Percy's eyes shot open, and he quickly sat up, but immediately regretted it when he felt the crushing power of his headache. "Ahg..." he groaned. "Anybody get the number of that truck that hit me?"
Percy looked around and realized he had no idea where he was. He sat in a wonderfully soft white bed, surrounded by a room of a design that would make Annabeth squeal with delight. The distant crashing of waves echoed softly in the hall, and golden sunlight lanced through an open window arch.
How had he gotten to this place?
Percy grabbed his head as memories came flooding in, increasing the pain of the headache tenfold. We were sitting on the beach... that golden lady... white ship... me and Annabeth... ANNABETH!
"Annabeth?" Percy called out, wincing at the echo as he slid clumsily out of bed. He gasped as his bare feet touched the cold marble of the floor, and realized that he wore what amounted to a white silk tunic and loose pants.
Percy began to stumble towards the only door in the room, which was opposite the window, and barely caught himself on the door handle. With some effort he pulled it open. "Annabeth?" He called out again.
"Easy, Perseus. Calm yourself." A voice came from Percy's left. Percy squinted at the speaker, but his vision had begun to swim and he could not make him out. "What have you done with Annabeth!" Percy said, shakily.
The speaker walked towards him. "Be at ease, son of the sea. Neither you nor you beloved shall be harmed in this place, as so no evil will come to any traveller who rests here with goodwill in their heart."
Percy's brain told him to be suspicious, but the man did not sound monstrous or give off any suspicion. "Why did you bring me here?" Percy said, wincing.
"You seem unwell. Please hold still a moment, that I may help you." Percy felt the stranger put a hand on his forehead and almost balked, but then the stranger began to speak in a beautiful language that Percy had never heard before, and a feeling of calm and comfort flowed through him. His pain faded, and his vision solidified.
He now saw that the stranger looked to be an older man, tall but slim. His hair was grey, and a small beard graced his chin, but for some reason he had pointy ears. He was dressed all in blue.
The man smiled. "Welcome, Perseus, to the Grey Havens. I am Cirdan."
"Where is Annabeth?" Percy asked more calmly.
Cirdan frowned slightly. "She is in the room beside to yours, on the left. Tell me, do you not remember how and why you travelled here?"
Percy walked quickly to the door to Annabeth's room, leaving a concerned Cirdan behind him. He entered quickly, and was extremely relieved to see Annabeth sleeping calmly in the bed within. He knelt by her bedside and checked to make sure she was okay.
"Mmmm." Annabeth said sleepily. Her eyelids flickered.
"Annabeth. You okay?" Percy asked.
Annabeth yawned. "Aw, Percy, why'd you wake me?" She mumbled sleepily. A moment later, Annabeth's eyes blinked open. "Wait, Percy, why are you in my..." The question died on her lips as she saw the room that she was in.
"Any idea where we are?" Percy whispered.
"No idea." Annabeth stared dreamily at the columns.
"Hey." Percy waved his hand in front of her eyes. "Earth to Annabeth. Percy calling."
Annabeth blinked. "Uh, of course. What were we talking about?"
Percy couldn't help but think, even in a potentially dangerous situation, how cute Annabeth was when she was staring at complex architecture.
"Well, for one, I have no idea how we got here or where here even is. You really can't just read the architecture or something?" Percy asked jokingly.
Annabeth scowled and punched him in the shoulder with all the force that a half-asleep demigod can muster. "It's not that easy, seaweed brain. Just because I'm a daughter of Athena doesn't mean I can identify a region by its architecture." She paused. "Well, I mean, I can, but I have never seen anything like this before." The dreamy look returned to her face. "These columns... they're so thin, so delicate, yet they hold up stone..."
Percy rolled his eyes. "Okay, get it together, Wise Girl. Don't fall in love with this place just yet. Those columns might eat us or something."
Annabeth smiled at Percy, and knocked on one of the columns with her hand. "Right, Seaweed Brain. They're obviously man eating columns."
Percy shrugged. "I'm just sayin-" Annabeth leaned over and kissed him, and Percy let the retort die in his throat.
Behind them, someone awkwardly cleared their throat. "I apologize for the interruption, but it would appear that your companions are waking up, and I thought you might want to find a place at my table."
The two looked up and saw Cirdan standing in the doorway. "Percy, who is this?" Annabeth asked, frowning.
Cirdan smiled, and bowed slightly. "Forgive me for my rudeness. My name is Cirdan, the Shipwright. You would be the lady Annabeth, correct?"
Annabeth blinked. "Um, yes. My name is Annabeth."
"Very good." "Cirdan walked out of the doorway. "All will be explained when your companions awake."
Percy and Annabeth found two spots at the table right next to each other, and noticed that there were ten chairs in all. Cirdan sat in one, and smiled idly at them.
"Excuse me, Mr. Cirdan, but where exactly are we?" Annabeth asked.
Cirdan sighed. "I would tell you now, but it will be easier to explain if all of your compatriots are present." Cirdan blinked. "Oh dear. Is your head all right, Lady Annabeth?"
Annabeth waved her hand. "It's nothing. Just a headache."
Cirdan frowned and stood from his chair. "Allow me to give you some aid."
Annabeth flinched as he walked closer, but Percy laid his hand on hers. "It's okay. It really does help." Annabeth glanced at him nervously, but allowed Cirdan to place his hand on her head. As Annabeth listened to his words, she frowned, and after he removed his hand she asked, "That language... what is it? I've never heard anything like it before."
Cirdan smiled secretively. "In due time, young one. In due time."
Percy could practically feel the questions building up inside Annabeth. "What about these other people you keep mentioning, our 'comrades'? Who are they?"
