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Order of the Olympians

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The Order of the Olympians

Chapter 1

“The landscape below them was a bleak, ash-gray plain bristling with black trees, like insect hair. The ground was pocked with blisters. Every once in a while, a bubble would swell and burst, disgorging a monster like a larva from an egg.

Suddenly Percy wasn’t hungry anymore.

All the newly formed monsters were crawling and hobbling in the same direction-toward a bank of black fog that swallowed the horizon like a storm front. The Phlegethon flowed in the same direction until about halfway across the plain, where it met another river of black water-maybe the Cocytus? The two floods combined in a steaming, boiling cataract and flowed on as one toward the black fog.” (House of Hades)

Strong hands gripped Percy’s shoulders, and terror swept through him. He thrashed out, trying to escape whatever monster had discovered him in Tartarus.

“Percy, Percy! Wake up! It’s just me!” A familiar voice cut through his nightmare, and he opened his eyes to see a hint of curly blond hair. Annabeth.

Percy immediately stopped fighting and let himself look at his girlfriend as he took a few deep breaths. Her brilliant grey eyes were filled with worry, and he could see a milky reflection from the moon that told him that she was on the verge of tears. Her long curly hair was loose and unkept. She had on a dark blue tank top with cotton white pajama bottoms, and Percy really tried to keep his eyes from sweeping over her body.

Instead, he reached up to touch her face, and felt a surge of calm wash over him as she placed her hand over his.

“Nightmares again?” She whispered. Percy nodded his response. Annabeth waved her hand towards Percy, and he moved over on the bed to give her room. She snuggled underneath his arm and placed her head on his chest so that she could feel Percy’s quick heartbeat. “Where were we this time?”

He carefully ran his hands through her hair and whispered back, “It was when we followed the Empousai to the cliff. Where we first saw the horrible reality that was Tartarus.” Annabeth didn’t respond, but instead took his free hand and squeezed.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a rare occurrence. It had been two months since the war with Gaea, and Annabeth and Percy continued to be haunted by the depths of Tartarus. It wasn’t every night, but it happened enough that Chiron had begrudgingly allowed these “sleepovers” when one or the other was plagued by their memories.

“I love you Wise Girl.” Percy murmured into Annabeth’s hair.

“I love you too Seaweed Brain.” She responded, and the two of them drifted into a dreamless sleep.

XX

                Percy awoke to the sunlight creeping through his windows, and a nagging sense that something was missing. He sat up in his bed and remembered that Annabeth had slept with him last night. He immediately leaped out of bed in distress, convinced some god or another had taken her away from him.

Just as Percy was about to sprint out the door, Annabeth walked through it, wearing her blue jean shorts and an orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt. His heart fluttered at the sight of her, and he took three deep breaths, something Annabeth had taught him.

“Woah, where’s the fire Seaweed Brain?” She cocked her head to the side, and Percy tried to play it off.
“Uh, no fire. I…just felt like I had slept in.” He lied, placing one hand on the back of his head.

Of course, Annabeth knew what was really going on and raised an eyebrow. She walked over and put her arms around his waist. “I’m right here. I just needed to get changed.” Percy sighed as they broke apart.

“You did sleep in though, so you missed breakfast. Your swordfighting class starts in thirty minutes.”

Percy nodded his head. Chiron asked him to teach the first swordfighting class of the school year for the kids who had chosen to stay behind at Camp before he left. “Okay, I’ll just get ready and meet you out there.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and headed out the door of the Poseidon cabin.

Percy groaned and fell back onto this bed. He hated feeling so…scared. Things had gotten better since the war with Gaea. Jason and Piper traveled back and forth between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, making sure that each were following through on their promises to honor all of the gods. Hazel had returned to her home at Camp Jupiter, where her boyfriend Frank was serving as Praetor alongside Reyna. They kept in touch through Iris Message, but Percy definitely missed his friends.

And Leo-gods, Leo! That little punk had died, and then magically flown back to Camp-Half Blood on the back of Festus, carrying the one and only Calypso. How it happened, Percy had no idea, but he was just so happy that his buddy was alive, and ecstatic that he was able to rescue the love of his life from her curse.

