabeth's left before leaning closer to whisper conspiratorially. "Jason, Nico and I are actually Percy's cousins so we have no option but to hang out with the idiot, you see."

"Really nice, Thals," Percy quipped drily as the others laughed.

Meanwhile, Reyna had been focused looking through her bag. After a few minutes, she finally emerged with a notebook and a bunch of pencils of pens, which she distributed amongst the group leaving the notebook in the middle of the table. Then, she sighed tiredly. "You know, I can't wait to hear Octavian's comments when we present the petition to the other student class' presidents for approval. Half of me's expecting him to whine until we write it again."

"Why isn't he here anyways?" Jason asked from his seat squished between Thalia and Reyna. "I mean, the guy is a pain but we'd have spared ourselves the future whining if we'd invited him."

"Oh, I told him to come," Nico commented from Reyna's left. He rolled his eyes as he continued. "He said he had an AP music' test to study for if he wanted to maintain his 4.0 GPA."

"Isn't he the unclaimed son of a music prodigy or something?" Reyna asked with a frown.

Nico shrugged. "He still belts out like a goat every time he tries to sing like Elton John."

There was a pause in which the group was dissolved into hysterical laughter, including Reyna. As Annabeth laughed, harder than she had in a long time, she glanced at the people around the table, having new-found respect for them.

She looked at punk, tough-looking Thalia; proper and polite Jason; resilient and leader Reyna; moody, broody Nico and loyal, friendly Percy. It amazed her how she'd seen them as five strong-minded, mature kids not an hour ago and now, they were just a bunch of teenagers laughing over some silly joke. In that moment, Annabeth felt infinitely happy, for she hadn't only found companions, she had found friends.

Just then, Percy turned to her, chuckles still making him shake with hysterics. When he spoke, his voice was breathless. "Now Annabeth, if you're going to be one of our group, you better get used to Nico's remarks."

"Hey!" Nico pouted. "You're even worse than me!"

"Anyways," Thalia cut them off loudly before leaning to Annabeth. "We aren't that bad. Unless you don't like strawberry milkshakes. Then we will have a problem."

Annabeth laughed. Luckily, she liked strawberry milkshakes.

The following days passed like a blur.

The petition was written and approved by a vast majority of the student-class presidents. The march was promoted and, though a few were too afraid of the repressing' measures shown by the new government, a lot of the students were interested in joining.

By the day that Saturday came and everyone was gathered at one of the main plazas in town, a multitude had gathered. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors were there with their friends or on their own, carrying banners, giving out flyers or talking animatedly with their peers.

Around the square, a festive environment was felt. They were done being silent. It was time for all social classes to have the same aids and opportunities and, if no one else was going to fight for them, then they would fight on their own. Achieving free bus tickets for all school and highschool students was only the start. The important thing was that they were empowered, and that feeling would allow them to fight until the final objective was reached.

That final objective was clear. Equal education for all students.

As the sun cast its golden rays on the students, they couldn't help but feel optimistic of their current task. The police waiting for them didn't matter. The more restrictive government didn't matter. The fact that they were children didn't matter.

What mattered was that they were thousands united under the same cause. As long as they were together nothing was stopping them.

Annabeth stood on her own on that plaza. She looked around herself and smiled with sufficiency. Regardless of what happened next, she'd helped achieve the massive turnout around her and it felt more satisfactory than she dared to admit.

"Good day, huh?"

Annabeth turned and smiled at Percy as he walked to join her. "Very. I'm really proud of this rally, if I'm being honest."

"You should be, you helped a lot." Percy replied before smirking. "Reyna and Thalia adored you. I think they're planning to corner you after this is over and make you hang out with them."

"They don't have to corner me, I'd love to hang out with you guys," Annabeth laughed. She cocked her head at Percy. "Are you guys going to Hestia's Diner again?"

"No, my mom offered to make us tea." Percy replied with a sheepish smile. "She's a school teacher, you see, so she's really interested in the outcome of this march."

"I wished my dad was like that," Annabeth grumbled. She tightened the grip she had on her bag before shrugging when Percy raised his eyebrows questioningly. "He went to this kind of thing when he was our age but now...now he's just afraid, I guess. It's exasperating."

"Well, I don't know what's your relationship with your father like but maybe you'll prove him wrong by showing him you're stronger than he thinks." Percy smiled kindly. Annabeth was mesmerized by his words and by his sea-green eyes. They were glittering beautifully against the sunlight and Annabeth cursed her wild hormones. "In any case, it will all be worthy by the time we get the free tickets. Until then, we protect each other."

"Gods, I thought you were going to say something along the lines of 'I'm going to protect you'" Annabeth scoffed jokingly. "I can't be seen with misogynistic people."

"Don't worry, Reyna and Thalia took care of that." Percy laughed. "If anything, you guys are much stronger than me. I'm the one who's going to need protection."

Annabeth watched on as Percy brushed a hand through his jet-black hair and gulped. Right then, she decided Percy Jackson was amazing and deserved to be sheltered from the world.

Damn him.

Before any of them could carry on the conversation, it was 6 PM, meaning time for the march to begin.

From then on, everything happened so fast.

Reyna stood on a bench to address the crowd around her.

Before she could utter more than a pair of words, a deeper voice screamed.

Then, bullets were shot in the distance.

Chaos ensued.

Students were running away in all directions, police at their heels.

And, before Annabeth could understand what was happening, she was knocked out by the stampede of people running her way.

There was a scream.

And everything went black.