Before reading this you should know that the entire story has been remastered, spelling and grammar has been fixed and the layout is different to make reading easier.
It has been i while since i wrote this and HP canon has changed with the fantastic beasts movies, so some small plotlines have been added to my story to compensate. These changes are below.
In chapters 1 and 3 i have added an explanation for the absence of MACUSA and in chapter 3 the prophesy has been slightly altered
Please enjoy and leave a review
Harry Potter & the Olympians : Tides of War
VIII: River in the Desert
Harry was having the time of his life.
Every year on Dudley's birthday, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia would take their precious Dudders somewhere new to spend the day. Theme parks, burger bars, the cinema...
Harry was never invited. It was only by seemingly divine intervention (Mrs. Figg broke her leg) that he'd been allowed to accompany them to the zoo two summers ago.
But Harry was confident, all of the laser tag arenas, arcades and zoos Dudley had ever been to, put together, couldn't hold a candle to the Lotus Hotel and Casino.
It had everything, gambling, arcades, paintball, a cinema with 12 screens, shops for everything you could possibly want, skeet shooting, swimming pools, a zoo with no snakes, a water slide that coiled around a glass elevator which went up 40 floors to the hotel rooms, an indoor bungee, a climbing wall. The list went on and on.
Harry had started off in the shopping area where he'd been dragged by sales assistants into a boutique, he stood as they swarmed him, taking measurements and stripping him of the dirty clothes he'd been wearing since the day he'd left camp.
By the time they were done Harry stumbled out of Clotho's Boutique wearing a brand new black Italian suit and clasping a coupon for his next visit.
'But… they don't even charge…' Harry wondered confusedly as he looked at the 95 percent off coupon.
Next he got the high score on the skeet shooting range, his arrows shattered every single target, never missing once.
After that he visited the cinema, having never been to one before it was an amazing experience for him. He watched stop-motion classics like 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Clash of the Titans' as well as more recent movies like the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. He finished up the experience with a superhero movie.
"Man loses his parents and dresses like a giant bat… I'm rather well adjusted by comparison," Harry muttered as he wandered though the arcade.
He was passing by a table where kids were paying a complicated card game when he heard it.
"I got Zeus' lightning bolt!"
Harry turned so quickly he could hear his neck click.
"Look Bianca! It's one of the rarest cards!" a young boy said with glee as he showed his sister a playing card he'd just won. The girl nodded with a smile but wasn't really paying attention, she was busy trying to top the high score on a Jungle Book themed pinball machine.
"Yes Nico, very nice," the girl said vacantly as the machine played 'Bare Necessities' obnoxiously loud.
"You're not even looking!" the boy whined.
"Zeus' bolt," Harry muttered, he had the feeling that was important.
"Sir," a voice interrupted his thoughts. A waitress had approached him with a tray of food. "Would you like another lotus flower?"
The pink cakes looked like flowers, he absently remembered somebody giving him one while he was being fitted in the Boutique. It tasted fantastic.
"Thank you," Harry said as he took one.
The waitress moved on after flashing Harry a pretty smile. Before Harry had the chance to take a bite, something hit him. A smell so bad it reminded Harry of the time Dudley and his gang clogged the school toilets for a laugh.
"Oh god," Harry retched and dropped the cake onto a table he was passing, he'd lost his appetite. "What's that smell?"
Harry moved swiftly through the casino but the smell only got stronger. Harry looked all over but he couldn't find a single window. As he was on the verge of emptying his stomach of everything he'd eaten at cinema he spotted a set of doors. Above them in neon light were two words.
Desperate for fresh air he burst through the doors and was met with the cool night air.
After taking a dozen deep breaths Harry sighed in relief. Looking around he realised the pool was on the rooftop of another section of the casino, it also acted like a balcony so you could look out over the city.
Near the edge of the roof was a lavish bar serving drinks. There was a water slide that lead back into the building, probably the same one that winded around the elevator. The bottom of the pool was see-through so the people on the game floor could look up and see people swimming.