Percy and Annabeth were getting ready for their senior year of high school at Goode. After graduation, they had plans to attend college at New Rome. He couldn’t believe that him and Annabeth would have an actual future together; it had just never seemed possible with the million and one death prophecies coming out of the woodworks.  Despite all of the good things that were happening in his life right now, he was still…scared. Tartarus had scarred him forever, and he hated it.

He struggled out of bed, took a quick shower, brushed his teeth, and changed into swordfighting gear before heading off to the arena. When he approached, he counted about eight younger campers in total, plus Annabeth, crowded around chatting with one another. Percy glanced up and saw Nico Di Angelo sitting next to Will Solace in the stands. It was always a good idea to have an Apollo kid around when pointy object were in play.

Percy’s heart warmed every time he saw those two together. One would think that after Nico confessed that he used to have a crush on Percy, Percy would have been uncomfortable or acted distant, but it was the opposite. Percy knew that Nico deserved to be happy, after everything he had been through. It took guts for him to admit his feelings and take the leap with someone who would reciprocate them. Percy was happy to say that his friendship with Nico had blossomed, despite everything. The pair nodded to him, and he shot a crooked grin in their direction before turning to his campers.

“Alright guys, who can tell me the number one rule of a swordfight?” He addressed the group and waited.

A few of them shuffled around and looked at their feet. The others looked to be in thought, before one called out, “try not to die?”

Percy chucked. “That’s pretty important too. But the number one rule is to find a weapon that fits you.” He slid his hand in his right pocket and pulled out his trusty pen. The campers had obviously heard stories, because their interest level peaked as they leaned in, waiting.

He popped off the cap and watched as Riptide, the three-foot long Celestial Bronze sword, grew in his hand. “I want you all to head down to the armory and talk to Clarisse, head of the Ares Cabin. She will be there to help find the weapon that best suits you. After that, come back here and we can run through some drills.”

The campers nodded excitedly and took off towards the armory. Annabeth laughed and shook her head; she couldn’t believe her and Percy used to be that young…

Percy pointed his sword towards Annabeth and raised an eyebrow. She happily accepted the challenge and pulled out her own sword made out of drakon bone. While she would have preferred her knife, she was happy with the replacement Damasen gave her in Tartarus. The two sparred lightly, not tiring each other out before the campers returned with their weapons.

By the time the hour and a half lesson was over, the campers were sprawled out on the ground from exhaustion. Percy had worked them hard, teaching them the correct footwork, proper defense and offensive skills, and let them get used to their weapons. Once they were finished, Will joined them in the arena to check on any injuries they might have received.

“You guys are fine, just go get showered. You all smell like dead hellhounds.” Will pinched his nose with two fingers and pointed in the direction of the cabins. He turned towards the older demigods, “Nice practice. I imagine Chiron will whip these kids into shape soon enough. Nico had to finish some business with him, but said he will meet us at the campfire tonight.”

Percy and Annabeth left the arena to shower then enjoyed lunch in the dining pavilion. Since the war with Gaea, the demigods flat out ignored the rule about having to sit at separate tables. However, they moved around each meal so that none of their parents could get jealous. Leo and Calypso were tinkering with the Archimedes Sphere at the Hephaestus table, and nodded their hellos to the duo as they sat down.

“What’s up guys? How was practice?” Leo asked, his hands fidgeting wildly around his favorite toy.

“It was good, but it will be a while before they can handle themselves in a real fight. Chiron has his work cut out for him.” Percy replied honestly. It had taken him a lot of practice to get where he was today, and it would be the same for his campers. ADHD was great for demigods because it would keep them alive in a fight, but they would still need to know how to handle a weapon properly.

“I wonder what Nico’s business with him is about.” Annabeth thought out loud. “Chiron has just seemed so…nervous lately.”

Leo almost dropped the Archimedes Sphere. Calypso quickly took it from his hands and gave him a questioning look.

“Sorry babe, it’s just the last time Chiron was nervous we had to go on a quest to defeat that psychopath, Friggin’ Mother Earth.” Percy gave him a hard look, and Leo paled. “I-I-I’m just saying! I don’t like it when the centaur is nervous!”