"That question will be answered shortly." Cirdan gazed behind them at the closest door, which had just opened to reveal a green eyed boy with ruffled black hair and glasses.
"Where... where am I?" Harry asked.
"One moment." Cirdan said to Percy and Annabeth as he stood and walked to the boy. He repeated the same chant he had used before on Percy and Annabeth, and sat him down on another chair at the table. This continued, with more doors being opened and more people exiting, until seven out of the nine were present.
"The last two appear to be having some difficulty." Cirdan said, frowning. "I shall return shortly. In the mean time, I suggest you introduce yourselves." He swept away from the table, leaving the confused group to their own devices.
"Well..." The young woman with pointy ears and long dark-blond hair began. "I suppose someone should begin the introductions." She nodded at the group. "My name is Princess Zelda XXIV of Hyrule, but I would prefer to be called Princess Zelda or just Zelda." Awkward murmurs of 'hi, Zelda' came from all parts of the table.
Zelda looked to her left, where a young man with pointy ears and scruffy blond hair. "Well?" She said. The young man blinked, then nodded at the group. Zelda sighed. "This is Link, hero of Hyrule. He is a man of few words." Link smiled at them, and nodded again.
The boy to his left began shortly after him. "Hello. You probably recognize me from the scar, but I'm Harry Potter." He and the girl sitting next to him looked confused when no one reacted to the name. "You know, Harry Potter!" Still no response. "Are you guys muggles or something?"
"What's a muggle?" Percy whispered to Annabeth.
"I have no idea." She responded.
"Anyways," the girl next to him said, "My name's Hermione Granger." The group again murmured variations of 'hello' and 'nice to meet you'.
"Wait a sec, are you British?" Percy asked.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, we are." Hermione said.
"So you're a mortal, then?"
Hermione looked very annoyed. "What, exactly, is that supposed to mean? Are you not?"
"Um..." Percy suddenly regretted asking the question.
"Wait a second." Annabeth looked confused. "You're not a demigod?"
Hermione blinked. "Demigod?" Her expression grew angry. "If that is your term for wizard, then you people are worse than the Malfoys!"
Percy and Annabeth glanced at each other, not sure how to respond.
"I don't know, Hermione, they don't look like part of the vampire infiltration. Besides, firkins always latch onto the heads of supremacists, and they don't have any." The entire table turned to stare at the speaker, who was a small girl with light blonde hair and a distant smile on her face. "Hello! My name's Luna Lovegood."
Percy frowned. "What's a fir-" Annabeth quickly clapped her hand to his mouth.
"Anyways," she began, "my name's Annabeth Chase. This idiot here-" She playfully punched Percy's shoulder again, "is my boyfriend, Percy Jackson.
Percy rubbed his shoulder, even though it didn't actually hurt. "I can introduce myself, you know..." He said jokingly.
"I'm sorry," Hermione said, "can we get back to the whole 'demigod' thing?"
Annabeth sighed. "Whatever. Percy, you want to take this one?"
"Sure." Percy glanced around the group. "Okay, quick version. You know the ancient Greek gods, like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon-" he glanced at Annabeth, "and Athena?" The Brits nodded, but the other two looked confused. "Well, they're real, they still exist, and we're their children."
Harry and Hermione looked flabbergasted, Luna looked surprised, and Zelda and Link looked confused. "You think that you're the children of ancient Greek gods?" Hermione asked, shocked.
"We don't 'think', we know." Annabeth said quietly.
"B-but that's preposterous! There's never been any evidence that they exist at all. Even if they did, they were just really powerful wizards that died many years ago."
Percy looked confused. "What do you mean by 'wizards'?"
"Wait, are you muggles?" Harry asked.
"What the heck's a muggle?" Percy asked.
"Anyone without magical power is a muggle or a squib." Hermione replied.
"A squid? Are you saying that other sea creatures have magical powers, but not squid? That doesn't even make any sense." Percy countered.
"No, Squib! S-Q-U-I-B-oh forget it." Hermione said, defeatedly.
"I get the feeling that we aren't on the same page here." Annabeth sighed.
"I feel more like we're on the same page of different books." Hermione said.
"If I may not interject," said Zelda, "but I think we have lost sight of the big picture."
The gazes of the group turned to her as she took a breath. "I think the real question that we should be considering is this: why were we brought here, and where is this place in which meet now?"
Everyone glanced at each other, not really knowing how to respond.
Suddenly, one of the doors opened, and Cirdan ushered out the eight member of their group. "Find a seat over there, if you will, so that we may soon begin." Cirdan said to him.
Percy stood up. "Nico!"
Nico waved awkwardly, cursing inwardly. The steps I take to get away from the guy, and he's always here again.
Nico walked to the table and sat awkwardly at the place between Percy and Luna. "Hello, everyone. My name's Nico di Angelo, and I am an alcoholic."
Percy and Annabeth cracked up, while everyone else looked confused.
"You're an alcoholic?" Harry said, confusedly.
"That's a serious problem." Hermione said, frowning.
Luna leaned close to Nico and sniffed at his jacket. "He doesn't smell like alcohol."
Nico sighed and put his head in his hands. "It was a joke. It was funny."
Luna patted him on the back. "I've heard that dead wrackspurts dipped in chocolate help to cure addiction. I could get you some if you like."
Nico looked at her balefully. "I'm not an alcoholic."
"That's the spirit!" She said cheerfully.
"This is why I should never make jokes." Nico said annoyedly.
At that moment the last door opened up, and Cirdan walked out, followed closely by a large man. The group was alarmed when Link and Zelda, so far the least volatile of the group, had leapt up into ready positions. Link, in particular, glared at the new arrival. "YOU!" he snarled.
Ganondorf chuckled mirthlessly. "So it would seem."