Just like everything else in the Lotus Hotel and Casino, it surpassed anything similar he'd seen on the outside. Harry approached the bar and before he could even order, the barman popped the cap off an ice cold bottle of Butterbeer and slid it across the bar to him.
Harry stood by the balcony and looked out over the city. Vegas looked fantastic at night. In the distance was a replica of the Eiffel tower and a gigantic Ferris wheel. Despite the amount of light pollution that should have been created by the city, the stars from could be seen clearly...
Harry's heart skipped a beat, he could see the moon.
He was filled with a sense of dread, something was wrong, horribly wrong.
The longer he looked at the moon the greater the feeling grew. But he couldn't pinpoint what was wrong exactly.
Then it hit him, his drink slipped from his hand and shattered on the ground startling the other nearby patrons. When they'd entered the casino it was a half moon. It looked like a penny that had been cut in half.
Now, it was almost full.
Everything came back to him. The bolt, the quest, the deadline!
"Five days," Harry realised in horror, somehow he could tell how much time had passed by the state of the moon. "We've been here for five days."
"Not bad," a nasally voice said from behind him. "Most people, they spend decades here never realising the passage of time."
In his shock Harry had been holding his breath, he never noticed the bad smell was back. He spun around to see a metal pole heading for his face.
"Bloody hell!" Harry cursed as he came back to consciousness in a dark room, the smell was worse than ever. He tried to raise his hands to rub his aching head or cover his nose but found his arms pinned to his sides by a rope that tied him to a chair.
Harry tried to focus his vision but his glasses had been removed. A fuzzy blur moved about in the dark room, standing in the light of flickering candles.
"Don't bother struggling, even if you escape the ropes you'll be dead before you can get away," the blur threatened. Whoever it was spoke like they had a cold.
"Who are you?" Harry asked as he tried to loosen the rope.
"Oh, how rude of me," the blur picked something up and approached. The smell got worse, Harry was only breathing through his mouth but now he could taste it.
Reaching out, the blur placed Harry's glasses back on his face crooked. For the first time Harry could see his kidnapper. He was a man who looked to be in his 30's, short blond hair and a bushy beard framed his pale blue eyes. He was dressed like a pool boy, wearing a pair of shorts and a grey vest, a pool skimmer (probably used to knock Harry out) was strapped to his back and a pair of nose plugs blocked his nostrils.
He might have been handsome once, but he didn't look healthy. His skin was so pale it could be described as albino, he was so thin he could be anorexic. That was only the beginning, his face was gaunt, he had dark bags under his eyes, stains covered his clothes. Harry realised the smell was coming from him, it hung around the pool boy like a miasma.
He wore the same name tag that every employee of the Lotus Hotel and Casino wore.
Hello, my name is
The rest of the name was covered by another stain.
Looking closer Harry's attention was drawn to the vest he wore. It had a picture of the full moon with the silhouette of a woman standing in front of it and aiming a bow. Underneath the picture were words.
ARTEMIS THE MOON GODDESS,
HUNTING TOUR 2002
Under that was a list of locations and dates.
"Did my mother send you after me?" Harry asked angrily.
"DON'T CALL HER THAT!" Al gripped Harry's tie and roared in his face, Harry gagged at the smell. "Lady Artemis has no children, she'd never do that to me!"
Al's mood changed in an instant, from furious to serene.
"She's perfect, I met her a very long time ago you know, It was love at first sight, I've been courting her ever since."
Al turned back to whatever he was doing before Harry awoke, the candlelight Harry had barely seen was decorating a shrine to Artemis.
Now, when you think of a shrine to a Greek goddess, you probably conjure mental images of a marble statue decorated with braziers and offerings of fruit, animal pelts and other valuables.
This shrine was a different kind, it had photographs taken of a blurry silver image from very far away. A carefully dug up patch of dirt with a footprint in it. A piece of gum on a pedestal. An arrow that had been snapped in half. An old bowstring that looked worn and frayed. A t-shirt in pristine condition with the same image as the vest he was wearing. A map of America with pins stuck into it holding up pieces of string that marked out a route.
