Percy Jackson and the Boy Who Lived
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Percy Jackson series or Harry Potter. That’d be Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.
There was a visitor in Camp. It was a rare enough occurrence that gossip was running rampant. It couldn’t be a mortal and the gods never bothered visiting, so no parents.
Well, the gossip machine ran in circles was until Chiron came down to the training arena and called, “Percy Jackson! There’s someone here to see you.”
Percy just barely managed to keep Annabeth from slicing him in two in his distraction. She stepped back, breathing nearly as hard as he was, and Percy smirked at her as he walked backwards. “So, I guess we’ll finish this later.”
She rolled her eyes, those magnificent eyes, and said, “Go away. Catch your breath. Come back and get your butt kicked.”
Percy laughed until he reached Chiron and they walked away together, then he winced and massaged his arm, saying, “Ow.”
Chiron chuckled, clapping him on the shoulder. “Annabeth doesn’t take it easy on anyone, but especially not her friends.”
“Yeah, I noticed,” Percy said, rolling his shoulder and trying to work some feeling back into it. That last strike had had a certain numbing effect and he wasn’t actually looking forward to it wearing off but he knew the longer it took, the more it would hurt.
“Considering how much trouble you each find, that’s likely a good thing,” Chiron reminded him lightly, with only the slightest hint of censor.
“I know,” Percy muttered, the tips of his ears turning red in embarrassment. Was it his fault trouble followed him everywhere?
Chiron patted him on the back when they reached the porch and left, waving him up. Mr. D was shifting uncomfortably in his chair as a man with wild dark hair stood with his back to both the stairs and the table. Percy hurried up the steps and the dark haired man turned at the clatter. The first thing Percy was struck by were eyes as green as grass. The second was the thin lightning bolt scar on his forehead. And the third was his age. There were stories that drifted around camp of an inclusive group of mortals that weren’t normal and one of them focused on a boy that had taken on a quest to defeat a great evil. But this man, even though this had to be him, this man was his mom’s age. Percy’d never thought about what happened after the boy completed his quest because there was always another quest until one finally got the better of them. They didn’t get to middle age.
“Percy Jackson,” Mr. D said, standing and interrupting Percy’s internal monologue. “This is Harry Potter.”
Mr. Potter pulled one of his hands from his pocket and held it out as he said, “How do you do, Mr. Jackson?”
“Good,” Percy said, nodding, a little stunned at the British accent. “I mean, I’m doing well, thank you, and yourself?”
It was an awkward transition but his mom would be proud, anyway.
Mr. Potter smiled slightly and nodded. “Well enough.”
They stopped shaking hands and Mr. Potter tucked his back in his pocket, rocking on his heels. Mr. D backed towards the door, saying, “I’ll just leave you two to talk.”
And he was gone, leaving Percy alone with a man he’d heard legends about.
“Do you have friends, Percy Jackson?” Mr. Potter asked, brilliant green eyes intense as they stared into Percy’s.
“Yeah,” he said slowly, drawing it out. There was the slightest possibility that Mr. Potter was crazy.
“Keep them close,” he said seriously, like he was passing on the secrets of life.
“And my enemies closer,” Percy said, feeling a little let down. All that crazy and all he was getting was a bunch of clichés.
“Well, I wouldn’t say that,” Mr. Potter said with a little laugh as his hand idly rose up to rub at the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. “Let me tell you a story about a baby that was prophesied to save the world…”
“I’ve heard it,” Percy interrupted, wincing a little. So much for his mother being proud of his manners. “I mean, it’s one of the legends of Half-Blood Camp.”
“Of course,” Mr. Potter nodded, shifting to stare out at the woods where undoubtedly there were hundreds of hidden half-bloods staring at him eagerly. He sighed and murmured something Percy didn’t manage to catch.
“Excuse me?” Percy asked hesitantly, stepping closer.
Mr. Potter looked at him and sighed. “I said, it’s always the young ones. The ones with prophecies and potential death. It’s always the young ones.”
“I’m not that young,” Percy said, frowning.
“Yes, you are,” Mr. Potter said, but not like he was arguing. Just like it was a fact that he knew so well. “You’re incredibly young, Mr. Jackson, you just haven’t been given the opportunity to realize it. It’s always been one disaster after the other for you and it always will be.”
A bit of dread washed through him but Percy just shrugged. “That’s what it means to be a half-blood.”
Mr. Potter cocked his head as he said, “Actually, Mr. Jackson, that’s what it means to be a hero.”
“Your life straightened out,” Percy pointed out.
Mr. Potter nodded. “It did. It took seven long years and the deaths of innumerable friends, but my life got better. I guess that that’s what I came here to tell you today. That, even with all the bad things, there are good things. And you must keep hope, Mr. Jackson. You must begin, even in these most troubled times, to build the life you want to have after.”
“Okay,” Percy said, a little confused. He was pretty sure this was supposed to be Important, capital letter and everything, but it just felt a little weird.
“You’ll understand one day,” Mr. Potter nodded, looking back out into the woods. “When it’s your turn to pass the torch, you’ll understand. Good day, Mr. Jackson.”
Then he pulled a stick from up his shirt sleeve and disappeared with a soft pop before Percy could even say bye.
“Wizards,” Mr. D said, clomping back out onto the porch and thumping a Dr. Pepper down on the table in front of Percy, “are weirdos.”
Percy was pretty sure that was true, even if he suspected this weirdo had had a point he just wasn’t ready to grasp, yet.