1 4 || PERCY MIGHT BE A SQUID

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F O U R T E E N
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Percy watched his classmates stream out of the room, some snickering, others looking at him sympathetically. Harry and his friends eyed him curiously and he couldn't help but to think he'd already blown his cover. "Don't draw attention to yourself," Chiron had said. He'd done a great job of following that rule. So much for that.
As the last students left, the door closed with a thump.

"Mr Jackson, I've heard quite a bit about you," Slughorn said with a hint of admiration. "A descendant of a witch and a god. You'd make a nice addition to my collection."

Percy feigned surprise. "I don't know what you're talking about," he paused, remembering his manners and added a small 'sir' at the end of his sentence.

"Oh, don't bother with the formalities. 'You're out of your mind Professor. Gods? What are you talking about?" Slughorn smiled. "That's what I said at first too." He let out a throaty chuckle. "I suppose the idea of it all is quite mad," he said, looking thoughtful.

"How do you know about-"

"About the gods? I'm afraid that's a story for another time." He studied the boy in front of him. "Your mother was an exceptional witch," he said, "though not so much at potions. I suppose that's why you're lacking in that area," he finished bitterly.

"No need to sugar coat it," Percy grumbled.

Slughorn laughed. "Although I do expect great things from you- in fact I have a proposal of sorts."

He frowned. "What do you mean?"

"All in due time, just keep an eye out for my invitation."

"Invitation?"

Slughorn pulled out a pocket watch and furrowed his eyebrows. "Oh dear, would you look at the time. I suppose I've kept you in long enough. If anyone asks; I've given you a detention."

"Wait- Professor. What do you know about my Mom?"

"Sally Jackson," Slughorn mused, "a brilliant student, she was. Shame about her uncle, she would have done great things. I suppose if you're that interested you could visit the trophy room, sometime."

"Where's that?"

"I'm afraid I really must be going now," Slughorn said, discarding his question, as he opened the door. "Jackson, I'll be seeing you in detention next week," he said, abruptly raising his voice. He shot him a wink and stood by the side of the door to let Percy pass.

"I won't let it happen again, sir," he said without skipping a beat.

"I trust you won't," Slughorn replied. "Keep an eye out for that invitation," he added in a whisper, and then he was off.

As soon as he was out of sight, Annabeth was marching over with Clarisse walking behind, fiddling with her wand. "What did you do?" his girlfriend hissed. "You practically revealed yourself to everyone!"

"Calm down, Wise Girl," Clarisse said with a slight snicker, "you're acting like he announced to the whole school he was a demigod."

"Keep it down. Those three are watching us," she said. Percy looked past her shoulder. Harry and two of his friends were lingering near the stairwell, not so subtly eavesdropping.

"Great. We've been here barely a day and already people are suspicious," Clarisse carped.

"It's not my fault!" he protested. "I'd like to see you try make a potion without it blowing up!"

"We did," Clarisse pointed out, "just then."

"And we're not even wizards," Annabeth added, grinning in satisfaction.

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