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The House of Hades

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Hey everybody! I've noticed a lot more people have been voting/commenting/fanning/adding this story to their library and I wanted to say it means a lot to me! I love all you guys for reading my story! Anyway on with PIPER!!!

Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah not mine.

Piper

The mood aboard the Argo II was as black as coal. What else would it be, with two of their most powerful and brave demigods missing? Piper felt guilty with herself. During the moments when Annabeth and Percy were sliding towards the edge of the pit, Piper had stood there frozen. She had sat and watched as one of her crew members and her best friend slid into oblivion. She regretted that horribly, and now there was no way to fix it.

It was obvious that she wasn't the only one feeling guilty. Despite the fact that they kept reassuring the others that Annabeth and Percy weren't dead, Nico and Hazel looked like they were souls of the dead themselves. They often wandered the decks, their eyes lifeless and movements slow. Frank and Leo had even quit their arguing, for the moment being, of course. Jason was more depressed than usual, but he was trying his best to keep the group together. Even Coach Hedge didn't find as much joy in his cage fights and baseball scores as he used to.

Piper wasn't too worried for Percy and Annabeth though. Even though she had only known Percy for a little while, she knew he was extremely powerful. Also, the two of them obviously loved each other very much (being a child of Aphrodite, she was subject to people's emotions, even if she wanted to steer clear of their love life). She knew that they would look out for each other, but even they could only take so much. Gods themselves were afraid of Tartarus.

Standing by the starboard railing of the Argo II, Piper took a deep breath to calm herself. She couldn't give in to dread. Besides, the Doors of Death had to be closed from both sides anyway. The only problem was making sure that Percy and Annabeth were ready to close the doors at the same time they were.

Piper leaned out over Italy, closing her eyes and taking in the sweet fresh air. She inhaled and exhaled in a steady pattern. Her dagger was strapped through one of her belt loops. Piper didn't want to look at it, but she was thinking that Katropis might be able to show her Percy and Annabeth.

The highly polished surface of the blade was as shiny as a mirror. But instead of reflecting the open sky, and dark image shone on the metal. It was clearly Percy and Annabeth, and they both wore terrified expressions on their faces. The ground below them opened, and they shot down separate holes. Katropis clattered to the deck.

Leo, who was standing at the helm, saw her and rushed over. "You okay Pipes?"

Piper knelt and scooped her knife from the deck. "Yeah...yeah I'm fine." She shouldered past Leo and went to her cabin.

Piper tossed Katropis onto her bed, next to the horn of plenty. Gazing at the horn, she froze. She had completely forgotten! She snatched it up and raced to Jason's cabin. She knocked but no one answered.

The door swung open easily. Jason's stuff was scattered all over the floor, bed, and cabinets. Piper wrinkled her nose. The place smelled horrible.

She backed up out of the room and made her way to the lounge. Poking her head in, Piper found Jason staring at the live images of Camp Half-Blood. Now, however, the pictures showed the Greeks rushing around, taking stock of weapons, and practicing battle tactics.

"Jason?" He turned around and managed a weak smile.

"Hey Pipes. What's up?"

Piper went over and sat next to him on the couch. "If I recall, today is a special day for you." She concentrated, and a slice of cake shot out of the horn, with an already lit candle. Handing it to Jason, Piper whispered, "Make a wish!"

Jason snuffed out the candle, and the two of them ate the cake in silence.

Jason dusted off his hands, and looked like he was about to speak, when Coach Hedge burst into the room. "Alright cupcakes-Hey! Are you two alone down here! You know how I feel about that!"

"It's fine Coach, I was just wishing Jason a happy birthday," Piper soothed.

Hedge chewed his cudgel, obviously deep in thought. "Fine. I'll let it slide this time. And Leo wants you all on deck."

When they reached the deck, Nico, Hazel, and Frank were already there. Jason and Piper rushed over to them, just as Leo began to speak.

"Alright guys! I was thinking-"

Piper interrupted with a gasp, and Jason snorted. Leo glared at them to let him continue. "Anyway, I was thinking that we should IM camp and let them know about the Romans and, um, Percy and Annabeth."

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