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The sound of beating wings and nails scratching against the drive made the questmates fall out of their daydream. 

The Fury stood with her full intimidating wingspan, scaring the demigods towards the pastel emporium doors. Percy pulled out his pen sword, holding it before himself. Ciarda stepped forward, swinging her golden blade with ease.

"And we do this again, Alecto." She cocked her head. Percy looked to Grover in misunderstanding, but the Satyr's widened eyes were stuck on Ciarda. "Again?" He queried but Annabeth shushed him.

A smile twitched on Ciarda's lips as she felt the sharpness of her blade cut the air. Ignoring the pain in her bleeding shoulders, she placed the edge near her face, readying herself to butcher the Fury. 

The woman had already taken Thalia from her, she wouldn't allow another Forbidden Child to disappear from her grasp. 

She was better now: stronger, faster, scarier. 

"And now we dance," Ciarda lunged, striking Alecto. The Fury screeched, using her talons to scratch away the blade. Her golden sword sliced the nails in half, making Alecto scream out. "Ciarda!" Percy ran forward to help but was held back by Grover. "She needs to do this," He told Percy who was angry and struggling in confusion. 

The Fury suddenly stopped, Ciarda's sword scraping along Alecto's shimmering scales. She yelled out but didn't move, immediately looking away in fear. Ciarda halted in confusion. Blood poured from the cut along Alecto's back. 

"Not here friends, not on my doorstep," A soothing voice of silk drifted in the air. Ciarda's eyes found the ground instantaneously, knowing that voice was a mask for the murderer the homeowner was.

"Oh shoot," Annabeth and Grover saw the woman, in classy beige, walk between statues, and looked away from her, Percy following suit. "If you have a problem why don't you come inside and I can help?"

When Alecto refused Medusa's offer of sanctuary, her red-painted lips smiled. "I didn't think you would. She won't bother you when you're with me. But she will not leave either, especially if that means she failed to retrieve the Son of Poseidon," She grinned, baring her dazzlingly white teeth.

So, she knew who they were.

"How did you-" Percy stuttered in confusion. Ciarda prayed that Percy could hear the foul curses she mentally sent his way. "A Forbidden Child has been claimed, how long did you think that secret would keep? It's nice to meet you, Son of Poseidon. I'm Medusa."

Ciarda glanced sideways, at Percy who began to look upwards. "Percy don't-" She warned, Annabeth cutting her off. "She's a monster." 

"We all choose who we make our monsters. And right now, that one wants to tear you limb from limb, and I'm offering you lunch. The choice is yours." Her footsteps receeded. 

"I think we can trust her," Percy decided after a moment of silence. He was interrupted by the other three all yelling at him simultaneously.



"Blondie, something about how your brain works makes me want to violently gouge your eyes out."


Somehow, Percy had convinced himself and Grover to head inside - therefore leaving Ciarda and Annabeth no choice but to follow them. 

She swung her bloodied sword around, letting it end up in the hilt by her side.

"When I get my hands on that no-good mermaid, I am going to strangle him," She complained to Annabeth. 

Medusa's lair was nothing like she had pictured every time Chiron had told her Medusa's tale - bedtime stories growing up at Camp used to be her favourite; Eros and Clarisse acting them out for her whilst she was snuggled up in bed. Wooden swords and all. 

A wave of longing for her family kept her distracted, leading to her bumping into a clothed table. She snapped from her daze, her eyes widening in response. A mountain of delicious steaming food lay in front of them, all their personal favourites. 

When Ciarda saw custard-filled doughnuts, she felt her stomach rumble. Candles lit up the unstained tablecloth and lanterns hung low from the ceiling.

"You must be hungry, I left some snacks on the table while I get something proper going." Medusa's silky voice enticed the boys to sit. "Do you think it's safe to eat?" Percy looked to Grover, who now held the dirty box. 

If they asked Ciarda to carry the box at any point in their quest, she was going to drop it into the Hudson with no remorse. 

A bell chimed as Annabeth followed into the room the three stood in. "Thanks for coming," Percy smiled crookedly at her. "This isn't the same for me as it is for you," Annabeth stated with an edged voice. "Why?" Percy huffed. 

"You think I would hold a grudge against you simply because you are a Daughter of Athena?" Medusa walked in, pouring juice into cups. Everyone looked at the floor.

"You shouldn't be, we're not our parents after all," Medusa smiled with a sweet voice. "Apart from that little chick on the end," Medusa piped up. Ciarda felt heat growing in her cheeks. Medusa was talking about her.

Sweet, rosey whispers filled her mind, making her want to rest. "Get out of my head," Her snarl was enough to scare both Percy and Annabeth. The whispers silenced.

"My apologies, I do find it interesting, though, that you want to be just like your father. You tell yourself that, or is it really that you want him to be proud of you instead? Acknowledge your existence?" 

Medusa's words made Ciarda grip her sword tighter. Annabeth watched it from the corner of her eye. 

"I don't think this is how you treat guests," Ciarda ground her teeth - she didn't like her secrets being exposed, "Or do you not know proper etiquette with your lack of customers?" Ciarda looked around the empty room.

"Of course," Medusa rubbed her hands, smoothing out the upper lip sneer on her face. "You and I might have more in common than you think." 

"Please, sit and eat." Medusa's call invited the two boys to settle and help spoonfuls onto their plates. Annabeth and Ciarda stayed standing. 

"So, if you're not a monster, what are you then?" Percy queried, heaping food onto his plate. 

"A survivor." 

Medusa's answer stilled the fury in Ciarda, for a split second. The white flame blipped. 

"You must be a little more than that. Alecto is out there and she's terrified of you," Percy expanded. "Because she knows what I think of her. I don't like bullies. When one shows up on my doorstep, they end up staying there a lot more time than they planned for. The gift the Gods gave me is that I cannot be bullied anymore." 

Medusa sat, smiling when Ciarda looked directly at her. Fear diminished in her eyes. She slowly dragged the tip of her sword along the floor, splintering the floorboards before sitting opposite Percy. 

"You are a very brave young woman. You are much like your father - if that is what you would like to hear." 

Ciarda stared at her, her expression stone cold. Opening her mouth to respond to Medusa's painted smile, she was interrupted by Annabeth. 

"What my mother did to you wasn't a gift. It was a curse," She spat in disgust. 

"You're loyal to your mother," Medusa smiled. "Yes." Annabeth shrugged. "Always stand by her?" Medusa asked. "Of course." 

"And do you love her?" Medusa's lips tipped up. "Of course I do." 

"So did I." 

𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐒  | percy jacksonWhere stories live. Discover now