Meet Me: #1 Loser
Helllllloooooooooo! This is your good old Rose of DOOM(!) speaking! Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading!
P.S. I'll always try to remember to put translations at the bottom for the times that they speak Greek. Okay, NOW read!
Don't even pretend it's my story you want to hear. I know you want to hear about Percy. Annabeth, Grover, the lightning bolt... as usual, I'm the one that's forgotten. Then again... I wasn't supposed to be on the quest anyway. But for now... I'll just give you the basics.
I'm Raven. Don't ask what my last name is, because I dunno. I've been at Camp Half-Blood for six years, and I'm still unclaimed. If I have family out there, I wouldn't know. The earliest thing I remember is waking up on the Big House porch, Mr. D saying something about another one and needing some Diet Coke. I didn't even know my name! A raven landed on my head and Mr. D wanted to call me Carrion, but Chiron decided Raven was more fitting, so yay, I'm named for a stupid bird.
And before you ask, no I don't know my godly parent either, alright? I'm a loser of a brand new class. No parents, no real name... yeah, I'm a catch. Even by demigod standards, I was strange. Sometimes, I'd try to pick something up and it wouldn't work. I'd attempt to simply walk and I'd trip over nothing. Once and awhile during the night, I'd wake up from a nightmare and everyone would be awake too, looking at each other like they'd just seen themselves die. It's like the Fates enjoy watching me struggle.
I'm pretty much the resident loner of the Hermes cabin. I have exactly two friends: Luke and Annabeth. When they showed up when I was seven, I was giddy. Luke was like a big brother to me, and Annabeth was the only one who didn't seem to see me as a freak. We grew up like sisters, the best of friends. Luke always kept bullies off of me until I was old enough to actually fend for myself, but even then, he always had my back.
For six years, I learned to attack, defend, speak Greek (not very well), and generally stay alive. Again, I showed I'm different. Instead of a sword, I use throwing knives. All the others have close-range weapons. The only ones who use long range weapons like me are Apollo kids, and trust me, they want nothing to do with me. I never have much luck with swords or spears... I was always more lightweight.
So in general, even by demigod standards, I was different. But even through years of being teased and pushed around, sometimes literally, things never really went bad until he came. Percy Jackson.
The night Percy came, I was laying in my bed, completely awake. My combat boots were beside me on the ground, moonlight from the window beside my head illuminating them, inviting me to sneak out and walk around, but I knew tonight couldn't be one of those nights. Two of the Hermes kids were up, playing Nintendo. I'd never get out without getting seen. So I just lay on my bed, arms folded behind my head, staring at the bunk above me, thinking on how my godly parent still hadn't claimed me.
Why I wasn't claimed yet wasn't the question. I couldn't blame my godly parent for not claiming their little misfit. No, I was wondering how I could prove myself. If I could prove I wasn't completely worthless, maybe- just maybe- my parent would claim me. I sighed; I didn't even know if my godly parent was a guy or a girl. Gods of Olympus, I was sad.
The worst part was that Chiron seemed to know who my godly parent was. And he wouldn't tell me! He had slipped a few times, but all I knew what that my parent wasn't someone he liked and the one thing he straightout told me: "It is better you don't know your... parent, Raven. I know you wish this knowledge, but it is a dark truth, just as your parent is."
What kind of answer is that?! It's worse than "when you're older." At least with that, he plans on giving an answer. But no, I've spun the words over again and again, and based off that... I'm never going to find out. Not from Chiron anyway.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I sat up quietly, looking at the two boys playing Nintendo. One was snoring, the other hiding the game under his blankets. Yeah, I'd say I could sneak out.
I sat up, reaching for my boots, but my fun little defect caught up. I grabbed for a shoelace and it was like grabbing air. I tried again, and my hand closed around it. Stupid shoes.
I laced up my boots and slipped outside without a sound.
The harpies would be out, but I was always too fast. The only good thing about being pathetically small- I was faster, quieter, and more flexible than most others.