At the sight of the creepy shrine Harry came to a realisation, Artemis hadn't sent this man.
'He's a bloody stalker! Oh, this is way too creepy, I need to get out of here' Harry thought as he slipped his hand towards his pocket where he knew his brass knuckles were kept. He could feel their weight against his leg so Al hadn't taken them from him.
"I built her a temple you know," Al said forlornly "The Temple of Artemis Alphaea at Letrini. For millennia I've collected tokens of our love."
He reached to the shrine and picked up two items, a stick in one hand and in his other hand he held up what looked like a golden railroad spike. "A branch of Lady Artemis' sacred cypress tree, she gave it to me when we first met." (She threw it at his head) "And the tip of an Antler from Artemis' sacred hind… it shed when the she nuzzled against me." (It gored him when he tried to approach its mistress)
"They're the two most precious items in my collection… in two days time, in the glorious light of the full moon. I'll spill your blood before these sacred items as a sacrifice to my beloved!" Al proclaimed as he turned and smiled at the empty chair in victory… empty chair?
"GET BACK HERE!"
Harry took deep breaths of the elevator's ventilated air, finally he'd escaped the smell. After cutting the ropes with his trench knife he'd quietly slipped out of the room and away from his mother's stalker while he was monologuing.
At the end of the darkened hallways he found an elevator, thanks to the B10 sign above the doors Harry realised he was in the basement, he scrambled inside and hit the button for the game floor.
"What the hell is wrong with him!" Harry cursed as he loosened his tie. "He's obsessed with my Mum and has a grudge against me for being her son… bloody nutcase!"
5000 miles away, a potions master sneezed.
The elevator door opened and Harry breathed in the air of the casino.
'I need to find the others and get out of here!' Harry thought as he scanned the room for his missing friends.
Harry turned with his brass knuckles at the ready, he didn't want to be snuck up on again. Thankfully it was Percy approaching him with a panicked look on his face.
"We need to get out of here!" They both spoke at the same time. They both breathed a sigh of relief when they realised the other had snapped out of whatever effect the Casino had on them.
"There are people here from the seventies. Kid's who've never aged, you check in and stay forever!" Percy said in panic.
"It's almost a full moon, we've been here five days!" Harry replied in equal panic. "We need to find the others, have you seen them?"
Percy and Harry split up to look for their friends. Harry couldn't help but notice the variety of people who played the games and wondered how he hadn't noticed before. People were dressed in clothing from most time periods Harry could think of, playing games that seemed tailor made for their individual enjoyment.
A man in military garb fired a gun at targets down a range.
A 'greaser' from the sixties sat in a racing game.
There was even one man in full Greek armour playing 'Angry Greeks'. A game where you fired a catapult at the 2D walls of Troy, the goal being to damage them as much as possible for a high score. Harry idly wondered how long he'd been there.
Harry had to stop himself from approaching a stall named 'Snake Hunter'. A shooting range where you could shoot plywood snakes with the long range weapon of your choice. Including a nice looking bow with silver arrows.
"I'm not falling for that!" Harry said indignantly as he marched past the stall.
"Ok, what kind of game would a Satyr or a child of Athena play?" Harry muttered to himself. Then he spotted it. Architect Simulator 2005.
In a glass dome Annabeth waved her hands in front of her face with a smile, when Harry stepped foot into the dome he could see what she saw. Annabeth stood in a holographic city that moved at her command, with a wave of her hands the city moved, shifting into a better configuration, then shifting again into something even better.
"Annabeth!" Harry called as he approached her. She didn't respond, instead she waved her hand at him as if he'd move away as easily as the buildings did.
"Annie!" Harry yelled she her eyed remained glazed over. She seemed to be using Harry's body like a frame, building an intricate skyscraper around him.
'Damn it… how do I snap her out of it?' Harry pondered as she added a fountain at his feet. 'I snapped out of it when I saw the moon… my Mum is the moon goddess… my nature…'
"Hey Annabeth," Harry started as an idea formed in his head, this 'game' appealed to her nature, he'd need to do the same to snap her out of it. "Want to know a spell to keep spiders away from you?"