Annabeth and Calypso both put their hands on their boyfriends’ arms to calm them down. “It will be fine Percy. We have a plan: finish high school, go to New Rome, live happily ever after. Right?” He let out a sigh and kissed her hard on the mouth.

“I am just so over quests.” he mumbled, throwing his arm around her shoulder.

XX

The rest of the afternoon was uneventful. Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Calypso, and Will had enjoyed a day of hanging out by the beach, swimming and laying around. Leo and Percy had played around with the respective powers; testing to see how much fire it took for the water to become steam, and various things like that. They simply enjoyed themselves, and tried not to think about what Nico and Chiron were talking about.

Once the campfire rolled around, their nerves had completely worn away.  Campers quickly filled in all of the empty space while the Apollo kids hung around near the front, getting ready to kick off the songs. Percy took a portion of his plate and sacrificed it to Poseidon, thinking, “Hey Dad, if possible, I would really like for this year to be as boring as possible…” and joined his friends. He was in the middle of a conversation with Leo about a new invention he was working on when Percy caught a glimpse of frizzy red hair walking towards them.

“Rachel?” he questioned, and his friends all turned around to look at the newcomer.  She had on her Clarion Ladies Academy uniform with a golden headband pushing back the red hair that normally fell in front of her face. Percy stood up to greet his friend, “Hey Rachel! I thought you had already left for school!”

She flashed him a goofy grin, “I did, but I heard you and Annabeth were heading out tomorrow for Goode, and I had to make sure I got the chance to say goodbye!” She turned to give each of her friends a hug, and Percy noticed that she held onto Annabeth a little tighter than the others, and whispered something in her ear. She cocked her eyebrow but said nothing.

The group caught up with their Oracle and sung along with the crowd, enjoying watching the campfire grow to an upwards of fifteen feet and mold into a stunning gold with wisps of yellow and red. Chiron approached with Nico at his side, and the campers immediately quieted down. When the centaur caught sight of Rachel, Percy noticed that his eyes widened in fear for half a second before returning to their normal brooding nature. Nico took his spot next to Will, and gave his friends a “we need to talk later” look.

Chiron trotted up to the front of the crowd and cleared his throat, getting everyone’s attention. “Good Evening Campers. As you know, this is the last weekend we will have everyone together until next summer. Those of you who decided to go to a mortal school during the school year will need to have your bunks cleaned out by noon tomorrow, or else the Harpies will have a fit. Thank you to everyone who has worked to clean the camp up after the war, but a special thanks to the Athena and Hephaestus Cabins for helping us rebuild all that we lost.”

The towering campfire lowered dramatically at that statement, as the campers relived all of the tolls of war.

“Those of you who have decided to remain at Camp Half-Blood, please be prepared to continue building the new cabins and shrines to our remaining gods and goddesses. And-“

All of a sudden, Rachel started gasping uncontrollably, as if were difficult for her to take a breath. Will rushed over and got down on one knee next to Rachel to try to figure out what was wrong. Annabeth placed a hand on her shoulder, and tried to pat her on the back. Percy looked on with worry, but glanced up to see Chiron’s face twisted into an unrecognizable emotion, which confused him. After about a minute of distress, Rachel seemed to calm down and drink some water.

As she went to set the bottle down, Rachel’s eyes glazed over with a milky white mist, and she grasped onto Will and Annabeth’s hands, as they were the two closest to her.

Chiron immediately trotted over, murmuring curses underneath his breath. “No, no, this isn’t possible…”

The voice that spoke was raspy and ancient, giving Percy the goosebumps and filled him with a familiar sense of dread. He held his breath as Rachel gave the next prophecy.

“Poseidon’s Prize shall lead the Charge

To Protect the Chosen One from the devil at Large

The Darkness shall fall by the Rising Sun

While Wisdom’s daughter come Undone

The Inquisitor’s soul the Iron Blade shall reap

Lest the Ghost King’s Revenge runs deep”

The entire camp seemed to be holding their breath. The campfire had changed from the brilliant golden color to a deep violet, and shrank to a simmer. Percy was the first to move. He pushed off from his spot on the bench, an inhumane anger raging in his eyes as he glared at Chiron. Without saying a word, he stormed off towards the beach.