I quickly raced across the green behind the Dionysus cabin, then quickly made my way across Euros Creek. I didn't know where I was going; I never was able to get up the nerve to go across the barrier. I didn't fancy going into the woods alone and armed with a handful of knives. But I walked, and for some reason I found myself drifting toward the Big House. All these questions starting to overwhelm me, maybe now would be a good time to see if Chiron would tell me my parent.
No. This wasn't the right time. I'd get in serious trouble if I did right now. I sighed, starting back toward the cabins when from the hill came "No!"
What the... I turned around, more yelling coming from the hill. I took off like a bullet, drawing my knives, charging up the hill. Lightning flashed on the other side of the barrier, illuminating a bulky figure and another on top of it- a human figure. Gods of Olympus... this was bad. The Minotaur?! Another flash and I saw a limp, slightly furry figure in the grass: a satyr.
I snapped out of my daze as the kid tumbled off the back of the Minotaur, one of its horns missing. Before it could charge, I bellowed, "Péthane apó to chéri mou!"
Apparently, the Minotaur didn't appreciate my knowledge of the Greek language. He turned to me and roared in rage. I called to the boy, "Kid, get your protector and get to the Big House!"
The kid either didn't hear me or didn't care. I charged forward and the Minotaur rushed to meet me, but I rolled between his legs and up to my feet. He whipped around as I did, but his attention was back on the boy. I yelled to get his attention but his sights were set. Barreling down on the kid, I rushed forward, knowing I wouldn't be fast enough, when the boy rolled to the side... and stabbed the Minotaur with its own horn.
It bellowed in agony as he began to crumble. I made it to the kid as the last of the golden dust floated away. He stumbled and I steadied him, realizing he was my age. I muttered, "Don't worry, you're at camp now. Can you walk?"
The kid slowly nodded, his face streaked with more than rain. For a newbie, yeah, this was terrifying, so I couldn't blame him. I tried to be nice as I said, "Kid, we're going to walk down to the Big House, I'm going to carry your protector. 'Kay?"
He nodded numbly, and I said, "Good. Follow me."
I walked over to the satyr and recognized him: "Grover. Gods, you always get tough jobs."
As I grabbed Grover by his arm, slung it over my neck and started working down the hill, the kid stumbled after me and I worried I might have to drag him down too. He shakily asked, "What... What's going on?"
I sighed. "I'm not the best person to explain that. Just come with me and I can help."
The kid didn't answer, but he didn't run away either, so I assumed that was an "okay." We made it to the porch and I barely managed to set Grover down against the porch rail and yell "Chiron!" before the kid completely fell apart.
He collapsed and I barely managed to grab his arm and keep his head from cracking on the ground. I set him down as Chiron and- Annabeth?- came from the other side of the porch.
What was Annabeth doing here this late? She must've been questioning Chiron about the recent rumors again. I quickly said, "I found them up on the hill."
Chiron gave me his deluxe we'll talk later stare as Annabeth said excitedly, "He's the one. He must be."
Chiron chided, "Silence, Annabeth. He's still conscious. Annabeth, bring him inside. Raven, take Grover."
I nodded, hauling him up again and following Chiron and Annabeth inside. From there, Chiron waved me off to bed. I protested, "What? No! I'm not going anywhere!"
Chiron gave me a stern look. "Raven..."
I jutted out my chin stubbornly. "Chiron, I'm not leaving."
The old centaur sighed. "Raven, please."
He gave me those old, piercing eyes and I started to feel like I should give in and just go... but no. I shook my head. "Chiron, whatever it is you're still trying to keep me out of, stop! I'm not gonna stay here forever!"
He gave me such a look, I felt like saying apology after apology for insulting him, he looked so sadly at me. Gods of Olympus, this was hard. I returned eye contact, giving him my own special look: I'm not backing down.
He shook his head. "The gods help you, child."
I grinned. "I'll take that as a yes."
As Chiron clomped around the room, I opened my hand for a high five with Annabeth and she slipped me a small smile as she obliged. Going to the other side of the extra room, I got a canteen of nectar and tossed it to Annabeth as Chiron placed a hand on Grover's forehead.
Suddenly, I felt solemn. "Chiron... what's going to happen to Grover? I mean, he's gonna be fine I know, but... his searcher's license-"
"Will be under the judgement of the Council and Mr. D."