Annabeth flinched, her eyes cleared up and the city fell apart into pixels like it's been hit by a simulated earthquake.
"What spell?!" Annabeth demanded before she looked him up and down and her cheeks reddened. "What are you wearing?"
Harry looked down at his suit, with a roll of his eyes he pulled off the tie and undid the top button.
"That's not important. Annabeth, we've been in here for days! Remember, the quest!" Harry spoke quickly, not wanting to risk her falling back into the trance she'd been in.
"What que-" her eyes widened. "Oh gods… the Lotus Eaters, how long? Where're the others?"
Harry lead her out of the simulator when it hit them, that damned smell again. Al entered the room with his pool skimmer held like an axe.
"YOU!" Al roared as he swung his skimmer like a lacrosse stick, something flew from the net and shot at them. Harry managed to get his brass knuckles up in time, they whirred into their shield form at the last possible moment.
The sound that followed resembled rain on a tin roof, the splatter told him he'd just blocked water droplets but to Harry it felt like a hundred arrows, his arm ached from the vibrations.
"Get down," Annabeth yelled as she pulled him down behind a row of arcade games just in time to dodge a second volley. The glass dome of Architect Simulator 2005 suddenly looked like a translucent chunk of Swiss cheese.
The other patrons must have noticed something was wrong because they started yelling and stampeding out of the room… or maybe it was the smell.
"Who is that? Gods the smell," Annabeth retched.
"Al, he attacked me earlier," Harry answered vaguely.
"Al?" Annabeth asked in exasperation. "I need more than that!" She was the daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. She was confident that given the right information she could come up with a strategy to beat any monster, but she needed a hell of a lot more than 'Al'
"He's obsessed with Artemis, wants to kill me! That smell is coming from him!"
"Come out half-blood, I'll make it quick," Al threatened as he stalked into the room, despite being barefoot each step he took echoed through the room, drowning out the sounds of the arcade. "I was going to wait until the full moon. But…" he jumped behind the arcade machines with his skimmer raised, they weren't there.
"I need more information," Annabeth whispered as they crawled from one attraction to another staying out of sight. They ducked down behind a pool table "Almost all monsters have a grudge against Artemis, she hunts them constantly."
"No, he's obsessed with her but it's not a grudge," Harry corrected her in a low voice. "He's got a creepy stalker shrine in the basement and he said he built her a temple once."
"A temple? Al..." Annabeth frowned as her mind put the pieces together, when she was done her face drained of blood. "Alpheus!"
"Alpheus, what kind of monster is that? It sounds familiar." Harry asked.
"He's not a monster, he's a god!" Annabeth "A minor river deity. Millennia ago he tried to assault a Naiad who went to Artemis for protection. But he fell in love with Artemis instead, he's been stalking her ever since. And he despises half-bloods… for good reason."
"A god," Harry was just as pale as his friend.
"You can't do this!" Annabeth yelled out loud giving away their position.
"What are you doing!" Harry hissed with wide eyes.
"You're breaking the Ancient Laws. Direct interference is…" Annabeth was interrupted when a thin spray of water cut the pool table in half sending the balls scattering across the floor. His skimmer had changed into a gun with a long nozzle, a power washer. Emphasis on the word 'power'.
"I don't care!" Alpheus yelled as the pair of Demigods ducked and weaved between pinball and slot machines, dodging projectiles of muddy water that smashed each machine into pieces. "I've waited too long! I can finally make her acknowledge me! All I have to do is kill the boy!"
"Really wish I had my bow right now," Harry cursed as he stared at the trench knife clenched in his hand. He'd left his bow up in the hotel room.
"We need to distract Alpheus and get out of here, we can't beat a god!"
"Where have I heard that name before?!" Harry asked out loud as he and Annabeth took cover behind a claw machine. Despite the situation he couldn't help but wonder, it was nagging at him worse than the time he'd heard the name Nicolas Flamel from Hagrid. He knew the name from somewhere, but where?!
