I Get Claimed is the twenty-third chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on September 16, 2016.
It took a while for me to stop crying. Jasmine was also crying. I even saw Luke let a few tears fall.
Thalia was gone. She died to help us get to camp. But why?
Camp Half-Blood was big, but also quiet.
Grover was leading us to a big house, which apparently was called the Big House. There were floating fire balls in the front of it. Toothless touched them, but it didn’t seem to do anything to him.
Inside, there were two men sitting at a table. One of them had a red nose, big watery eyes, and curly hair so black it was almost purple. He looked like those paintings of cherubs I’ve seen. That’s it. He looked like a cherub who’d turned middle-aged in a trailer park. He wore a tiger-pattern Hawaiian shirt. The other man was in a wheelchair, wearing a tweed jacket, had thin brown hair, and a scraggly beard. They were playing some kind of game.
“Oh, great,” the man wearing the Hawaiian shirt said when he saw us, but he didn’t look happy. “More half-bloods.”
The other man, the one in the wheelchair, smiled at us.
“Ah, Grover,” he said. “I see you succeeded in guiding them here safely.”
We all had sad looks on our faces.
“Uh, not all of them,” Grover replied.
The man in the wheelchair noticed the looks on all of our faces and seemed to understand. “I see. But before you explain, let me introduce myself. I am Chiron. This is Mr. D. He’s the camp director.” He gestured to the other man sitting next to him.
“Mr. D?” Jasmine asked. “What does the D mean?”
He looked at her with hard eyes. “Young lady, names are powerful things. You don’t just go around using them for no reason.”
“Why? What’s so powerful about them?”
“They can attract whomever possesses that name you say.”
“How? Is it like when you call your pet and they come to you?”
“It’s a bit like that,” Chiron agreed. “But harder to explain. You will learn as you train here. Now, what are your names, young ones?”
“I’m Luke, son of Hermes,” Luke said. “This is Annabeth and Jasmine and Toothless. Annabeth doesn’t know who her godly parent is, except that her mother is a goddess. Jasmine isn’t a demigod. She’s a—”
“A mortal?!” Mr. D said, saying it like it was a bad thing. “How did a mortal get into the camp?”
“I’m not a mortal,” Jasmine argued. “I’m an Immortal.”
“Like a god?”
“Umm, no. My family has powers that can do almost anything, and I’ll have powers like theirs when I’m bigger. The only powers I have right now is controlling animals.”
“Oh. You’re a part of the Protector of America’s family. I don’t like her.”
“She dislikes wine.”
“So? I love wine! Would you like to try some?”
“Mr. D,” Chiron said gently, but sternly. “You’re restricted from having any kind of alcohol inside camp. Especially from giving it to minors.”
He sighed. “Unfortunately, yes, I am.”
“You hate my grandma because she hates wine?” Jasmine asked.
“I can’t think of a better reason to hate her,” Mr. D replied.
Luke smiled at that. So did I. Grover looked nervous, and he was about to say something, but Chiron stopped him.
“Let’s give you three a tour of camp,” he said.
He somehow stood up from his wheelchair and something weird happened.
His blanket fell away from his legs, but the legs didn’t move. His waist kept getting longer, rising above his belt. At first, I thought he was wearing very long, white velvet underwear, but as he kept rising out of the chair, taller than any man, I realized that the velvet underwear wasn’t underwear; it was the front of an animal, muscle and sinew under course white fur. And the wheelchair wasn’t a chair. It was some kind of container, an enormous box on wheels, and it must’ve been magic, because I don’t think it could’ve held all of him. A leg came out, long and knobby-kneed, with a huge polished hoof. Then another front leg, then hindquarters, and then the box was empty, nothing but a metal shell with a couple of fake human legs attached.
He became a man apart of a white horse.
Luke, Jasmine, Toothless, and I stared at him. But Grover and Mr. D didn’t look surprised at all.
“Now come, young ones,” he told us.
And we did.
Grover stayed with Mr. D while Chiron gave us a tour of camp.
He explained to us that he’s a centaur—half-man, half-horse.
Jasmine asked if she could ride on his back and he let her. She got me to ride on him too. Luke just walked beside us.
There were hundreds of other kids here, around Luke’s age, and they were all wearing orange T-shirts that had Camp Half-Blood written on the front of them.
Chiron also explained that there were a lot of demigods that came to camp to train mostly in the summer, but only a few stay year-round.
He continued the tour by showing us the dining pavilion, the volleyball courts, the canoe lake, the amphitheater, the climbing wall, the Arena, the armory, the strawberry fields, and the pegasus stables. (Jasmine liked that part of the tour, but Chiron didn’t seem to like it at all. I wasn’t sure why.)
Chiron showed us all of the twelve cabins where the children of the Olympian gods stayed in. They were arranged in a U, with two at the base and five in a row on either side.
Except for the fact that each had a large brass number above the door (odds on the left, evens on the right), they didn’t really look anything alike. Number nine had smokestacks, like a tiny factory. Number four had tomato vines on the walls and a roof made out of real grass. Seven seemed to be made of solid gold, which gleamed so much in the sunlight it was almost impossible to look at. They all faced a commons area about the size of a soccer field, dotted with Greek statues, fountains, flower beds, and a couple of basketball hoops.
Chiron took us to the last cabin on the left, number eleven. There was a symbol above the doorway of a winged pole with two snakes wrapped around it. It looked familiar.
“Hermes cabin,” Luke guessed.
