Chapter no 12 – Ganymede Gets Me a Refill

The Chalice of the Gods

After that, I went three days without any supernatural interference.

Wow. The luxury.

I struggled through my assignments. I met Grover and Annabeth every afternoon for smoothies or a movie or just to walk in Central Park. I gotta say, it was nice.

On Thursday, I had my first swim meet and managed to be impressive but not too impressive. I didn’t summon a tidal wave in the deep end or anything.

I almost forgot the weekend was coming up, and with it the farmers’ market, until Friday at lunchtime.

AHS is a closed campus. Everybody is supposed to eat together in the cafeteria. Sure, a lot of seniors sneak out at lunchtime, but I stayed put because I didn’t want to risk getting kicked out quite so early in the year. It’s a small school, so absentees are pretty easy to notice.

I was sitting alone, munching on a peanut butter and banana sandwich (hey, I made it myself, one of my pro recipes), trying to read some short story about a guy who liked to open cans—no idea why. Then someone loomed over me and said, “Here’s a refill.”

Ganymede poured something from a big glass pitcher into my soda can, which had only been half-empty. He did this with total concentration and precision, not spilling a drop, though the liquid was definitely not what had already been in the can.

“Um, thanks?” I said, which wasn’t easy with my mouth full of peanut butter.

“You’re welcome.” Ganymede nodded formally, as if we’d just exchanged gifts as national ambassadors. “I want an update on your quest . . . but I’ll be right back.”

I had time to finish my sandwich while Ganymede circulated through the cafeteria, refilling the students’ drinks without asking permission. Some kids looked at him funny, but most didn’t even notice. This was weird, since Ganymede was wearing a Greek chiton and strap-up sandals and not much else. Thank the Mist for obscuring mortal minds, I guess, or maybe the students just figured he was doing a project for drama class.

He came back to my table and sat across from me. “So.”

“What are you serving?” I asked. “You’re not going to turn the whole student body immortal, are you?”

He sighed. “Of course not, Percy Jackson. I told you, it’s the chalice that has the magic.”

“That’s not nectar in your pitcher?” I asked. “Because mortals will burn up if they drink that.”

“What makes you think this is nectar?” “Well . . . it’s blue and glowing.”

Ganymede frowned at his pitcher. “I suppose it is. No, this is simply standard Olympian beverage number five. It will refresh and revive, and taste like whatever you desire. It will not turn anyone immortal or make them spontaneously combust. Try it.”

I wondered what had happened to Olympian beverages one through four. But Ganymede was staring at me, and offending him was not going to help get me my recommendation letter. I took a drink. It tasted like regular lemon-lime soda, the same as I’d been drinking before, but zippier and crisper. Around the cafeteria, no one was burning up or glowing.

“Okay, great,” I said. “Thanks.”

Ganymede shrugged. “It’s important to stay hydrated. Now, about my chalice.”

I brought him up to speed.

When I was done, he knit his majestically sculpted eyebrows. I got the feeling he was not happy, like he might decide to check somewhat satisfied instead of extremely satisfied on my recommendation form.

“And you trust what Hebe said?” he asked. “I never—” I stopped myself.

I’d been about to say, I never trust a god, but that wouldn’t have gone down well with a god. “I never can be one hundred percent sure, but I don’t think Hebe took your cup.”

“And if she decides to tell everyone?”

“She won’t,” I said. “At least . . . not until your next feast. She said she’d rather see you fall on your face in front of all the gods.”

I did not add and get blasted to ashes by Zeus.

Ganymede’s forehead darkened to what I imagined was the color of Olympian beverage number two. “That sounds like Hebe. And this flaming marke—”

“Farmers’ market.”

“This farmers’ market happens tomorrow.” “Right.”

“Your plan?”

“Talk to Iris. Find your cup. Don’t get turned into rainbows.”

He nodded. “This is sensible. But if she doesn’t have the chalice . . .” “Let’s worry about that tomorrow.”

