Disclaimer: I do not own Rick Riordan, the Percy Jackson books, characters, series, movies, or anything else you may recognize.

Chapter Two

Something Wicked This Way Comes

When you think back on all we've done

I hope you're proud

When you look back and see how far we've come

It was our time to shine

And nobody could hold us down

"Whenever You Remember" by Carrie Underwood

"Andee le Fay," the principal of my school called. I hurried up to the stage, my royal blue robes rippling behind me. The school had set up a stage on its lawn as well as rows upon rows of chairs for all the graduate's families. Luckily there weren't many graduates because it was a private school for the gifted. There were probably about fifty of us in total, which was so different from my old school.

Technically, I still went to a performing arts school when I lived in Vancouver, but there was still way more people in my class – think around one hundred and fifty to two hundred minimum. Vancouver was called Hollywood North, after all. And we always rented out a theatre or convention center to have our commencements. We never would have been able to do them on the lawn of our school. Americans are weird.

I met the principal halfway across the stage. She shook my hand before announcing to the audience, "Andee le Fay is graduating with honors and will be attending Julliard in the fall. But unbeknownst to Miss le Fay, instead of being accepted in the Master of Voice program, she will be taking part in Julliard's premiere Triple Threat program! She will be one of the first and few to ever take part in this program in its first year, and we here at Brooklyn Academy for the Gifted could not be prouder. Congratulations, Andee le Fay!"

My mouth was practically sitting on the floor. I hadn't applied for the Triple Threat program – I didn't even know it existed! The only thing I had applied for was the Master of Music in Voice at Julliard (which, really, I should have applied to some back-up schools), so this was all very unexpected. I looked at my principal in shock and for once, she smiled at me, handing me my diploma.

I looked out to the audience, to meet eyes with one of my family members or friends, but they were all on their feet, cheering like mad. I finally broke out of my shock and held up my diploma and triumph. Percy was laughing as he clapped and cheered for me. I was about to walk off the stage when I saw my dad and my grandfather standing behind the sea of chairs, both of them wearing tailored suits. It was really weird to see my dad in a suit. He looked really good, don't get me wrong, but his fashion choices were usually more casual and beachy.

It was even weirder to see them here. I knew I got to see my father and my grandfather a lot more than any other demigod, but I hadn't expected to see them here. Especially when my dad told me he'd be seeing me off before I went to prom.

I sat amongst the other graduates, trying to make sense of their unannounced appearance right before the traditional hat toss. I threw my cap in the air with everyone else's, all of us cheering at our new found freedom. Or at least, what everyone seemed to think was freedom. Most of us would be working or starting post-secondary in September.

I laughed and hugged Phoibe, congratulating her before we went our separate ways to find our families. Val and Johnny were standing together, Val holding little Dimka in her arms and Johnny with a camera hanging around his neck. Annabeth and Percy were standing with them, and Percy was just beaming.

"Andee!" Percy said, waving before he ran over to meet me halfway. He scooped me up into his arms, spinning me around a few times before our lips met in a passionate kiss. "Congratulations, graduate. That's a pretty big honor, little Miss Julliard."

"Did you know?" I asked.

He smiled a little. "Johnny may have let something slip."

I hit his shoulder playfully. "You should've told me! I can't believe I didn't know! You're a horrible liar and I am – well, I used to be – like a human lie detector."

"Well the fact that you never asked, 'Am I getting a surprise acceptance into a pioneer program at Julliard?' helped a lot."

I laughed. "Well, you're one to talk. You graduated with honors and a full ride scholarship to Stony Brook University to study marine biology."

Percy smiled awkwardly, ruffling his hair. "Yeah, it's still pretty unbelievable. If you had told me a few years ago that I'd even get into college, I'd probably laugh in your face. But also that it would be all paid for? Man, that's…I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."

"You worked so hard this year, Percy. There's no one more deserving," I said, leaning my forehead against his, so our noses were just barely touching. "We graduated and now we're going to university! Percy, this is just…this is amazing."

"I know," Percy whispered, kissing the tip of my nose which made me laugh. He took my hand as we separated and led me over to Val, Johnny and Annabeth. I ran up and hugged Val, kind of squishing Dimka in the middle. I liked to think of it as including him in the hug. After hugging Johnny and Annabeth too, Johnny wanted to get some photos. I called over some of my friends, including the lovely Phoibe, and got a bunch of photos together. I wanted to remember every minute of this day, and I had a feeling that Val wanted to too. After my other friends left to re-join their own parents, I got pictures of me with Percy (who looked quite dashing in his light blue dress shirt and dark grey dress pants), Dimka, Val, Johnny and Annabeth. This really was one of those real life scrapbook-able moments.

As people came up and congratulated me and Val, I got a little distracted. My dad and my grandpa were still standing at the very back of the group, and when I made eye contact with my dad, he made a subtle motion for me to follow them.

