Nikolay Dmitriyevich Zhuravlyov was the only son of the middle-class couple that was Yulianna Zhuravlyova and Dmitri Zhuravlyov. His parents were firm in the belief that academics was the most important thing for children, and so he would be made to study for double the time of the usual Russian school day, which was four hours. Maths, History, Geography, Sciences. All of it - sports, art and music were all secondary and he only needed to learn them at school, not at home.
When Nikolay was in his last year of a linguistics course at King's College, Cambridge University, and preparing for his final exams, he met a remarkably smart girl from another college within the University - Queen's - who called herself Lucy Carlton. He would later discover that this girl was Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom and strategy. They dated for a while in a way that was mixed with enough platonic-ness for it not to be awkward, often studying together during the day and over webcam late into the nights - that was until Lucy Carlton disappeared when they'd gained their master's degrees and wasn't heard from again.
Nikolay went back to Yekaterinburg to live near his parents and all was well for a couple of months - he met the new love of his life, Adelina, secured a good job in translation and linguistics which took them to Moscow, even started to forget about that English girl he'd loved for those few months at the end of University. That was until one cold, misty morning in late September, when Nikolay opened his door to see how warmly he should dress that day and found little Alena on his doorstep, wrapped tightly in a dark blue blanket within a golden cradle, a letter with her. The letter was from Lucy and revealed who she was, along with instructions for where Alena would be safe when she became a target of monsters.
Alena grew up unaware of who her mother actually was, as Adelina had been told of Athena and had agreed to say that she was the mother of the baby. Her childhood was normal, in her opinion - school four hours a day, six days a week, studying at home for a few hours every two days with her Papa, doing sports and playing games in the street with her small group of friends. Her first priority was schoolwork, then fencing and martial arts, which she loved, and then socialising. She excelled at the first two, having a natural talent in languages and combat sports, to the delight of her Machekha and Papa, and was decent enough at the last to make enough friends.
At school, she was the little girl that would steal jotters from the cupboard to practise writing in whilst the other children were outside, playing spies and tag. She'd try to memorise dictionaries, thesauruses, maps, everything that would expand her knowledge of the world. She'd read about America - the land of freedom - and had wanted to see how different it was from Russia, which was, in her opinion, about as free as you could get.
When she turned ten, her Papa was offered a job in New York. He took it immediately, knowing that by moving to Manhattan they'd be closer to this 'Camp' place that Athena had said Alena would be safe at, and telling her of her true heritage before they left Russia, just in case. Alena was, of course, ecstactic to be finally going to the country she'd read so much about - it quickly overtook the shock of being a demigod. Maybe she'd always known, deep down.
The next two years - give or take a few months - were just as uneventful as Lena's life in Russia had been, but Nikolay grew ever more paranoid for her safety as she grew older and insisted that she be careful. He was comfortable leaving her alone at fencing class, as he had learnt that the coach was a child of Ares and had agreed to take Athena's blonde little daughter home after classes.
Sure enough, shortly after her twelfth birthday, Alena was attacked by a chimera whilst on her way home from practice and her Machekha and Papa would be forever grateful afterwards to the child of Ares for killing it for their daughter. In the next three years the attacks became more frequent as she grew up, and she and the child of Ares somehow managed to fend off every one - though not without injuries. This was the reason that Nikolay and Adelina found to finally send her to camp, where she was quickly claimed by her mother - she hopefully wouldn't be at risk there.