“Percy…” Annabeth started. He turned around and cut her off with a look. I can’t do this. Not again. His eyes told her, and she didn’t pursue him.

After about thirty seconds, he could hear people behind him erupting with questions.

“I thought the Oracle wasn’t working?”

“What happened to the usual green mist?”

“The Chosen One? The devil at large?”

“The Ghost King? Nico?”

Chiron stomped his hooved repeatedly to get everyone’s attention, but Percy couldn’t hear what was said. If he was being honest, he hadn’t thought about any of those questions. He could only process the fact that he was the subject of yet another quest, and that his and Annabeth’s plan to have a normal life would have to be put on hold. AGAIN.

When Percy reached the edge of the water, he cried out in fury. How could the gods to this to him again? Hadn’t he done enough for them? Saved their godly butts more times than he could count? The waves in front of him were being worked into a frenzy as a result of his mood. Before he had the chance to calm down, a voice called out behind him.

“Percy Jackson.”

He whipped around angrily, the ocean roaring behind him. The woman was dressed in long dark robes with black hair tied up into a high Egyptian ponytail. She was accompanied by two animals, a large black Labrador Retriever and a smaller, weasel-like creature Percy recognized as a polecat.

“Hectate.” The name rolled off his tongue with distaste.

“You are angry, young demigod.” She observed, which only made Percy even angrier.

“You think so? What possibly would have given you that impression?” He sneered, not caring how rude he was acting towards the goddess of magic.

“I understand your…frustration. But, before you start blaming the gods, there is something you should know.” The polecat chittered furiously and passed gas while the Labrador growled towards its master.

“And what, might I ask, do I need to know?” Percy asked, not the least bit interested in another excuse from the gods.

She raised an eyebrow, and gave a smile that said, “You poor, poor dear.” Percy hated that look.

“That prophecy your Oracle friend gave tonight…it did not come from the gods. Apollo is a little busy getting reprimanded from his father at the moment.”

He narrowed his eyes. “If the Oracle of Delphi didn’t issue that prophecy, then who did?”

“Something else. I cannot give you any more information until you accept this quest. But, if you choose to forgo your destiny, know this: The modern world as you know it will fall to its knees. Powerful forces are at work, and the mortals will be powerless to stop what is coming without your help.” She finished by giving him another dangerous smile, and disappeared without another word.

Chapter Text

The Order of the Olympians

 

Chapter 2

 

He narrowed his eyes. “If the Oracle of Delphi didn’t issue that prophecy, then who did?”

 

“Something else. I cannot give you any more information until you accept this quest. But, if you choose to forgo your destiny, know this: The modern world as you know it will fall to its knees. Powerful forces are at work, and the mortals will be powerless to stop what is coming without your help.” She finished by giving him another dangerous smile and disappeared without another word.

 

Percy let out a frustrated sigh. He felt defeated, and the waves behind him churned slower than before. Instead of heading back to the campfire to discuss the prophecy with his friends, Percy sat down in the sand and pulled his knees up to his chest. After about thirty minutes of silence, he heard footsteps approach.

 

Without looking up, Percy could tell who took a spot in the sand next to him. He would always be able to tell when Annabeth was near. Call it intuition, love, or something else, but the hairs at the back of his neck always tingled when she was within twenty feet of him.

 

“Seaweed Brain…” she began.

 

“Annabeth, I know. I know we have to accept this quest. I know we have to save the world. I know I know I know…” Percy sighed and laid his head against her left shoulder.

 

She chuckled, “You sure seem to know a lot.” He repositioned himself so that his head was in her lap. “Seaweed Brain, I know this messes up our plans. I’m just as upset as you are. But…as long as we’re together, right?” She leaned down and kissed his forehead lightly.

 

Percy gave her a small smile. “You’re right. As long as we’re together.” He was content with staring into her stormy grey eyes, but something Hectate said was nagging him.

 

He forced himself to move so he was facing her in the sand. “Hectate paid me a visit.” Annabeth raised an eyebrow at that but let him continue.