“Yes,” Chiron agreed. “Make yourselves at home.”
Inside, there were about twenty boys and girls. They all bowed to Chiron when they saw him.
“Good luck, young ones,” Chiron told us. “I’ll see you all at dinner.”
And off he went.
One of the boys came up to us.
“Hello,” he said. “Welcome to cabin eleven. I’m Erik, son of Hermes.”
“Son of Hermes?” Jasmine asked. “Luke, he’s your brother.”
“Apparently so,” he replied.
“You’re a son of Hermes?” Erik asked him.
“Ok. Well, welcome, brother. These are some of your other brothers and sisters. Now, who are you little cuties?”
I didn’t like him calling us that.
“Annabeth,” I replied.
“I’m her best friend, Jasmine,” Jasmine said. “And this is Toothless.”
“Ok. I’m guessing that you two are undetermined?” Erik asked.
“Undetermined?” I asked. “What’s that?”
“It means that you don’t know who your godly parent is.”
“Oh. I don’t know who my godly parent is.”
“And I’m not a demigod,” Jasmine said.
“You’re not?” Erik asked, confused. “Then what are you?”
“I’m an Immortal.”
“It’s a long story,” Luke said. “Do you know Raylee Hollinger, the Protector of America?”
“Yeah,” Erik replied. “Who doesn’t?”
“Jasmine is her granddaughter.”
“Ah. That makes sense now. Well, cabin eleven takes all undetermined demigods and visitors in, as well as Hermes own kids. Us. So come on in, guys.”
We entered the cabin. The other kids looked at me and Jasmine oddly, and they kind of scared me.
Erik gave us three empty spots on the floor to sleep on.
“When will I know who my mother is?” I asked.
“Until you’re claimed,” Erik replied.
“Yes. When your mother claims you, her symbol will appear above your head, indicating who she is.”
“When will that happen?”
He shrugged. “Beats me. It sometimes takes a while. But don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll be claimed soon enough.”
“I hope so too.”
For the rest of that day, I stayed near Luke, because I was too afraid to be anywhere alone. Jasmine always stayed close to me, and Toothless stayed closed to her.
I did learn a few more things about camp, which I liked.
When it was dinner time, we went to the mess hall and sat at table eleven, and there was a lot of food brought by weird-looking girls. Erik told me that they were wood nymphs.
I put a lot of the food they brought on my plate. And the glasses we had could have any drink we wanted in it.
“Fruit Punch,” I said, and it appeared in my glass.
Then we had to give a part of our food to any god we chose by burning it into a fire burning in the middle of the pavilion. Everyone chose their godly parent, even Luke.
I didn’t know who mine was, but I did say my mother. When the food burnt, it smelled good, and not at all like burned food. Jasmine burnt part of her food to her parents. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I guess we’ll never know. Then we went back to our table and ate our food. Jasmine shared her food with Toothless.
After we all were done, Mr. D announced us as new campers without really a care. He said our names wrong, but Chiron made him say them right.
Then we went to the campfire and had s’mores. They were good. I actually had fun that night.
But I wished Thalia was here. Thinking about her made me sad.
Then I remembered what happened with that Cyclops.
“Hey, are you ok?” Luke asked, noticing my sad face.
“No,” I replied.
“What’s wrong?” Jasmine asked.
“Luke, who’s Jason?”
“Who?” he asked.
“The boy Thalia called to.”
“Oh. I don’t know, Annabeth. Thalia never mentioned him to me.”
“He must be someone.”
“I’m sure he is. But we’ll probably never know.”
I didn’t really believe that.
I had a vision about him. I know I did. I don’t know why, but I know I’ll meet him someday. When I’m older, maybe sixteen.
I don’t know.
After the campfire ended, we all went back to our cabins and went to bed.
Erik got us some sleeping bags, and we placed them on the small, cramped empty places on the floor that he gave us.
I didn’t want to sleep alone, so I went to Luke’s sleeping bag. He let me sleep next to him. And, of course, Jasmine came over too, along with Toothless.
It was a little tight, or a lot, but we managed.
The next day was kind of the same. But that’s when we started our training with Chiron.
It wasn’t easy. It was really hard. But I can tell that Luke liked the arena. He was there for a long time practicing with his sword on dummies. Jasmine and I practiced with our weapons too.
Then later that night it finally happened.
At the campfire, I was eating a s’more when everyone gasped suddenly and looked at me. I didn’t know why.
Then I noticed a light glow coming from above me.
I looked up and saw a burning symbol of an owl right above my head. Everyone around me started kneeling, except Jasmine and Luke, who looked just as surprised as I did.
“Hail, Annabeth Chase,” Chiron announced. “Daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle.”
Well, Annabeth's claimed now. And, yes, I do use some of Percy's first time experience at camp with Annabeth and Jasmine here, especially since none of you guys are even going to be reading this story from his POV whenever he shows up.
But I was confused on what time of the year it was exactly when Annabeth, Luke, and Thalia first arrived at Camp Half-Blood. I originally thought it was during the winter time, but then I remembered Annabeth saying that the icon the campers paint on the beads was the most important event of the summer, which Annabeth has Thalia's pine tree as her first bead at camp, so I changed it to summer time, though I liked it better in winter.
I can't wait for you guys to read the next chapter, as I'll be introducing a new, slightly important character.
Please review here.
- Cyclops (mentioned)
- Annabeth gets claimed as a daughter of Athena.