The Labyrinth of Time — Percy Jackson fanfiction

Between Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase and Thalia Grace and Luke Castellan as siblings.

Chapter One: The Sibling Bonds That Knot

The afternoon sun was warm against my skin, which was weird because usually when I am sitting at the beach, even during summer, the winds off the Long Island Sound are cool, maybe even a little too cool. But not today. Today, they whispered of something different, something that wasn't strictly weather-related. This was the world of demigods, after all; every breeze had a prophecy and every shadow hid a monster.

I had survived battles that had probably taken years off my life—assuming I lived long enough to have to worry about getting old—and I had come out of them thinking that nothing could surprise me anymore. But looking up at Half-Blood Hill, I had to admit, Thalia standing silhouetted against the setting sun was not something I'd expected to see.

Most of the campers were busy prepping their weapons or sucking face with their significant others in dark corners—because who knew if we'd even see tomorrow, right?—but not Thalia. She stood alone, her punk clothes billowing around her like she was some kind of electric goddess, and her eyes fixed on something I couldn't see.

I was about to go up to her—ask what she was looking at or if she'd seen the latest redesign Annabeth had made to the camp's defenses—when the image of Luke's face stopped me. Luke with his scar, that mark of a life too hard for anyone, let alone a kid. We had all been kids when we met him, and in a lot of ways, we'd all looked up to him like he was the older brother we never had. Keyword: had.

An unsettling feeling settled in my gut as I remembered the last time I'd seen him. Luke Castellan, former camper and head counselor, current vessel for the Titan Kronos and top-tier traitor to basically all of humanity. He was out there right now, making plans to turn New York into a battleground, and the memory made our shared past seem like a half-remembered dream.

Shaking the image from my mind, I finally trekked up the hill, reaching Thalia just as the first star appeared in the evening sky. Her expression was deep in thought, and she didn't startle as I approached, which meant she knew I was there the whole time. Demigod senses: great for preventing monster attacks, terrible for surprise greetings.

"You're thinking about him, aren't you?" I asked. It came out more accusation than question.

She didn't flinch. "I’m always thinking about a lot of things, Percy. Luke is...complicated."

Before I could say anything else, Annabeth appeared, her arms full of blueprints and that glint in her eye that said she had just solved another impossible puzzle. She was amazing, scary amazing, but the way her smile faltered when she saw Thalia and me, I knew she was thinking about Luke, too.

"We need to talk," Annabeth said, not her usual ‘Eureka!’ but rather a ‘We’ve got a serious problem, and it involves a lot more than just camp defenses.’

At that moment, it was as if an invisible thread connected the three of us. Something more than friendship, different than love. Maybe it was the kind of bond only people who have seen the end of the world together can understand. A sibling bond. Born not of blood, but of shared scars and joint memories so intense they hurt.

An impromptu meeting under Thalia's pine, her sacred tree, began just as the evening stars began to twinkle into existence. Here, with Annabeth's brilliance, Thalia's courage, and whatever it is I bring to the table (still not quite sure about that), we shared our suspicions, our fears, and maybe, if we were brave enough to admit it, our hope.

As the dark blanket of night enveloped Camp Half-Blood and the rest of the world went to sleep, us three demigods stood awake, drawn together as though by those same unshakable threads of fate. Whatever the Fates had in store for us—whether it was to save the world or go down trying—we would face it together. As a family.

Somehow, standing there beneath the celestial bronze statue of our father, Zeus, I felt like, maybe, just maybe, we had a fighting chance. Even if it was against our own brother-turned-enemy. But then, Greek mythology was never big on functional families.

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