 

“She told me that the prophecy Rachel spoke didn’t come from the gods, but she wouldn’t tell me who.”

 

Annabeth narrowed her eyes at that. “Percy…if the prophecy didn’t come from the gods, then that means we are involved in something much bigger than I first anticipated.”

“Okay, I’m gonna stick a pin in that for now. What exactly did the prophecy say again? I kind of tuned out after “Poseidon’s Prize...”

 

Annabeth closed her eyes and recited. ““Poseidon’s Prize shall lead the charge, to protect the Chosen One from the devil at large. The darkness shall fall by the rising sun, while Wisdom’s daughter come undone. The Inquisitor’s soul the iron blade shall reap, lest the Ghost King’s revenge runs deep.”

 

Percy drew out a long whistle and ran his hand through his hair. “I don’t like this line about “Wisdom’s daughter coming undone.”

 

Annabeth shook her head. “Percy, you know we can’t be sure what the prophecy is referring to. It would be better if we didn’t dwell on the strict meaning. But, what we can do is figure out who has been chosen to participate.”

 

“Alright, I guess I can handle that. Let’s go talk to the others.” He pushed himself up gracefully and shook off the sand before giving Annabeth a hand up. Percy kept the pace slow, trying to imagine that he was on a romantic walk with his girlfriend rather than one to figure out the meaning of a looming prophecy that he definitely wasn’t interested in leading.

 

As they approached the campfire, Percy noticed that it was barely breathing; wisps of dark violet and dying reds flickered over the sides. Only Chiron, Nico, Will, Leo, Calypso, Rachel, and the head counselors remained. The duo took a seat at a bench and waited for Chiron to speak.

 

“Welcome back Percy.” The centaur gave him a look that almost resembled pity. “The events of tonight were…unusual to say the very least.”

 

Rachel snorted. “Unusual? My body got hijacked by some insane god or goddess so that I could deliver the world’s most dramatic riddle! I’m okay with hosting the soul of the Oracle of Delphi, but I am not a Ouija board!” She shivered and folded her arms across her chest.

 

Annabeth broke in. “Rachel, it wasn’t a god or goddess who gave that prophecy. Percy spoke with Hectate, and she said it was something else.”

 

Everyone turned to look at Percy and nodded his agreement.

 

Connor Stoll asked, “Well, if it wasn’t one of ours, who gave it then?”

 

“Obviously Hectate knows. She has just decided that information isn’t readily available yet.” Clarisse responded, blunt and up front as usual. Percy noticed that she sighed at the end of her sentence. Maybe Ares’ daughter was getting a little tired of hearing these prophecies too.

 

Nico stood up from his spot and stood next to Chiron. His eyes found the centaur’s, and they reached a silent agreement.

 

“I’ve been having these strange dreams the past couple nights.” That got everyone’s attention. As far as the campers knew, only Percy and Annabeth had been plagued with “strange dreams” for the past few months.

 

Nico’s voice was raspy and he looked at Percy with old, sad eyes. “At first I thought I was dreaming of Tartarus. But something felt off…like I was watching from someone else’s point of view. The first night, it was dark wherever I was. I felt the most intense pain, like I was being tortured, but nothing was touching me. I could only see this blue film of light that came from my attacker’s eyes. He held out this…stick, but before I passed out from the pain, a jet of red light hit my attacker square in the chest, and I could breathe again.”

 

Will almost stood up to comfort him, but Nico shot him a look that clearly meant “Not now. Later.

 

“The second night, I watched the strangest scene of events take place in front of me. I had just put my hand on this glowing cup, or trophy, or something. The second I put my hand on it, I was transported somewhere else. That’s when I noticed someone else holding the cup next to me, looking just as confused as I was. We both knew we didn’t belong there.

 

We were standing in a graveyard. I’ve been in my fair share of graveyards, but this one just felt wrong. I felt like I was back in Tartarus, when the very air itself was trying to kill you. I heard a high, cold voice say, ‘Kill the spare.’ Someone, or something called out this weird saying, and the last thing I saw was a green blast of light.”

 

Nico was starting to shake. Chiron put a comforting hand on his shoulder and waited for him to get his memories under control.