"I told you, he's obsessed with your mother," Annabeth answered out loud but she shook her head at him and held a finger up to her lips in an attempt to send a message for him to stop talking. He didn't get the message.
"No, I didn't know about that until you told me… I've heard his name somewhere else!" Harry insisted.
"It doesn't matter," Annabeth spoke through her clenched teeth, she really wanted him to drop it. Unfortunately she wouldn't get her wish. A blast of water shattered the glass of the claw machine above them causing it's prizes to fall around the pair.
Plushies of famous Greek heroes. Odysseus holding his bow. Perseus holding his sword. Heracles holding his club…
"That's it!" Harry said with a triumphant grin. Annabeth's face fell.
"No Harry, shut up!" she whispered urgently.
"It was in one of the books you loaned me on Heracles. The fifth labour, Alpheus was one of the rivers Heracles rerouted to clean out the Augean Stables!"
Annabeth's face was frozen in horror. Alpheus' heavy footsteps stopped. Not even the dozen surrounding games made a single sound.
"That explains the smell," Harry concluded, completely oblivious of the situation he'd created. He was just happy to have gotten the answer.
"I'M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEAD OFF!" Alpheus roared as he ripped the remains of the claw machine out of the ground it was bolted to and into the air above his head. He tried to bring it back down on the demigod who had reminded him of his greatest humiliation.
"Why couldn't you keep your mouth shut!" Annabeth screamed as she jumped away.
"DIE!" the claw machine shattered the ground where Harry and Annabeth had been before they jumped out of the way.
"They had never been cleaned!" Alpheus growled as he reared back and threw the flattened remains at Harry. Harry was moving on instinct alone, he dropped to the ground, the wrecked machine skimmed his hair and smashed through the wall giving the Lotus Hotel and Casino a new window the size of a caravan. It would have made the perfect escape route out of the building… if only they weren't twenty floors up.
Alpheus stalked towards Harry who was stumbling away from him trying to catch his breath.
"30 years" with swipes of his hands arcade machines were knocked away like they were made of tinfoil. "3000 cattle."
Harry spun and his knife whirred into a shield just as Alpheus swung his his arm again. Despite the shield protecting him, Harry flew across the room and crashed into one of the few game stalls still intact after Alpheus' rampage.
"Do you have any earthly idea much shit there was?!" Alpheus slowed down and tried to regain control of his temper, but his eyes glowed with divine energy. "For millennia I've been ridiculed, ostracised… and the stink! I was driven away from rivers, lakes and sources of fresh water, forced to remain at the edge of civilization, for centuries I've been on the brink of fading! NOBODY CARED!"
"That's not true!" Annabeth yelled from somewhere across the room. "Poseidon cared! He went to Zeus furious… Heracles had two more labours added to the original ten as his punishment! His son is with us, he'll..."
"POSEIDON LAUGHED!" Alpheus roared firing his pressure washer in her direction. "He thought it was hilarious, he only cared after the water flowed into the Ionian sea!"
"But that all ends today, I'll be more powerful than ever after we're wed… Lady Artemis will be mine when I sacrifice the boy!" With a manic look in his eyes Alpheus cranked the pressure on his washer up to maximum, turned back to Harry and pulled the trigger.
A silver arrow plugged the nozzle.
The pressure washer exploded in his hands with far more water than it should have been holding, throwing Alpheus across the room. He landed near the new hole he'd opened in the wall.
Annabeth came out of her hiding place and ran to her friend. He was standing in front of the stall he'd been thrown into, except now he was holding a professional looking recurve bow and a quiver of silver arrows was strapped to his back.
After digging his way out of the shattered plywood snakes Harry had spotted the bow in the weapons rack. This wasn't like the bow he'd been using up until now, that one had been very basic.
This one's grip felt tailor made for his hand, the limbs made of a composite of fibreglass and carbon.
"Come on, he need to go!" Annabeth grabbed him and they ran.
"She's mine you hear me!" Alpheus yelled as he stumbled to his feet. "Mine, no others. I'll catch you… I'll kill you and your friends and she'll be mine!"
