1 0 || THE CASTLE

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Percy gawked at the sight before him.
"Blackjack?" he exclaimed in disbelief. "What are you doing here?"

"Didn't think Chiron would send you on a quest without your most trustworthy companion, now did you Boss?"

Percy couldn't contain his delight. "Awesome!" Since discovering Leo was alive- somewhere -he had been overly happy. Sure, Leo was on the run and could possibly be almost dying but hey, that was perfectly normal for a demigod. He was alive, and that's all that mattered.

He moved towards Annabeth, prepared to help her mount but she was already climbing on with ease. She smirked. "I can do some things for myself, you know."

"I know," Percy said. "I was just trying to be a good boyfriend."

"But you're already the best boyfriend."

"Better hurry up Boss," Blackjack interrupted, "before Top-hat over there blows his top." The pegasus let out a cross between a snort and a neigh at his own joke.

"Hold your horses," Percy said to him, grinning.

"That one wasn't funny."

He lifted himself up until he was sat comfortably on the pegasus' back, arms around Annabeth who had already made herself at home.

"Hold on."

And with that, they were in the air. Percy let out a whoop of joy. Try blasting me out of the sky now, Zeus, he thought.

The cool night breeze was refreshing. He felt free, and alive. And he was with one of his most favourite people in the world, sharing this beautiful moment with her. It was almost enough to make him forget about the real reason he was here. Almost.

Despite all of that, he couldn't help but to let the smile stay on his face. Watching the look of awe and amazement Annabeth had on, was enough to make even the most pessimistic person appreciative.

She looked so happy, flying through the air, her long blonde hair streaming out behind her, grey eyes sparkling with joy as she took in the scenery. Percy couldn't help but to smile too.

Blackjack swooped downwards, darting through the open air and spiralling upwards just before they hit the ground.

"That was for the horse joke," he said as Percy almost lost his grip.

"Percy- Look!" Annabeth gasped, staring straight ahead at what Percy assumed was the castle. She reminded him of a child who'd just been given candy.

He squinted. The light of the stars and the moon was barely enough for him to see but he could faintly make out the shape of what he assumed was a castle. The school had been built in a valley area. The shadowy shapes of mountains decorated the landscape and even in the dark, the sloping hills were visible. The walls were lined with torches, and braziers had been positioned neatly by the doorways. As they drew closer, Percy realised just how large the castle really was. Seven stories at the least, with two large oak doors standing tall and proud facing the west, acting as what he assumed was the main entrance. He couldn't help but to marvel at the sight.

"Look at those towers. The structure is impeccable," his girlfriend murmured in appreciation.

"Looks kinda like that castle from Merlin, if you ask me, Boss."

"You watch Merlin?" Percy exclaimed in surprise.

"Uh, I'd sometimes look in through the windows of the Ares cabin when it was on," Blackjack said, flustered.

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