I frowned and murmured, "But you know what Mr. D would say. He hates all of us here. He'll just toss Grover away like a can of Diet Coke because that's the kind of jerk he is."
Chiron gave me a hard look and warned, "You have been here for six years, Raven. You should know better than to insult our director."
I grumbled, "He deserves it." But I did know better than to insult the gods. For all Chiron would let me in on, I was... gag, Dionysus's kid. Even the Fates couldn't be that cruel to me. But it would be the "dark truth" Chiron said my parent was. Or at least dark enough for me.
I sighed as Annabeth handed me the empty canteen and asked me, "Can you get me the ambrosia? Small. This kid's banged up, but I don't think we should risk much more."
I nodded. "You got it." Walking over to the counter, I pulled a cup of godly food from the cupboard and brought it back to Annabeth. This was going to be awhile.
The three of us worked through the night, Grover finally woke up, bleary-eyed and hungry. That's a satyr for you.
The kid- Chiron informed us was named Percy- was another story. It took three days for Annabeth to get Percy back on his feet, and once and awhile I'd pop in to see how the kid was doing.
The day he woke up, I was sitting on the railing next to Annabeth, watching Chiron and Mr.D's pinochle game.
Percy and Grover appeared around the corner and I straightened. Pshh. He didn't look very tough. Not enough to beat the Minotaur. Yet... he had. I'd seen it.
He stared at me like I was something worth looking at, not the levitating playing cards and extremely crazy camp. I wasn't much to look at: my camp shirt, ripped jeans, tennis shoes... yeah, pretty regular for camp. My hair was dark black and down to the middle of my back, but I never left it down. Either a ponytail or a braid, like today, I keep it out of my face. My skin was tan from all my time outside, though it had already been an olive color. My blue eyes weren't anything special either. No beautiful sky color,not like water. Just plain as blue jeans.
(No one's POV)
Grover murmured to Percy, "That's Mr. D. He's the camp director. Be polite. The blonde girl is Annabeth Chase. She's just a camper but she's been here longer than just about anybody except..." He nodded to Raven. "Her. Raven. She's been here longer than anyone else. And you already know Chiron..."
He pointed at the guy whose back was to Percy.
"Ah, good, Percy," he said. "Now we have four for pinochle."
He offered Percy a chair to the right of Mr. D, who looked at me with bloodshot eyes and heaved a great sigh. "Oh, I suppose I must say it. Welcome to Camp Half-Blood. There. Now, don't expect me to be glad to see you."
"Uh, thanks." Percy scooted away uncomfortably.
"Annabeth?" Mr. Brunner called to the blond girl. She came forward and Mr. Brunner introduced, "This young lady nursed you back to health, Percy. Annabeth, my dear, why don't you go check on Percy's bunk? We'll be putting him in cabin eleven for now."
Annabeth said, "Sure, Chiron." She looked at Percy and blankly said, "You drool when you sleep." Then she jogged off.
Raven chuckled on the railing and Chiron said, "This is Raven, the girl who helped you down Half-Blood Hill three days ago."
Raven gave a small nod, but her expression remained blank. "Hey."
Percy spoke a bit anxiously, "Hey."
Mr. D rolled his eyes. "Hey hey hey, now Raisin-"
"Raven!" The dark haired girl pointed out.
"Whatever, can go clean the stables for breaking curfew."
Raven protested, "But Mr. D, I helped another demigod! And Annabeth hasn't had any punishment! Why have I been cleaning for three days if-"
The director's eyes seemed to catch fire, his voice low and threatening. "Are you speaking to me that way, child?"
Raven paled slightly, but Percy didn't understand why. Raven seemed like she'd be strong enough to hold her own or fast enough to run away if a man like Mr. D he threatened her. But the girl muttered, "No."
Raven couldn't seem to resist. "No need to call me sir, Mr. D."
The god's eyes seemed to explode as Chiron hurriedly chided, "Raven, you-"
"Yeah yeah, apologize. Sorry for being smart. I'll go muck out the stables for your fat-"
The girl rolled her eyes, vaulted over the railing, hit the ground running, and raced off toward the cabins in the distance.