A silver arrow sprouted from Alpheus' chest. Harry had stopped running at Alpheus' words. His anger had grown until he spun, drew a new arrow and fired it at the delusional deity. But as the arrow had flown through the air something had changed, it started to glow.
"Ahh," Alpheus reached for the arrow but he let go of it just as quickly, his hand steaming as if it burned him. "No, this can't be…"
-THWIP, THWIP, THWIP, HSSSSS-
Three more arrows, steam poured from the wounds and hissing filled the air like the sound of hot metal that was being quenched in water.
Harry was glowing, through the hole in the wall Alpheus had created in his rampage, the almost full moon could be seen in the distance over the city. The moonlight flowed like water through the air and wrapped around Harry lovingly.
Harry drew back another arrow, all the moonlight congregated around it, poured into it.
Alpheus's body was flickering between being see-through and solid. He looked between the moon that represented everything he desired and the boy who was making it's power his own, he came to a devastating realisation.
"You really are her son… he lied..."
Harry let loose the arrow, it crossed the room faster than most eyes could see and exited through the hole in the wall behind Alpheus, it streaked across the Las Vegas sky like a shooting star disappearing into the horizon with a twinkle.
Alpheus looked down, in his chest was a smouldering hole the size of a fist. He hadn't even felt it.
Alpheus fell to his knees. He slowly reached into his pocket and retrieved two items, his two most precious possessions. The branch of Artemis' sacred tree and the antler from her sacred hind. He looked at them lovingly for a moment before turning his gaze to the boy.
"You think you've won?" Alpheus spat. "You haven't… your quest ends in the land of queens"
His words felt heavy to Harry, like they held some invisible weight.
Alpheus turned to gaze to the moon one last time. "My love… Lady Arrggtimm…" his voice became garbled, like he was choking on water, the branch and antler fell from his hand and clattered to the ground.
Alpheus' body fell apart, into foul smelling water that soaked into the carpet and quickly dried. He was gone.
Harry looked down at the branch and antler, items sacred to his mother and he thought about the power he had just used. Was that her? Had she helped him? But why, didn't she want him dead?
His confused thoughts were interrupted when a glow filled the room. In the glow of the moonlight the two sacred items moved towards each other like magnets, when they collided there was a flash of bright moonlight and they were gone, in their place, a smooth stick. A spoil of war.
Harry picked up the stick and felt rush of energy pass through him, he'd felt this before but not nearly as strong. He knew what he was holding. Ever since Zeus took his wand he'd felt like he had one arm tied behind his back… now he had a new one. Cypress, 12 inches with a core of antler from the sacred hind.
"Gods… the prophesy… 'A foul river shall end amongst the sands'" Annabeth quoted as her voice quivered in shock. Sure enough, Alpheus had been a river deity, and they were in Mojave Desert.
The being he had just defeated wasn't a monster, it was a god. He remembered the conversation he had with Grover a week ago about Pan.
"Can gods even die?" Harry asked curiously.
"They can fade, it happens when humanity stops believing in them, they lose the will to remain immortal, then all it takes is one last push…"
Alpheus had said so himself. He'd been on the brink of fading for centuries… Harry had given him that final push.
"He faded… Harry, you just killed a god!"
Thunder rumbled in the distance.
To Be Continued...
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A long time ago, this story was stolen from me.
An author named 'Adama's Shadow' copy and pasted it without permission.
This was heart-breaking for me and i lost all inspiration to write. i went almost ten years without writing anything. No matter how hard i tried i just couldn't find the same inspiration i had back then.
Then a couple years ago it happened again. 'dhairyasood748' copy and pasted huge chunks of my story for his own story.
They says their stories are 'inspired' by mine but i don't think they understand the meaning of the word 'inspired'
'The Lion king' is inspired by 'Hamlet'
'Chicken Run' is inspired by 'The Great Escape'
What they did wasn't inspiration, it was plagiarism. Plain and simple.
I don't mind when authors take some aspects from my story. So long as it's their own work, that they write it themselves and give credit where credit is due. But using copy/paste is crossing the damn line