The four heroes sailed home on a boat that Poseidon had loaned to them temporarily. As he controlled the current, Percy observed his companions. Katie Bell didn't have a scratch on her, but she was busy writing a letter. Hedwig was dutifully waiting to deliver it, though he could have sworn that the owl was shooting baleful looks at Harry. For his part, Harry was asleep, but he looked grizzly. Most of his face was covered in burns, along with his arms. Beckendorf suffered minor burns, but he was largely okay.

Before long, Percy recognised the beach near Camp Half-Blood. Hedwig flew off, leaving the four of them. When they disembarked, they heard the sound of a conch blaring, followed by running feet. Sure enough Connor Stoll was racing towards them with a brooked smile.

He yelled, "Percy! Beckendorf! You're back!"

Then he screeched to a stop, as his yelling awoke Harry, "Whoa! Dude! What happened to your face!"

Harry shot him a lopsided grin, "You think I look bad? You should see what we did to the Princess!"

As they headed towards the camp, Percy observed his surroundings. Much of the camp hadn't changed. After the brief skirmish at the Labyrinth, everything has been rebuilt. The five drew closer, and they soon saw a large group of campers rushing out to meet them. Leading them were Annabeth, Bianca, Mackenzie and Silena.

Percy observed the oncoming crowd with a pang. Four summers ago, the group was much larger than this. Some left came, never to return, others were lost in various battles, and some had defected to the enemy. All the ones who remained, were battle-hardened.

The girls quickly reunited with the returnees. Silena was kissing the hell out of Beckendorf. Mackenzie briefly hugged Harry, before noticing his burned face. After a small ticking off, she dragged him away, muttering something about 'Burn-healing paste', which he figured was self-explanatory.

Just then, Chiron galloped over, "Percy! Thank the gods! I take it the mission was a success?"

Annabeth also asked, "What happened? Is Luke –"

Percy interrupted her, "We blew up the ship. But we're pretty sure that Luke is alive."

Chiron gestured, "Come to the Big House, we shall convene the war council there. Annabeth also has some news."

A while later in the Big House, Annabeth recounted, "So there is no chance of Atlas joining the fight. Kronos was furious with him, for failing to kill us. He's being guarded by the Titan, Krios. I also recognised his brother, Hyperion. He's going to be a difficult opponent. He also referred to Typhon as a 'first little challenge'. I dread to think what could follow him."

Then, Percy regaled their tale, of blowing up the Princess Andromeda. When he got to the part of Harry doubling back to save Beckendorf, Silena reached over and hugged Harry hard. She murmured a small 'thank you', and then shot Beckendorf a poisonous look. That look clearly read, 'we are having a serious talk after the meeting'.

Chiron looked grave, "We must discuss this spy, among other matters."

The centaur told the other councillors to take a 15 minute recess before they resumed. However, he asked Harry, Percy and Annabeth to stay back. Percy cut right to the chase, "When I talked to my father, he said to tell you that it is time. I need to know the full prophecy."

Chiron's shoulders sagged, but he didn't look surprised. "I've dreaded this day, ever since you first arrived at camp. Very well. Annabeth, we will show Percy the truth – all of it. Let's go to the attic."

He gestured, and Annabeth motioned for Percy to follow her. Harry stayed back, because he figured that it was not his place. Additionally, Percy and Annabeth would share the knowledge if they wanted to.

Back with those two, they admired the paraphernalia for a bit and began to reminisce. Percy spoke, "You remember Briares throwing those boulders?"

Annabeth shot him a grudging smile. "And Grover causing a Panic?"

They gazed into each other's eyes, and then she cleared her throat, "Right, Prophecy."

They warily walked over to the shrivelled up female mummy, that served as the host of the Spirit of Delphi.

A thought struck him, "I never understood this."

She glanced at him, "What?"

"Why it's a mummy."

She rolled her eyes, "Percy, she wasn't always a mummy. For thousands of years the spirit of the Oracle lived inside a beautiful maiden. The spirit would be passed on from generation to generation. Chiron told me she was like that fifty years ago. But she was the last."

He mused, "Wonder what happened?"

Annabeth changed the subject, "I'll tell you later, let's just do our job and get out of here."

She approached the mummy and held out her palms. "O Oracle, the time is at hand. I ask for the Great Prophecy."

Nothing happened, but Annabeth approached the mummy. She unclasped one of its necklaces. When Annabeth turned towards Percy, she was holding a Native American medicine pouch. This pouch was on a cord braided with feathers. She opened the bag and took out a roll of parchment no bigger than her little finger.

He was a little indignant, "That's it? You mean all these years I've been asking about this stupid prophecy, and it's been right there around her neck? There's no secret compartment, no protection? Nothing?"

She placated, "The time wasn't right. Believe me, Percy, I read this when I was ten years old, and I still have nightmares about it."

He grumbled, "Great. Can I read it now?"

She shot the mummy a nervous look, "Downstairs at the war council. Not in front of … you know."

He got the message and they beat a hasty retreat. By the time they joined Chiron, there were loud sounds coming from the war room. They all rushed in, to find the a tense atmosphere.

Clarisse was in full battle gear. Her electric spear was strapped to her back and had her boar-shaped helmet under one arm and a knife at her belt.

She was in the midst of yelling at Michael Yew, the new head counsellor for Apollo. He had taken over the Apollo cabin after Lee Fletcher died in battle last summer.

He yelled, "It's our loot! If you don't like it, you can kiss my quiver!"

As for the others, everyone was trying not to laugh – the Stoll brothers, Pollux from the Dionysus cabin, Katie Gardner from Demeter. Even Beckendorf suppressed a snigger. Silena Beauregard wasn't paying any attention, as she was busy fussing over Harry's wounds. Harry just sat there and weathered the pampering. Though he couldn't help but roll his eyes at the petty squabble.

Percy snapped, "Hey! Stop it! What do you guys think you're doing!?"

Clarisse glowered, "Tell Michael not to be a selfish jerk!"

"Oh, that's perfect, coming from you," Michael sneered.

She snarled, "The only reason I'm here is because Silena asked me to. Otherwise I'd be back in my cabin."

Harry held out his hand in a timeout gesture, "Oi! What the bloody hell are you talking about? Did I miss something"

Pollux cleared his throat, "Clarisse has refused to speak to any us, until her... issue is resolved. She hasn't spoken for three days."

Harry demanded, "What issue?"

Clarisse turned to Chiron. "You're in charge, right? Does my cabin get what we want or not?"

Chiron shuffled his hooves. "My dear, as I've already explained, Michael is correct. Apollo's cabin has the best claim. Besides, we have more important matters –"

She sneered, "Sure, always more important matters than what Ares needs. We're just supposed to show up and fight when you need us and not complain! Maybe I should ask Mr D –"

Chiron interrupted her, and there was an edge to his voice, "As you know, our director Dionysus is busy with the war. He can't be bothered with this."

She reigned in her temper slightly, "I see… And the senior counsellors? Are any of you going to side with me?"

Nobody was smiling now. None of them met Clarisse's eyes.

She threw up her hands in exasperation, "Fine! I don't need this shit. "All of you can fight this war without Ares. Until I get satisfaction, no one in my cabin is lifting a finger to help. Have fun dying."

She stormed out amidst stunned silence. Michael scoffed, "Good riddance."

That triggered a round of arguments around the table. Annabeth mouthed to Harry and Percy, "I'll tell you later."

Harry then got fed up of the din and fired a cannon blast sound from his sword/wand, mentally thanking Dumbledore for teaching him that trick. He very calmly said, "If we're quite finished…"

Chiron picked up where he left off, "Now, if you please, counsellors. Percy has brought something I think you should hear. Percy – the Great Prophecy."

With trembling fingers, Percy fumbled with the string and unfurled the parchment. He ready in a shaky voice,

"A half-blood of the eldest gods

Shall reach sixteen against all odds …

And see the world in endless sleep,

The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap."

He paused before continuing,

"A single choice shall … shall end his days.

Olympus to p-p-preserve or raze."

Connor tried to lighten the mood, "Raise is good, right?"

Silena grimly corrected, "Not raise. R-a-z-e means 'destroy'."

Everybody looked at him – with concern, or pity, or maybe a little fear.

Meanwhile, Harry grumbled, "I blooming hate prophecies."

Chiron shut his eyes briefly, "You see now, Percy, why we thought it best not to tell you the whole prophecy. You've had enough on your shoulders –"

He was a little snippy, not that Chiron could blame him. Percy snarked, "Without realizing I was going to die in the end anyway? Yeah, I get it."

Annabeth gently said, "Percy, You know prophecies always have double meanings. It might not literally mean you die."

He sullenly replied, "Sure. A single choice shall end his days. That has tons of meanings, right?"

Beckendorf offered, "Maybe we can stop it? The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. Maybe we could find this cursed blade and destroy it. Sounds like Kronos's scythe, right?"

Chiron interrupted before a debate could break out, "Perhaps we should let Percy think about these lines. He needs time –"

However, Percy was suddenly on his feet, "No! I don't need time. If I die, I die. I can't worry about that, right?"

No one said a word, and then he decided to change the subject, "Let's move on. We've got other problems. We've got a spy."

Michael Yew scowled. "A spy?"

Percy told them about what had happened on the Princess Andromeda – how Kronos had known his party were coming. Kronos had brandished a silver scythe pendant, which was a communication device to contact someone at camp."

Connor uncomfortably said, "Well, we've suspected there might be a spy for years, right? Somebody kept passing information to Luke – like the location of the Golden Fleece a couple of years ago. Maybe we can look for them?"

Michael Yew grunted, "We need to find this spy before we plan our next operation. Blowing up the Princess Andromeda won't stop Kronos forever."

"No, indeed," Chiron said, "I'm sure that his next assault is already on the way."

Harry grimaced, "Easier said than done, mate. We'd only sow discord if we frisked all of our campers, just for one measly pendant."

Then he grinned, "Besides… I have my own spy in Luke's territory."

Percy got the conversation back on track, "What about Typhon? He's a massive threat, right? I know that the gods have been fighting him."

Chiron slowly said, "Yes, Percy. They have been fighting him for days now, trying to slow him down. But Typhon is marching forward – towards New York. Towards Olympus."

Percy grew serious, "How long until he gets here?"

The centaur shrugged, "Unless the gods can stop him? Perhaps five days. Most of the Olympians are there … except your father, who has a war of his own to fight."

Harry raised a hand, "So Mount Olympus is left unguarded?"

Connor shook his head, "If Typhon gets to New York, it won't matter who's guarding Olympus."

A thought struck Percy, "This is it! It's classic divide and conquer! The gods have been lured away by Typhon, leaving Kronos and his forces to tackle an unguarded Mount Olympus. WE have to defend Olympus. Kronos probably has an attack planned."

Travis spoke up, "Well, you guys did blow up his ship."

Percy, Annabeth and Harry exchanged glances. They all thought the same thing, 'what if that was just to get them to lower their guard?'

Chiron cleared his throat, "I think that is enough for one night. I believe Mr Potter needs to recuperate from his injuries. If what Ms Dursley tells me is true, he should be fine in a few days."

That night, Percy had a dream about Rachel Dare. In it, she was talking to her father, one of the rare times she did. They were in her bedroom and had been arguing about some vacation to St. Thomas. He sternly said, "It's three in the morning! We're leaving soon. If you've hadn't made up your mind yet…"

She snapped, "I'm not going!"

He changed the subject, and spoke with a softer tone, "Are you still having bad dreams? Headaches?"

She grit her teeth, "I should never have told you about that."

He tried to sound patient, "I'm your father. I'm worried about you."

She muttered under her breath, "Worried about the family's reputation, you mean."

He ignored the comment, "We could call Dr Arkwright. He helped you get through the death of your hamster."

She snapped, "I was six then. And no, Dad, I don't need a therapist. I just …"

He straightened up, "It will be good for you to get away. You've had some unhealthy influences."

She nearly exploded, "I'm not going to Clarion Ladies' Academy! And my friends are none of your business."

Mr Dare smiled condescendingly, "Try to get some sleep. We'll talk tomorrow, and I will need your final answer. You could be at the beach by tomorrow night. It will be fun. "

She drily said, "Fun. Lots of fun."

After he left, she flopped back onto her bed. She reached under her pillow and pulled out her wand, inspecting it. She grumbled, "Just a few more days and I can finally move in with mom."

Rachel got up and walked to a covered easel. She tucked her wand in her pants and moved her T-shirt to cover it. When she uncovered the easel, a hasty charcoal sketch was propped up against it.

The picture was definitely Luke as a young boy. He was about nine years old, with a wide grin and no scar on his face. Percy had no idea how she could have known what he looked like, but resolved to ask her later, if he survived the war.

Rachel stared at the portrait. Then she walked over to another covered easel and revealed its contents. This picture was even more disturbing. It showed the Empire State Building with lightning all around it. In the distance a dark storm was brewing, with a huge hand coming out of the clouds. At the base of the building a crowd had gathered … but it wasn't a normal crowd of tourists and pedestrians. Percy saw spears, javelins and banners – the trappings of an army.

In the morning, the trio did some chores together. Harry's face had healed up a bit, so he looked more like himself and less like Freddy Krueger Jr. Percy earned a Slug-Vomiting Hex from Harry, when he dared make that comparison aloud. Annabeth wasn't complaining, because she was too busy laughing.

Once he finished belching slugs and thoroughly rinsed his mouth, they continued their chores together. Just then, a fight broke out between the Ares and Apollo cabins. Some Apollo campers armed with fire bombs flew over the Ares cabin in a chariot pulled by two pegasi.

Soon, the roof of the Ares cabin was burning, and naiads from the canoe lake rushed over to blow water on it. Then the Ares campers called down a curse and all the Apollo kids' arrows turned to rubber. The Apollo kids kept shooting at the Ares kids but the arrows bounced off.

The Apollo cabin retaliated by cursing some Ares campers to speak in rhyme. Annabeth groaned, "Not that again. Last time Apollo cursed a cabin, it took a week for the rhyming couplets to wear off. Harry, could you try and stop the curse?"

Harry stepped up and called over the cursed campers. He pointed his sword at them and chanted, "Finite Incantatem!"

Unfortunately, it didn't work, and he apologised. Percy asked, "What are they fighting about?"

She grumbled, "That flying chariot. They captured it in a raid in Philadelphia last week. Some of Luke's demigods were there with that flying chariot. The Apollo cabin seized it during the battle, but Ares cabin led the raid. So they've been fighting about who gets it ever since."

Harry was pissed, "We're fighting for our lives and they're hung up on some bloody chariot?"

Annabeth threw up her arms helplessly, "Gods! I don't know! I just hope that Clarisse will come to her senses."

Just then, Percy perused a report and read, "Dear Grover. Woods outside Toronto attacked by giant evil badger. Tried to do as you suggested and summon power of Pan. No effect. Many naiads' trees destroyed. Retreating to Ottawa. Please advise. Where are you? – Gleeson Hedge, protector."

Harry nearly kicked himself, "Bollocks! I almost forgot about him! Where is Grover anyway?"

Percy shook his head in dismay, "Don't know. Haven't heard a peep out of him in a while, not even through my empathy link. Last I'd heard he was in Central Park, organizing the dryads, but that was two months ago."

After a while, Annabeth returned to her cabin, and Harry elected to hang out with Percy. He said, "Hey Jackson, we need to talk, urgently. Come with me for a sec."

He led the Son of Poseidon away from the camp, and into the woods. Before long, they were in a familiar clearing. This was the place where the Council of Cloven Elders had once put Grover on trial. The place didn't look so good. The grass had turned yellow. The three topiary thrones had lost all their leaves. But that's not what surprised me. In the middle of the glade stood Grover's girlfriend Juniper, Nico di Angelo and a very old, very fat satyr.

He nodded when he saw the two boys. Meanwhile, Juniper had been crying, "Percy. I was just asking about Grover. I know something's happened. He wouldn't stay gone this long if he wasn't in trouble. I was hoping that Leneus –"

Leneus protested, "I told you! You are better off without that traitor."

Harry just about held her back from clawing his face off. She snapped, "He is not a traitor! He's the bravest satyr ever and I want to know where he is!"

Leneus huffed indignantly and brushed the twigs off his shirt, "Young lady, your boyfriend has not sent any reports since we voted him into exile.'

Harry raised a hand, "Actually, mate. You tried to vote him into exile. Chiron and Dionysus stopped you."

Percy glared at him, "Grover's my friend. He wasn't lying to you about Pan's death. I saw it myself. You were just too scared to accept the truth.'

Leneus' lips quivered, "No! Grover's a liar and good riddance. We're better off without him."

Percy pointed at the withered thrones and looked a little smug, "Is that so? I don't see your friends? Looks like your council hasn't been meeting lately."

He stammered, "Maron and Silenus … I – I'm sure they'll be back. They're just taking some time off to think. It's been a very unsettling year."

Harry darkly spoke, "It's going to get a lot more unsettling. Leneus, we need Grover. There's got to be a way you can find him with your magic."

The old satyr was stubborn, "I'm telling you I've heard nothing. Perhaps he's dead."

Percy snarled, "He's not dead. I can feel that much."

The satyr sniffed, "Empathy links. Very unreliable."

Percy was losing his patience, "So ask around. Find him. There's a war coming. Grover was preparing the nature spirits."

He retorted, "Without my permission! And it's not our war."

Percy lunged, but Harry beat him to it. He Stunned the satyr with his Sword/wand and levitated him. His silver and green eyes flashed with anger and Leneus internally flinched, "Listen, Leneus. When Kronos attacks, he's going to have packs of hellhounds. He's going to destroy everything in his path – mortals, gods, demigods. Do you think he'll let the satyrs go free? You're supposed to be a leader. So LEAD. Get out there and see what's happening. Find Grover and bring Juniper, and us, some news. Now GO!"

He let go of the spell and Leneus scrambled away. He blustered, "Grover will never be accepted! He will die an outcast!"

With him gone, Juniper sniffed, "I'm sorry, Harry, Percy. I didn't mean to get you involved. Leneus is still a Lord of the Wild. You don't want to make an enemy of him."

She popped away, leaving just Nico there. The boy eyed Harry meaningfully, "Did you tell him?"

Harry replied, "I was going to. But, are you sure, mate? This sounds awfully risky."

He huffed, "You've got Typhon coming in what … a week? Most of the other Titans are unleashed now and on Kronos's side. Maybe it's time to think extreme. The other demigods are no match for the Titan army. You know that. This comes down to you and Luke. And there's only one way you can beat Luke. We can give you the same power. You've heard the Great Prophecy, didn't you? Unless you want to have your soul reaped by a cursed blade."

Percy asked, "How did-"

"Doesn't matter. But as I was saying, you may not be able to prevent a prophecy, but you can fight it. When the fighting starts, we won't be able to make the journey. This is our last chance. I discussed this at length with Bianca, and she also admitted that it was risky, but it will be worth it."

Percy was still perplexed, "But what is this idea in the first place?"

Harry replied, "We're going to have to retrace his steps. The first clue will be with where he lives. According to Nico, his mum lives in Connecticut."

Percy emitted a low whistle, "So, how are we getting there? It's going to take a while, and we can't afford to waste time travelling, with the war so close."

Harry smiled wryly, "Well, I'm too young to Apparate and I need a license, but Nico has a different method, it's called Shadow Travel. You two go ahead, I'll catch up. I've got to prepare some reinforcements."

With that, he went back in the direction of Camp Half-Blood. This left Percy with Nico. The younger boy asked, "Wonder what he meant by reinforcements."

Percy simply replied, "He's the Lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis. I'm assuming that's what he means by reinforcements."

Nico shrugged, held out a hand and Percy grabbed it. The boy cautioned, "This is going to be very draining for me. I can't do it often because I'll be very tired. And it works best at night. But all shadows are part of the same substance. There is only one darkness, and creatures of the Underworld can use it as a road, or a door. I wanted to borrow Mrs O'Leary, but I didn't have the heart to keep her away from the Hogwarts Gamekeeper, Hagrid. I've met him a few times and he's a nice guy."

Nico focused and the shadows lengthened and the boys stepped into the shadows. Everything seemed to pass like a blur, and the next thing they knew, they were on a cliff in the woods of Connecticut.

Percy staggered a little, "Whoooo! That was a rush!"

Then they took in their surroundings. Down one side of the cliff, a highway cut through a ravine. Down the other side was someone's backyard. The property was huge – more wilderness than lawn. The house was a white colonial-style two-storey. Despite the fact that it was right on the other side of the hill from a highway, it felt like it was in the middle of nowhere.

Nico suddenly stumbled, and Percy gently laid him out on the ground and let him nap for a bit. After about half an hour, Nico woke up and they began their trek down to the house.

The son of Hades grunted, "I've had some practice with this. Got it right after a few times running into walls. The less said about a few accidental trips to China, the better. The first time I shadow-travelled, I passed out for a week. Now it just makes me a little drowsy, but I can't do it more than once or twice a night."

Together, the two boys trudged down and eventually reached the house. Straightaway, Percy could tell that the occupant was a bit eccentric. The sidewalk was lined with little stuffed beanbag animals, like miniature lions, pigs, dragons, hydras, even a teeny Minotaur in a little Minotaur diaper. Judging from their sad shape, the beanbag creatures had been sitting out here a long time – since the snow melted last spring at least. One of the hydras even had a tree sapling sprouting between its necks.

The front porch was infested with wind chimes. Shiny bits of glass and metal clinked in the breeze. Brass ribbons tinkled like water. The front door was painted turquoise. The name CASTELLAN was written in English.

Nico had barely tapped the door when it swung open. An old lady stood at the doorstep and cried happily, "Luke!"

She looked like someone who enjoyed sticking her fingers in electrical sockets. Her white hair stuck out in tufts all over her head. Her pink housedress was covered in scorch-marks and smears of ash. Apparently, she mistook Nico, and then himself for Luke.

"Come in!" she insisted. "I have your lunch ready!"

She ushered the boys inside. The living room was even weirder than the front lawn. Mirrors and candles filled every available space. Above the mantle, a little bronze Hermes flew around the second hand of a ticking clock.

Then Percy noticed a framed picture on the mantle, and froze. It was exactly like Rachel's sketch – Luke around nine years old, with blond hair and a big smile and two missing teeth. The lack of a scar on his face made him look like a different person – carefree and happy.

Ms Castellan steered Percy inside, "This way, my dear! Oh, I told them you would come back. I knew it!"

She sat them down at a dining table and began pottering around in the kitchen. The old woman fixed them some peanut butter sandwiches and cookies.

Nico coughed uncomfortably, "Um, Ms Castellan?"

She smiled cheerily, "Mm?"

He hesitantly spoke, "We need to ask you about your son."

The woman perked up, "Oh, yes! They told me he would never come back. But I knew better.!

He pressed gently, "When did you last see him?"

Oddly enough, her eyes lost focus. She narrated, "He was so young when he left,' she said wistfully. 'Third grade. That's too young to run away! He said he'd be back for lunch. And I waited. He likes peanut-butter sandwiches and cookies and Kool-Aid. He'll be back for lunch very soon.

Then she looked at Percy and smiled, "Why, Luke, there you are! You look so handsome. You have your father's eyes. Now there's a good man. Yes, indeed. He comes to visit me, you know."

Nico asked, "Ma'am? What, uh … what happened to your eyes?"

Her gaze seemed fractured – like she was trying to focus on him through a kaleidoscope. She sounded reproachful, "Why, Luke, you know the story. It was right before you were born, wasn't it? I'd always been special, able to see through the … whatever they call it."

Percy helpfully supplied, "The Mist?"

She nodded encouragingly, "Yes, dear. And they offered me an important job. That's how special I was!"

Percy was puzzled, "What sort of job? What happened?"

Ms Castellan frowned, "Dear me, it didn't work out, did it? Your father warned me not to try. He said it was too dangerous. But I had to. It was my destiny! And now … I still can't get the images out of my head. They make everything seem so fuzzy. Would you like some cookies? Luke was so kind. He left to protect me, you know. He said if he went away, the monsters wouldn't threaten me. But I told him the monsters are no threat! They sit outside on the sidewalk all day, and they never come in."

Percy then spoke up, the words sounding wrong in his mouth, "Mom? When was my last visit home?"

She tapped her chin thoughtfully, "Well, it was … oh goodness … 'The last time, he looked so different. A scar. A terrible scar, and his voice so full of pain …"

Percy pressed, "His eyes. Were they gold?"

She blinked, "Gold? No. How silly. Luke has blue eyes. Beautiful blue eyes!"

Percy and Nico shared a look, Luke's last visit to his mother was long before he turned into Kronos' host.

Nico leaned forward, "This is very important. Did he ask you for anything?"

She frowned as if trying to remember, "My – my blessing. Isn't that sweet? He was going to a river, and he said he needed my blessing. I gave it to him. Of course I did."

Nico grinned triumphantly, whatever plan he had in his mind, this was evidently part of it.

Suddenly, the old woman gasped and doubled over. On cue, she dropped her cookie startling the boys. She straightened up and screamed, "AHHHH."

Her eyes began glowing green, and Percy would later swear that the colour looked familiar. She rasped in a deep voice, "My child! Must protect him! Hermes, help! Not my child! Not his fate – no! Not his fate!"

Nico was on the verge of freaking on, when she let go of him and collapsed. Percy bravely decided to grab her and ease her onto a chair. Fortunately, she didn't grab him back. Then, she muttered something incomprehensible and shook her head, "Goodness. I … I dropped the cookies. How silly of me."

She blinked, and her eyes were back to normal. Nico slowly stood up, "We have to go Ms Castellan. "We'll tell Luke … uh, we'll tell him you said hello."

She grabbed for Percy and caught his wrist, "Luke, at least be safe. Promise me you'll be safe."

Percy tried his best not to flinch and hesitantly spoke, "I will … Mom."

As soon as the door shut, the boys booked it. Back at the cliff, they found that they had company. Harry was back, along with Katie, and another Hunter who introduced herself as Penelope. Also with them was Mrs O'Leary and an eight-year-old girl who was scratching the Hellhound's ears.

Harry grinned, "Hey guys, you okay?"