 

“I think…I think I died. Or someone died. I definitely know that much. Last night, I was in the graveyard again, but from somebody else’s point of view. There was a cauldron in front of me, you know, like the kinds they use in movies like Hocus Pocus or something. A figure came over to it, and dumped in something dark red, which turned the liquid into this glowing white color. There was a person screaming somewhere, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the cauldron. It shot up with this bright light, and then I woke up.”

 

He couldn’t take it anymore; Nico shook his head, and practically flew back towards Will, who wrapped his arms around the boy. Percy put his hand on Nico’s shoulder for support but didn’t say anything. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t told anyone except for Chiron; then again, Nico di Angelo was always one to suffer in silence.

 

Chiron cleared his throat to get back everyone’s attention. “We believe that these dreams are connected to the prophecy that Rachel gave.”

 

Annabeth was deep in thought. “Nico, could something have come out of the cauldron?”

 

He gave her a confused look, “I can’t be sure. Thankfully I woke up before I saw anything else, but I guess it’s possible.”

 

She stood up with one hand on her hip and the other tapping her thigh. “You said something evil was in that graveyard, right? It sounds like the people you saw didn’t belong there, so maybe they were transported there somehow, maybe through that trophy or cup. You said a voice said ‘Kill the Spare,’ which means that he wasn’t supposed to be there.”

 

Percy didn’t dare interrupt Annabeth while she was on a role. “So why was the surviving one transported there? Something to do with the cauldron. Maybe he was an important piece to the puzzle. The shadowy figure you mentioned, maybe he was brewing some kind of potion…”

 

Annabeth paused, let out a frustrated sigh, and returned to her spot next to Percy. “I’m not sure. Maybe something along those lines.”

 

It was Leo’s turn to stand up. “Alright, so Nico is obviously a part of this quest. ‘The Ghost King’ line couldn’t have been meant for anyone else, plus the dreams he’s been having connect him to whatever is going on.”

 

Everyone murmured their agreement. “Percy has also been chosen. “Poseidon’s Prize? I mean I guess it could mean Tyson…”

 

Percy immediately stood up, angry. “Tyson might be the General of the Cyclops army, but I am not about to send my brother out to live out this prophecy. It’s too dangerous.”

 

Leo put up both hands in defense, “Woah woah, then no Tyson. So, you and Nico are a part of this quest, that much we have figured out.”

 

Travis Stoll called out from next to Katie, “Usually there are three demigods assigned to a quest. Who is the third?”

 

Percy growled. “I am not going anywhere without Annabeth. End of story.”

 

Will stood up calmly and crossed his arms. “You might be not going anywhere without Annabeth, but I’m not letting Nico go anywhere without me. Doctor’s orders.”

 

The two regarded each other warily. Chiron stepped in before anyone else could say anything. “Will, the prophecy includes Annabeth. She has already been identified as ‘Wisdom’s daughter’ in another. That’s hard to argue with.”

 

“While that’s all fine and dandy, I’m still going. I need to be there to make sure that Nico doesn’t pass out every time he shadow travels.” Will stood his ground, not budging.

 

Nico admired his confidence. “Will, I appreciate the concern, but I’m going to be fine. I will be with Annabeth and Percy.”

 

Will faltered. “But...”

 

Percy shook his head and interrupted. “No. Nico, the prophecy clearly states that I’m leading the charge to protect this ‘Chosen One,’ or whoever. I get to make the rules. And if Will wants to come, I’ll allow it.”

 

He could hear a “WHOOP!” somewhere behind him, but Percy just smiled and ignored it.

 

“Chiron, for my quest, I choose Annabeth, Nico, and Will to accompany me.”

 

The old centaur let out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad we have that over with. However, with a group of four demigods, you will attract more monsters. Everyone has to be more careful.”

 

Percy’s friends joined him at his side and he glanced over. “We will be,” he spoke for all of them.

 

The temperature around them dropped ten degrees. “Wise choice, Percy Jackson.” Percy looked around to see that everyone besides the four demigods were frozen in place. Chiron looked as if he had aged a hundred years after agreeing to send his campers on yet another quest. Leo and Calypso each shared a look of sad resolve, knowing they would have to say goodbye to their friends.