Percy's eyes widened. "What the..." What had just happened? Mr. D had somehow gotten scary and Raven hadn't backed down easy. She couldn't have been older than Percy! He murmured to Grover, "What's so scary about Mr. D?"
Grover shook his head, implying it was a bad subject, so Percy let it go, but Raven's face still showed: tan skin, black hair back, blue eyes reading him.
Raven had barely finished the pegasi stables and was walking back to the Hermes cabin when she saw him in the doorway. Annabeth and Chiron stood at the door as Percy walked in- or rather tripped in. Snickers could be heard inside as he managed to get in without falling over again. I couldn't help but sigh. This kid had killed the Minotaur? If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I never would've believed it.
Walking into the cabin behind him as Annabeth introduced, "Percy Jackson, meet Cabin Eleven."
A kid I recognized as Ethan Nakamura who had the bunk next to me asked, "Regular or undetermined?"
Annabeth opened her mouth to speak but I slipped past Percy and said, "Another undetermined, whoop-de-do."
A few kids groaned as Luke stepped forward, giving me the Look: come on, you can do better than that. Ugh, I hated it when he did that. Luke, being the closest to a real brother that I had, always had some sway over me, no matter what. A single look, and he could make me back down almost every time. It was very annoying.
"Now, now, campers. That's what we're here for. Welcome, Percy. You can have that spot on the floor, right over there."
Oh no. He'd pointed at the ground next to my bunk. Ugh, as if I wanted a reminder every time I walked in the cabin that I'd screwed up on the hill. I should've been quicker! Instead all I'd done was haul a satyr down a hill.
As I sat down on my bed sullenly, Annabeth went a bit red, her voice taking that different tone as she said, "This is Luke. He's your councilor for now."
Percy asked, "For now?"
"You're undetermined," Luke explained patiently. "They don't know what cabin to put you in, so you're here. Cabin eleven takes all newcomers, all visitors. Naturally, we would. Hermes, our patron, is the god of travelers."
Percy looked at his section of floor, then at the faces in our cabin. I didn't bother. I already knew what he'd see: a bunch of pickpockets that would rob you blind and you wouldn't know until you got to the bank. It was a common expression here.
The newbie asked, "How long will I be here?"
I couldn't help but scowl as Luke said, "Good question. Until you're determined."
"How long will that take?"
A bunch of kids laughed, but I thought, 'Sure, laugh it up guys. Laugh at him too. Bet all us undetermined kids love it.'
Annabeth said, "Come on, I'll show you the volleyball court."
Percy said, "I've already seen it."
"Come on." She grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him outside as the others in the cabin laughed. I couldn't help it. I stood and growled, "Go ahead and laugh, idiots. Half of you are laughing at yourselves."
A Hermes girl hissed, "Go back to your cave, Creeper."
Luke's voice hardened. "Lisa, lay off."
I went completely red and muttered, "I can fight my own battles now, Luke."
Luke gave a slight nod, knowing I was probably about to get embarrassed to Hades and back.
An undetermined boy sneered, "Just go on and hide behind Luke, as usual."
I crossed my arms. "Keep talking and you'll need someone to hide behind."
The boy- I recognized was Andrew- laughed. "That's cute, kid. But you've still got bruises from the last time you fought someone."
He was right. I felt the marks on my arms and legs from getting whapped with a sword ache. But I didn't care. "But anyone could beat you, Andrew."
Andrew narrowed his eyes and said, "Fine. When do you want to get beat?"
I smirked. "No time like the present."
Ten minutes later, nearly all the Hermes cabin was gathered around me and Andrew in a circle. The usual betting wasn't going on; everyone's stolen money would've been on Andrew, and they were probably right. Andrew was 14, two years older than me. He had the reach of a sword, the height advantage, and the strength I lacked. It seemed like such a no brainer. I was about to get my butt kicked. But I didn't want to give up.
I pulled out my knives, one in each hand. Andrew drew his sword- nothing special, but seeing it, even more dread fell down on me. Ugh, and the bruises from fighting with Ethan had just been fading.
