Disclaimer: This is a fan written work based on the works of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan. It might possibly also have some elements of a number of other works, like the anime Hellsing. There is no money being made from this, it is merely a work meant for the entertainment of myself and the masses. This is merely for fun, and no profit. I repeat: I am not making any money out of writing this.

Warning: OCs OOCs Sues, and some crack. You have been warned.

Note 1: AU.

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Torchlight

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chapter twelve

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They had managed to survive the harrowing ordeal of facing off against a basilisk, sure Loki had managed to blind it, but it was left to Stu and Meg to actually kill it as he had accidentally or intentionally, fallen into the mouth of the statue, which served as the exit of the serpent, as it was closing itself, it was some sort of safety function or feature that the thing had.

Since he was already inside, he decided that he might as well search the place and see if he could find the map, he didn't really know what it looked like, if it was rolled up or folded, or what. There was a lot more of the shed skin inside the statue, so Loki decided to take that stuff as well, placing them all in his bag joining the first skin.

Searching through the even more secret chamber, as seen in the memory, a few moments later found himself standing before a pedestal with a rather thick folded up sheet of parchment, and behind it were two cabinets full of eggs with a hole at the bottom of each, which made them in a way resemble some of kind of soda can dispenser of sort. Once the egg rolled, or whatever it did, out it would land right underneath what looked like an animated stone toad, most likely hatching. There were also two cauldrons on the side containing some sweet smelling purplish liquid. How could he tell it was purplish, he had a small flashlight with him to guide him around the apparent lack of light. How in the world the chamber was well lit, he didn't really know, and didn't think anyone would answer should he ask.

He didn't know for sure what the liquid's purpose was, but going by the looks of the tubes that raced away from the cauldrons, he assumed that they were applied to the new born basilisks as some kind of nourishment or possibly as some kind of growth medication.

But the cabinets of eggs, the animated toad, and the cauldrons and their contents, weren't what he was after. His treasure was most likely to be the the sheet of folded up parchment on the pedestal, why else would it be on a pedestal if it weren't important after all. So he took the sheet into his hands and opened it up to reveal nothing. It was blank.

'What in the world..it's blank..' Loki couldn't help but think to himself, "A prank map..."

'Yes a prankster's map,' a messy scrawl scratched it way onto the parchment, 'Are you a prankster?'

"Yes," Loki replied, then spoke, "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good."

'Very good young prankster,' the parchment wrote, 'Very good.'

Lines appeared all over the parchment, followed by some words, dots, and names, ranging from his and his friends names, to the basilisk, to the other monsters that apparently roamed the halls. Even the apparitions that attempted to either eject or harm them. Every statue, suit of armor, and painting were labeled. There was a legend that wrote itself out in one corner of the map, detailing what the different colored dots, and ink colors meant, as well as a hint for additional instructions for new users.

It was like Google Earth but in real time, updating with each passing moment. The map didn't only show the castle, but even well beyond that. It was thanks to the zoom functions that Loki managed to find that little tidbit out. Not only did it map out the countryside, but beyond that. To the point that he could view the world like a god on Mount Olympus. But of course, viewing the world he could see how the gods could overlook many things, it wasn't as detailed as when a specific place was magnified like when only the castle was viewable on the map.

Loki, from viewing the map, knew why there were so many gods, why it took so many to govern the world as they did. Why there was one for the sun and the moon, for the stars, for the earth and sky, for the rainbow, for death, for fate, for strife, and for many other things. He knew why there were so many of them. Why there were so many immortals. It was because if only one of them were to look at the world as he was, there was so many things that would be missed. But with many, many more things would be noticed, many more problems solved, but at the same time, many more other complications would still be left forgotten.

Why were there so many undetermined was explained by just looking at the map, but at the same time, he did not believe that it was a valid excuse, just a plausible and probable one. It was with this train of thought that he recalled his own predicament, his own personal mystery. He knew not who his father was, his mother was a given as she had taken care of him at the beginning, but something unfortunate had happened to her, which led to his living with the woman he called grandmother. It was a little bit ironic that the person that cared for him wasn't all that fond of mythology in general, but had the name Leto. She even said that when she was younger she had had twins, both of whom had not visited her in a number of years.

He folded up the map after reciting the words that deactivated the thing, then tried to open the chamber's portal that he may leave, but found that there was no hidden switch, and he doubted that the exit of the serpent would open up to him. He opened the map once again, it may be possible to find guidance from the map, which was to be their guide to finding that which was stolen from the gods.

"I'm stuck where I am, how do I leave?" he asked the map, thinking that he had caught Mr D's insanity after all these years.

'Hatch the remaining eggs, and name them as yours,' the map scrawled, 'That is the only way that one trapped within will be allowed to leave.'

"But there are dozens of them," Loki said, he was arguing with a map now.

'Hatch them all, grow them all, then order them to ύπνου στον ονειρικό κόσμο της αθανασίας,' the map read, 'They will then be yours to keep, to order, and to use.'

"I didn't understand that," Loki said, "At least I don't think I did."

'You understood it perfectly, how does a mere map know..well, I have been imbued not only with the personalities of the Marauders, but also of their legacy, therefore I know what I am writing about,' the map read, 'Just do it, start the chain reaction by stating your name and your right to claim the contents of the chamber as yours by right of discovery.'