He shifted in his seat. “Forgive me, I so rarely send demigods on quests.

Is this the part where I threaten your life if you fail?” “No,” I said. “That comes later.”

“Hmm. All right. But do not disappoint me, Percy Jackson. My reputation depends on it. And your college career!” Then he got up and wandered off in his bathrobe to pour more divine Kool-Aid.

I made it through the rest of the day. I have to admit I felt refreshed and hydrated. That night, after dinner, I sat in bed talking to Annabeth. She wasn’t actually there—she was across town in her dorm room—but we kept in touch thanks to the cutting-edge technology of Iris-messages.

Demigods don’t use cell phones because they attract monsters. I’ve never quite understood why. It’s just so on-brand for our lives I’ve always accepted it, like, Of course they do. The quickest way to spot a demigod is to hand them a mobile phone. If they’re under the age of eighteen and have no idea what to do with it, they’re probably a demigod. When the monsters show up and eat them, you can be one hundred percent sure.

Instead of a phone, I had a flashlight, a humidifier, and a bowlful of golden drachmas. You shine light through the water vapor to make yourself a rainbow. You throw a coin into it, say a prayer, and voilà—you’ve got a shimmering holographic Annabeth sitting next to you. She had a similar

setup on her end, but we could only talk like this when her roommate was out. Annabeth had told her the humidifier was for allergies. What she didn’t say was that it was an allergy to phones.

She was lying on her own bed, propped up on one elbow, a stack of architecture books in front of her. The droplets of water vapor between us glittered like fireworks.

“So tomorrow,” she said. “I have a plan.”

Not a surprise. Annabeth always had a plan. That was a trait she got from Athena, but Annabeth took it to a whole new level. I wasn’t complaining, though. If she wasn’t a planner, I’d be floundering about what to do next year. I’d probably have given up already and gotten a job at Monster Donut.

“Let’s hear it,” I said.

“Well.” She put her dagger across her textbook to mark her spot. I wasn’t sure what her roomie thought about the knife, either. “I was thinking it might be easier if we got someone to introduce us to Iris.”

“But I already know her.”

Annabeth raised an eyebrow. I got her meaning: having met a god before was no guarantee that they would remember you or treat you well. I’d heard gods grumble that all of us mortals kind of blend together for them . . . like a school of sardines.

“Who do you have in mind?” I asked.

“We don’t have a lot of options,” she said, “but I thought a child of Iris.” “Butch is home in Minnesota. . . .” I ran through the list of demigods I

knew from Camp Half-Blood. “And there aren’t any year-rounders in the Iris cabin right now.”

“No,” Annabeth agreed. “But there is a child of Iris who lives locally.

Down in Soho.”

A knot formed in the pit of my stomach, and all of Ganymede’s beverage number five started to drain into my legs. “You can’t be serious.”

“She’s already agreed to meet us at the market.”

I wondered how Annabeth had pulled that off. Favors must have been promised. Money. Firstborn children. Something.

“But . . .” I grasped for any idea that might change Annabeth’s mind. “Aren’t most quests supposed to be three people? Wouldn’t a fourth be bad luck?”

“She’s not joining our quest. She’ll just make the introduction to her mom, and hopefully convince Iris to go easy on us when we tell her . . . well,

that we suspect her of being a cup thief.”

I shuddered. “Or she could make things worse. You remember what happened at the last campfire?”

Annabeth laughed. “I thought that was kind of funny, actually. Calm down, Seaweed Brain. I’ve got this under control.”


“Don’t hmm me.” She glanced behind her. “My roommate’s coming.

Gotta go. Love you.”

“You too. Don’t love your plan, though.” “Finish your homework.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She nodded, satisfied, and blew me a kiss. The Iris connection dissipated into random water droplets.

I looked at my pile of weekend homework and groaned. Another English essay to write . . . this time about that guy who liked to open cans. Plus math, science, and two chapters of history. And we had to face Iris and her daughter tomorrow. I wondered if it was too late to apply for the night shift at Monster Donut.

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