I could see Luke just past Andrew, giving me the Look: you can do better than that. He expected me to win. I knew it. But he knew as well as I did I was about to get creamed.
Andrew taunted, "Going to attack or what, short stack?"
I yelled and leapt forward, feinting diving left before swerving to the right, but he swung and the flat of his blade cracked into my shoulder, sending me stumbling, struggling for balance.
I looked up and Luke was there, his expectant gaze still there too. You can do better than that. Could I? Could I really?
I heard footsteps and jerked to the side, Andrew's blade digging into the grass at my feet. Yanking it out, he swung again, me backing up, but I couldn't for much longer. I'd lose my balance.
He swiped again at this time I couldn't sidestep without falling over, and the flat came right at my head.
Then, it happened. One of my weird moments where things didn't make any sense, like last night when my hand had passed through my shoelace. Maybe I blinked at just the right moment or hallucinated the weapon or was just out of range, but I wasn't hit.
Andrew blinked for a moment, confused, and it was enough to jerk me out of my stupor. Rushing forward, I stuck a knife to his throat. "I win."
Andrew snapped out of it, slapped the knife away, and dropped his sword to put me in a headlock.
"Hey, I won!"
Andrew tightened and my throat constricted. "Then why am I the one holding you?"
I tried to pull out, but his grip was iron compared to my strength.
Luke sighed and said, "Andrew, put her down."
Andrew smirked. "Sure. In the lake!"
I shot Luke a glare and growled, "No way!" I didn't want him helping anymore. I wanted to be strong on my own.
I couldn't do anything as Andrew led the way to the lake before tossing me off the dock like a rag doll. Face planting in the water, the naiads gave me a sympathetic look: Again?
I scowled and came to the surface... to realize my weapons belt was gone (just to be clear, its purely for holding weapons, not holding her pants up). Andrew stood up on the dock, holding it, my knives glinting.
I protested, "Give that back!" I swam back to the dock and tried to pull myself up, but Andrew shoved my hands off and taunted, "I get to keep them. Spoils of war. But they look pretty shoddy..."
He threw them into the deeper part of the lake. "Oops. Have fun retrieving those!" He and the Hermes kids that had followed retreated, laughing. I dragged myself onto the dock, flopping on my back. Yeah, the camp had climate control, but the lake was still cold. Luke stood over me, arms crossed, eyebrows raised. "So you can totally handle it, right?"
I scowled at his quote of me last week as I spit out lake water and sat up. "Yeah yeah yeah, I get it. Now can I go without a lecture?"
Luke sighed. "Always gotta try, don't you? You know petty fights won't get your parent's attention."
Another problem: Luke knew me better than I knew me. I muttered, "Whatever."
Luke gave me the same look as always and warned, "You're never going to get out of here with that attitude."
I sighed, standing up and throwing a glance to the water. I looked at a nymph and asked, "Any chance you could get my belt?"
The naiad disappeared, then reappeared a minute later, my weapons belt floating at the surface. I managed a small smile and I leaned over, scooping it out of the water. "Thanks, I owe you one."
Luke shook his head. "I think you mean twenty."
I scowled and snapped, "Did I ask you to count?"
Luke didn't answer right away. Instead, he walked up to me, put an arm around me, and said, "Rav, it's time you give up on this."
My eyes widened as I pulled away. "No way! I'm not going to stop trying to find out my parent! I don't care how many times I get beat up, or if I have to sneak in to see the Oracle, I'm going to find out, one way or another!"
Luke gave me a pained look. "Raven, you're going to get yourself hurt soon enough. You think I want to see that?"
My anger wavered. "No... but, I- I still am going to try! Come on, Luke. You know who your dad is. I don't even know if it's a dad or a mom. I'm not asking permission. I'm going to find out!"
I hadn't meant to shout, but my yell echoed over the lake as Luke asked, "Finished?"
I scowled; why did he have to be so annoyingly brotherly?
Before I could say anything, he hugged me, despite my being soaked. "Come on, let's get you dried."
My scowl melted, turning into a small smile. "Okay."
So maybe the big brother factor wasn't so bad.
Péthane apó to chéri mou!- Die by my hand!