Not wanting to further argue with a map, as well as question his sanity, Loki did as the map detailed as to how to start the hatching process, and well as finding all the other things in the chamber that he could bring with him. There were quite a number of daggers and throwing knives in the chamber, ones that would return to their user, to their owner, to their master.

It was only when he was done with all of the things he was instructed to do, that he was told how to get out. It was so simple, that he wanted to burn the map, only to remember that it was needed for his quest. All he had to do was speak the password that called the first basilisk out.

When the mouth opened up, he walked out to find Stu standing on top of the serpent's head, and had driven his sword through the serpent's head. His friend stood there in shock at what he had done, Meg was leaning against a pillar of the main chamber, unconscious. The really odd thing about the monster was that, while it had been defeated, it was not disintegrating into dust.

"Stu! Snap out of it!" Loki called out as he ran to Meg's side to see if she was alright.

"Huh...wha..." Stu said snapping out of his serpent killer stupor, and ambled off of the serpent's head, leaving his sword stuck in the thing, and ran to where his two companions were.

"She's unconscious," Loki said, "What happened?"

"The..thing managed to catch her unawares," Stu said, "After the statue swallowed you up, she stopped for a moment, and the thing's tail managed to catch her arm, which caught her off guard. Even though she managed to snap out of it, she had already hesitated and given the thing the advantage it was only a matter of time before the thing managed to land a solid hit. When it did, I just snapped...and well...its dead."

"Okay," Loki said, "Well, I got the map, and there's in our way back to the headmaster's office."

"Do you know why its not dusting?" Stu asked, as he looked at the monster, "Its a monster isn't it? I mean as a monster it should have dusted as soon as it had been killed. I know its dead. Isn't it?"

"Its dead," Loki said in confirmation, "Stupid map had explained about it...somewhat. It had me perform some old world stuff while in the secret chamber."

"So any explanation for the non dusting of the serpent?" Stu asked as they both stood, him with Meg in his arms.

"I think the place itself is so out of tune with the rest of the world that things move about differently here," Loki said, "Like everything in here is hiding a great secret."

"So a possible reason for the non-dusting is that if it did dust, some higher power related or working under Olympus would find out, and this secret and hidden location would be viewable and known to all of them and would no longer remain as a secret," Stu surmised, "So what do we do about the corpse?"

"I'll pack it up, and we can split the remains three ways later," Loki said, "Preferably when we're about to return to camp."

After packing up the serpent, Loki and company managed to make their way out of the secret passageways, into the restroom, into the corridor, and back to the headmaster's office where they bandaged their wounds, and over all took care of themselves. They didn't know how long Aen was going to wait for them, so they planned on returning to the village's inn as soon as possible.

Their only remaining problem for this leg of the journey was figuring out how to escape from the confines of the castle with all the potential things lurking within its halls. While his two companions slept, Loki remained awake and conversed with the map, while at the same time kept guard over their immediate surroundings. He had found that there were ways to change the settings of the thing, from being able to view every little thing, to just what was needed. The apparitions gathered around just outside the staircase leading up to the headmaster's office. They were setting up an ambush for the three heroes, and so Loki needed to plan. It was like escaping from would be pursuers due to a prank, he could do this. Even without the aid of Athena's son, he could do it. It was to be rather difficult sure, but if he treated it like a prank, he would managed to make it out alive, with his friends, and all that they had worked for as well.

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"How are things on your end?" Nyx asked Aen, as he waited for the return of the three chosen heroes.

"They're nearly done with act one," Aen replied, "They just have to return to the Three Broomsticks, plan their next move, and we travel again."

"What a boring life you seem to live nowadays," Nyx said, "When are you planning on visiting one of theose two girls of yours?"

"I can't visit Thalia right now," Aen said, "She's going through a tough time right now."

"I know what you man," Nyx said, "What with the poisoning and all that. But that shouldn't stop you from visiting her and reassuring her that everything will be alright."

"Fine," he said, "I'll visit as soon as I am able," Aen said, "But my question to her should be reassurance enough that everything will be alright."

"Not to a girl," Nyx said, "I know you'll never fully understand, but you get my drift, don't you. Just go say hi, and tell her everything's gonna be alright."

"Fine, fine," he said, as he waited, "How long are they going to take in there...getting in and out isn't all that hard.."

"It is for mortals," Erebus butted into the conversation, "I couldn't help but join in, and remind you that while they may be children of the gods, they are still very much mortal."

"But they're taking so long..." Aen whined.

"Whining is unbecoming of you, little brother," Erebus said.

"So, Nyx," Aen said, "Got anything for when they leave?"

"They've faced off against The Hydra, a basilisk, those damn snakes, apparitions, paintings, suits of armor, a cerberus," she listed off, "There's still the dragon."

"What kind is it?" Erebus asked, his sister and wife.

"I think last I checked, it was a mix between a iron belly and a horntail," Nyx replied, "Nothing three heroes can't handle."

"Sister, let me remind you that they're very much mortal," Aen reminded.

"They'll survive," Moros interjected, "I have seen it."

"We shall see," Eris added as well.

"So many people in one conversation," Aen noted, "Have you all been there the whole time?"

"No," Eris said, "I just stumbled upon your conversation and decided to butt in."