"Josie's parents want to get some photos of us together, so I'll be right back, okay?" I asked Percy. He nodded, taking my hand for a moment and pressing his lips to my knuckles before letting go. He was so sweet, I almost couldn't handle it sometimes.

I weaved my way through all the families and students before finally reaching my dad and my grandfather. "I can't believe you guys are here!" I said excitedly, giving them both hugs and a kiss on the cheek. "Dad, you look so good in a suit."

"Of course I do, sweetie. But thank you," my dad said with a smile. "Congratulations on Julliard – a true child of mine." There was something in my dad's smile that seemed a little too fake. My graduation probably wasn't the real reason they were here.

"What's going on, daddy?" I asked quietly.

"There are…Andee, things are about to go downhill again," my dad said. "A lot worse than last time."

"Worse than last time?" I asked. "Kronos took over my body and because I technically worked for him for a short period of the war, I now have no control over my abilities and you guys won't give me that control so I have to wear these shackles. How can it possibly get worse than last time?" I was practically yelling now. My grandfather grunted a little in response. When I looked over, he was putting pressure on his head. "Grandfather, are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Avalon, just a little headache."

I froze. My grandfather had just called me by my mom's name. And he said he had a headache which gods, especially the king of gods, did not get. That would be like Poseidon getting sea sick. "Grandfather?" I repeated, much quieter this time.

"This is what I'm talking about," my dad said, switching to Ancient Greek so no one would overhear us. "It's happening to everyone. I'm one of the few who isn't splitting."

"Splitting?" I asked. Confusion was taking over every other emotion right now. "Dad, what does that mean?"

He looked at me very seriously, and for the first time in a long time, I was scared. Truly scared of what was coming, even then I had no idea what it was. "You have a lot of hard decisions and fights ahead of you, Andee, and this time around, there won't be any gods to help you."

"But daddy –"

"It is not safe for you to be on the ground anymore," my dad said. "You have to keep off of it. You can't let her get you."

"'Keep off the ground'? How is that even possible?" I asked. "And who is 'her'? Why is she coming after me?"

My dad looked around him, like someone who checked to see if someone was following him. "You have to promise me two things, Andee."

"Of course, dad," I said, getting more and more confused as the seconds passed.

"First of all, promise me you will not take those bracelets off. No matter what happens, you can't take them off. Do you promise?"

"Yes."

"Say it, Andromeda. Say the words," my dad said forcefully.

"I promise not to take my bracelets off, no matter what happens," I said. "Dad?"

"Now promise me that you will do whatever it takes to protect everyone."

"Dad, what is happening?"

"ANDROMEDA!" my dad shouted. I froze. This wasn't like my dad. He didn't shout. Never. My grandfather, yes, especially when he found out about my tattoos. But dad? Never. "Swear to me that you will protect everyone. You will do whatever it takes to top this from happening and keep everyone safe. The mortals, your brothers…us."

I had no idea what I was supposed to do. This was insane. How was I supposed to protect everyone? Especially the gods? I couldn't even control myself if my bracelets weren't on.

"Swear on Gaea."

I looked at my grandfather. That was the most lucid thing he had said this entire time, which wasn't saying much. I had never even heard of someone swearing on Gaea before. Swearing on the Styx was the most secure way of swearing an oath that I knew of.

"Andromeda…"

"I swear on Gaea," I said, meeting my dad's eyes. "I swear, dad. I'll do whatever I can to keep everyone safe."

He nodded, a solemn look on his face.

"Andee?" I turned my head to see Percy jogging over to me, a worried look on his face. "Are you okay?"

I glanced back to where my father and grandfather had been, but they were gone, like I had expected. I plastered on a smile, hiding the confusion and fright I felt. "I'm fine, Perce. Just needed a bit of fresh air. Just a little overwhelmed by everything."

"I know the feeling," Percy said, wrapping his arms around me. "It feels like everything's happening so fast, doesn't it?"

I nodded, lightly touching his chest. I looked into his eyes, his beautiful green eyes that looked like sea glass. The faint spattering of freckles over his nose and cheekbones. The way his hair always looked like he'd just gotten out of bed (although it was a lot crazier when he really did get out of bed). The way his face felt in my hands. The looked he got when he was worried about me. How he looked when he was really thinking about something. The sheer determination on his face when he was fighting. That cute smile he always wore where the one corner of his mouth turned up. He was beautiful.

"What?" Percy asked, looking at me worriedly. I smiled a little.

"I'm just committing this moment to memory. Committing you to memory," I said quietly, gently touching the planes of his face. "I love you so much, Percy Jackson. If you ever left me, I honestly think I'd die."

"I' never leaving you so you don't ever have to worry about that," Percy whispered back, pressing his lips to mine in a soft, gentle kiss. "We are forever."