 

Hectate appeared in front of them with her two companions by her side. The polecat chittered away and passed gas while the Labrador lifted its head to be scratched.

 

Percy bit his tongue so that he could keep his emotions in check. “I accepted the quest Hectate. Now could you please tell us what you know.”

 

She flashed them a toothy smile. “It would be my pleasure.”

 

Hectate gestured for them to take a seat. “Might as well get comfortable dearies. Who knows how long my story will last?”

 

Nico rolled his eyes but was the first to take a seat. The rest of the four followed.

“Now now, where to begin? Might as well just start at the beginning. As you know, my children have always had the ability to use magic. The difference between my children and the rest of you demigods is that their magical prowess does not deteriorate with each generation. So, a descendent of mine could be just as powerful as someone who had the pleasure of having me as a mother.” She smirked before continuing.

 

“However, I have tried to keep my children and their abilities separate from the rest of the world. Who knows what could happen if the rest of you began feeling…jealous? Frightened? As you know, the mist is a very powerful thing. It can work both ways, on mortals and on the supernatural. I manipulate the mist to make sure mortals stay naïve to the going-ons of the world of demigods and wizards alike. However, I also work very hard to make sure that my children and demigods like yourselves are unaware of each other’s presence as well. Remember how desperate the gods were to keep the two camps apart?” She gave each of them a pointed look.

 

“Now, back to my story. A little over a thousand years ago, I had four very powerful children. They were regarded as the greatest witches and wizards of their age. As they received their generosity and forward thinking from their mother, they decided to open a school to teach descendants of mine to practice magic. They called it the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Children who attended were divided up into the four houses, each based on one of the four founders. “Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.

 

As it does with every happy story, a conflict began to arise. Salazar Slytherin wished for the school to only be open to what we in the magical community refer to as ‘pure-bloods.’ Children with only one magical parent, or a child who is a descendent of mine with no magical parents, but has magical abilities were considered to be of a lower-class. However, the rest of the founders outvoted Slytherin, and the school remained open to all with the gift.

 

It’s time we jump forward a thousand years. A direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin had come to acquire an enormous amount of power, earning him the title as “The Dark Lord.” He was thought to have died while performing an assassination attempt on a young boy, but The Dark Lord has found…ways to ensure that he can never truly be defeated. Instead of dying like everyone believed, he was reduced to almost nothing. However, last year, he was resurrected into a new body, and has begun to regain the power he lost.”

 

She paused, and let the four demigods absorb the information they just heard. Each one had a grim look on their face. “That was what came out of the cauldron,” Annabeth whispered.

 

The rest of them looked at her funny, waiting for her to explain. “The cauldron. Hectate said that he was resurrected into a new body. I would bet that is how this ‘Dark Lord’ reclaimed his body.”

 

Hectate drew out a low chuckle. “Such a clever girl. That is exactly what happened my dear. The Dark Lord was first defeated by a young boy, and this boy grew up to be his greatest enemy, but also his lifeline. It is Harry Potter’s blood that runs through his veins now, and it is only Harry Potter who can truly defeat him once and for all.”

 

Will held up a hand. “Woah woah, how did this Harry Potter defeat him while he was a baby? And what was the Dark Lord doing going after him in the first place?”

 

The rest of them murmured their confusion as well. “As to how he defeated the Dark Lord, let’s just say that sacrificial love is very, very powerful magic. As to why he went after Harry Potter in the first place, that I cannot say. Prophecies are…touchy. Best now to go around spouting them out.”

 

Percy let out a frustrated sigh. “Okay, so this Dark Lord character is back and ready to take over the world, and only Harry Potter can stop him. How are we involved in this?”

 

“Have you not figured it out yet dearies?” She sweetly asked with her head cocked to the side. That only made Percy angrier.

 

“Well if you would just-“

 

“Percy.” Annabeth cut him off. “Remember the prophecy: “to protect the Chosen One from the devil at large.”

 

Nico spoke up, “Harry Potter is the Chosen One. He’s the one we need to protect, isn’t he?”

 

“Very good!” