Disclaimer: The Percy Jackson and the Harry Potter universe belong to Rick Riordan and J.K Rowling respectively.
A/N: I apologize for this large delay. My college classes had started so the last few weeks have been very hectic. I got a little free time today, so I tried to patch together this chapter. Its barely edited and again I think its rather low in quality. If I get any free time in the near future I'll try to edit this chapter and improve the language.
A Wishful Death.
The liquid in the cauldron turned a rather fetching shade of red as Harry added a pinch of powdered griffon claw to the potion. After another few steps and clockwise and anti-clockwise stirring, the color of the liquid finally settled upon a sickly green. ' Another batch ready.'
Harry finally poured the potion into a dozen separate glass vials and put them under a stasis charm. It wouldn't do for such a vital concoction to be ruined. A quick tempus charmed told him that it was midnight. Artemis had graciously agreed to relieve him of his patrolling duty for the night. 'As if I need permission.' After all, the potion was as much important to him as it was to her.
This particular concoction had been the invention of one Hermione Granger. A rather helpful brew, used extensively by the Auror force during the first few years after the fall of Voldemort. Even though the usefulness of the potion had a rather short lifespan of eight months, it had been a vital part of sting operations carried out by Aurors throughout Britain to catch the remaining Death Eaters. Being a member of the Unspeakables, as well as the best friend of Hermione Granger, he was rather familiar with said potion, even though he had used it not more than twice.
This potion was capable of diminishing the effects of the cruciatus curse to a certain extent, a single dose or vial lasted about fifteen hours. The reason for its rather short lifespan was the fact, that due to the extensive usage the cruciatus curse had somehow become resistant to the said potion, like a bacteria becoming immune to the effects of an anti-biotic. The research on this had been in its early stages when Harry had disappeared from the face of that earth.
He still had the recipe, however. And now this concoction was being used by Artemis and Harry himself to lessen the pain inflicted when they were separated. Due to this potion, Artemis had been able to travel to Olympus for the bi-monthly meetings of the Council. 'Not that the council meetings are that useful. They honestly remind me of the Wizengamot during the reign of Voldemort.'
The potion would be helpful for the next six months or so before it became useless against the pain. 'Enough time for me to rip apart - ahem - find the three Fates.' So he had six months at best to find the Fates and convince them to break this bond, or whatever this was. 'No pressure.'
"My Lady, he is a danger to the hunters!" Zoë exclaimed, "Thou did not see what he did to Laima. It was disgusting!"
Artemis stared at Zoë, "So you're telling me you wouldn't have done the same to someone who hurts - eats children."
"I… I… Wha…" Zoë spluttered in response.
Artemis sat down on the floor of her tent, rubbing her face she said, "I would have done the same. For once I approve of something done by a male."
Zoë stared at Artemis in bewilderment. "But My Lady! What if he turns on the hunters. He is an Eldritch Entity, he can't be trusted. He needs to leave!"
Artemis shut her eyes tightly. She wanted that to, for him to leave that is. But that wouldn't happen until this bond or whatever was broken. She tried to reign in her fluctuating emotions; anger, and irritation at her situation. Zoë's rant was not helping.
Zoë opened her mouth but was cut off by Artemis, who seemed to have had enough, "He. Can. Not. Leave!"
Zoë went silent at Artemis' outburst. There was a moment's silence before Artemis broke it, "Don't you think I want him to leave? Hell, I think even he wants to leave. But he can't."
"What do you mean My Lady?" Zoë asked tentatively.
"The Fates didn't appoint him the hunt's guardian. They anchored him to me, now he can't leave until this… this bond-" Artemis spat the word with disgust, "-breaks."
Zoë gaped at the Goddess.
"So why are we here exactly," Atlanta asked as she glanced towards her companions, Artemis, Zoë, and… Peverell. At least that's how he had introduced himself. Apparently, he was behind the whole Laima incident. Zoë had explained it to her; how he was the unofficial guardian for the hunt. She was still trying to get over the fact that he was an Eldritch Deity, to really process that different dimensions existed and the said Eldritch entity was from another world. When she had been introduced to the Greek World she had thought she had seen it all, apparently, she had not.
Artemis' voice cut through her musings, "We are looking for the temple of Ananke."
Atlanta turned towards Artemis, an incredulous look on her face. 'Why exactly are we looking for this temple?' Knowing better than to say these thoughts out loud, she just asked, "In the Amazon rainforest?"
"According to Apollo this was the temple's last known location," Artemis replied, "And since this was the only lead-"
She was cut off by Peverell's glee-filled voice, "And Apollo was right!"
Atlanta turned around, just as Peverell extended his hand forward. His fingers curled around something unseen before he suddenly pulled his hand backwards with force. Atlanta watched in awe as the illusion started to unravel. Where there was endless forest before, now stood a tall set of double doors. Doors that looked so old and withered that it was a miracle they were standing at all.
"It looks like my idiot of a brother was useful for once in his life," Artemis remarked.
Peverell moved forward, and a thin piece of carved wood slipped into his hand. He raised his hand, pointing the wooden stick - wand? - towards the doors. For a second nothing happened and then suddenly a pink light emerged from the stick, striking the doors with a loud bang. As if a dam had broken, more and more rays of light emerged from the stick - wand. She was sure it was a wand, not a simple piece of engraved wood. The rays continued to strike the withered set of doors, producing a cacophony of sounds.
Atlanta looked a little closer and realized that the rays weren't actually hitting the doors but an invisible barrier or something a few feet in front of them. As if her words were prophetic, a dome suddenly emerged. 'Well, the barrier isn't so invisible now.'
Atlanta continued to watch, fascinated. The rays of different colored lights and the dome produced a rather beautiful picture. Suddenly the dome shattered, the noise synonymous with the sound of shattering glass. Peverell took a step back, his wand disappearing from his hand.
"That was awesome!" Atlanta blurted out. Peverell's head swiveled towards her. He continued to stare at her for a moment. Atlanta started to squirm under his cloaked gaze. She opened her mouth to apologize, only to be cut off by a soft, "It certainly was."
Atlanta's eyes whipped upwards, just as Peverell turned back to focus on the set of doors. Atlanta looked around but it seemed that Zoë and Artemis hadn't seen their little moment.
"The dome that you all saw was the amalgamation of all the protective wards around the doors," Peverell said, the softness in his voice from their little conversation now gone, "It should be safe to go through."
As soon as he had said this, he advanced towards old doors. The Doors opened of their own accord as he neared them. A mirage appeared in the doorway, 'Ο ναός του Ανάνκε'. 'The temple of Ananke,' Atlanta translated in her mind.
The others had noticed the mirage as well, "It looks like we are in the right place alright," Artemis muttered, before looking at Peverell. "After you," she said. Peverell scoffed in response.
Harry entered the main chamber with his wand raised. He stared into the dark room, the Lumos spell barely enough to light a few feet in front of him.
Harry cautiously stepped forward, lighting the torches on the wall as he advanced. Artemis and the two hunters followed him with their bows drawn.
The chamber was huge. It took Harry half an hour before he was able to light every single torch in the room. The ceiling was too high to be seen. The only thing Harry could see as he glanced upwards was murky darkness.
Zoë gravitated towards the bookshelves while Atlanta was content to just look around.
Harry and Artemis both advanced towards the far end of the chamber. And there standing on a high platform was an archway. A rather familiar archway if Harry did so himself. With intricate runes that spanned both the pillars, the archway kind of reminded him of... The Veil of Death. The only difference he could see was a weirdly shaped hole in one of the pillars and the lack of any activity. There were no voices, no floating curtains. In fact, the only thing he could see through the archway was moss covered wall.
The resemblance, however small or large, was enough of a red flag to set Harry on edge. His wand slipped into his hand and he called forth a gust of wind. The dust and debris cleared revealing a carving on the floor.
'Πέπλο των Κόσμων'
'Veil of worlds,' Harry thought, his mind running a mile a second to understand what exactly was going on. He glanced at Artemis, who looked as confused as he felt.
"Do you know what this is?" He asked.
"I... don't know." She replied as if not knowing was blasphemy in its own right. Harry couldn't help but retort, "Don't know? Aren't you gods supposed to be omniscient or something?"
Artemis fixed him with a glare. Before she could respond, a low growl emanated from above them.
Zoë and Atlanta were quick to converge on Harry and Artemis' spot. Their bows ready and arrows nocked. Harry too raised the elder wand which quivered in his hand at the prospect of bloodshed.
A large monster jumped down from the ceiling. The ground shook as it landed, cracks spreading across the old, derelict floor.
"The Colchian Dragon," Zoë gasped, resulting in Atlanta paling in fear.
Not sure what the Colchian Dragon was, Harry let his eyes roam over its serpentine body. Dark blue scales covered virtually every part of the body, there was barely any flesh in sight. Two limbs jutted from its upper body, crudely shaped but the claws looked vicious enough to do the job.
Two amber-colored eyes stared back at Harry, brimming with hatred for anything that dared disturb his slumber.
Since the dragon seemed content to just observe the four intruders, Harry turned to Artemis, "What exactly is the Colchian Dragon?" He asked, his voice soft enough to not startle the dragon.
"It is the dragon that guarded the golden fleece before it was slain by Jason. It is probably one of the most feared monsters in Greek history."
Harry nodded, acting as if he understood words like the golden fleece or whoever this Jason was. The only thing that he gleaned from this conversation was that this monster was dangerous.
No sooner had Artemis explained its origins that the dragon ran out of patience. It let out an ear-splitting roar. Atlanta flinched while Artemis and Zoë drew their bow strings.
There was the sound of stone dragging upon stone, and a moment later a dozen skeletons emerged from behind the dragon. No doubt they had been hiding in a secret passage or room.
Harry looked at Artemis, "Take care of those skeletons. Leave the dragon to me." Before Artemis could protest Harry surged towards the dragon. Arrows sailed passed his head towards the skeletons, even as more skeletons started emerging from the alcoves in the walls.
Flicking his wand, Harry summoned two stone golems in the shape and size of a fully matured Basilisk. He set the two stone Basilisks upon the dragon.
Pitch Black chains materialized from the ground, circling around the dragon's body. By the time the dragon had gotten rid of the golems, it was too late. The chains had tightened around it pulling it towards the ground. The dragon thrashed about and the chains strained but held out.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Zoë battling three of those skeleton monsters, the skeletons were pushing Zoë towards the dragon itself. And it seemed that the dragon had noticed it too. There was a sound of chains breaking and one of the dragon's limbs tore free.
' Accio Zoë.'
The dragon's claws curled around thin air as Zoë sailed towards Harry. A cushioning charmed assured her safety and Harry turned his attention back to the dragon.
Jet black fire emerged from the tip of his wand, burning away at the free limb, leaving behind only ash. The dragon roared in pain, revealing a set of sharp, yellow fangs.
Harry sent a couple of sectumsempra curses at the dragon's eyes. The dragon hollered in agony, shaking its head as if to relieve itself of the pain.
Taking advantage of the dragon's loss of concentration and sight, Harry rushed towards it. Using its neck as a pivot, he swung himself atop the dragon. A black-colored blade materialized in his hand, he brought it down with excessive force at the little bit of flesh exposed on the dragon's neck. The sword impaled its neck with barely any resistance. Before Harry could pull out the sword, the Dragon burst into dust.
Harry landed on the floor gracefully and brushed away the dust on his cloak. He vanished away the mound of dust which revealed two yellowish white fangs.
"Spoils for defeating the monster."
Harry looked up to see Artemis approaching him. She pointed at the fangs, "Take them. They're your reward."
Harry gave a brief nod before summoning the fangs and stashing them away in his moleskin pouch. Harry focused his attention back on the rest of the chamber. Atlanta was dealing with the last of the skeletons while Zoë just looked bored.
Harry turned back towards the Archway and Artemis followed suit.
"Nice job," Zoë said as he passed her on his way to the archway. This was a surprising turn of events, Zoë barely even talked to him much less compliment him. Well, he had saved her life, after all, that must've counted for something. Rather than give a smart arse comment, Harry nodded his head, "Thanks."
Zoë then turned back towards exploring the bookshelves and keeping Atlanta out of trouble, leaving Harry and Artemis alone to study the Archway.
"If this archway is important enough to be guarded by that... monstrosity then it might be useful to us," Harry said. Artemis hummed in agreement.
"What do you think this does?" She asked.
Before Harry could reply, Zoë answered for him.
"I think I can answer that," She said, holding an old-looking tome. She pointed towards a hand-drawn diagram of the archway and the passage beside it, "According to this: it is essentially a portal between realms created by the Titans during their rule. An easy way of traveling from the mortal plain to essentially any other realm. Be it Olympus, The Underworld, Tartarus, or-" Her eyes narrowed at the text before she looked back at them, her eyes wide as saucers "-the realm of the Fates."
This captured the attention of both Harry and Artemis, "How do we activate it then?" Artemis asked, her voice full of hope.
Zoë took in a deep breath. "That's where it gets complicated." She pointed towards the hole in one of the archway pillars, "Thou see that hole, it is where the keys go. There is a separate key for each realm and unfortunately for us, the only ones who know their locations are the Titans, who supposedly made all the keys. The only key that doesn't exist anymore is the one to Olympus, it was destroyed when the Big Three overthrew their father."
Artemis looked at Zoë with a strange look on her face, Zoë only shook her head in response. Confused by their interaction, Harry decided to ignore it.
"So essentially unless we find ourselves a titan, we can't use this archway?" Zoë shook her head.
From his vague knowledge of Greek Mythology and more so from the hopeless look on Zoë's face, Harry concluded that even if they somehow did find a Titan, he or she would probably try to kill them rather than help them.
Harry sighed and was about to suggest that they head back to camp, now that their lead had led to a dead end when he spotted Atlanta looking at the three of them with an inquisitive look on her face.
Harry cursed under his breath, it seemed none of them had realized that Atlanta was more observant than she let on. Atlanta choose that moment to cut through his musings, "What are guys talking about?"
Artemis and Zoë whipped around to look at Atlanta, both looking like deer caught in the headlights.
Short of obliviating her, Harry saw no way for them to get out of this mess. Sure they could give her a made-up story about them being over-enthusiastic artifact collectors. But something told him that Atlanta was too intelligent to be fooled that easily.
Harry looked her in the eyes, sending out a discrete Legilimecy probe. Carefully avoiding any private moments, Harry was able to conclude that Atlanta was surely, first and foremost loyal to Artemis and no one else. Satisfied that she could be trusted, Harry said, "I trust her. You can tell her the truth."
Artemis looked at Harry disbelievingly. Harry gave her a small nod, trying to tell her to trust him on this. Apparently, Artemis understood.
Atlanta found herself reeling after listening to the abridged version of Peverell and Artemis' story.
"I have only one question." Atlanta said finally, "Aren't the Fates, you know, all-knowing. Won't they know about what we are doing?"
Peverell sighed, as if expecting that question, "I explained this to Zoë before, the Fates aren't all-knowing. They don't know the exact future. They however do know about how probable a certain future could be. So essentially they can set up the environment and variables in such a way that the death of a person will be highly probable. But they won't know for sure that this person will die. Death itself is untraceable. That's why they can't see or detect me, the Master of Death. And I can use this - let's call it a cloak - to cover myself and those who I wish to be hidden."
Atlanta stared at him for a long moment, no doubt trying to understand what she had gotten herself into. After a while, she just replied, "Okay, I understand now."
"Good," Peverell said, already moving towards the exit, "I think it's time we return to camp."
A/N: The look shared between Zoë and Artemis is because Zoë is the daughter of a titan.
Moreover I am sorry if the Greek translation is not correct, I just used Google translate.
Again the pairing will NOT be Harry with Artemis or any of the hunters. Some people have suggested Hestia, I would like more suggestions before I commit to a specific pairing.
Again I apologize for any spelling, grammar or language mistakes.
Reviews are appreciated.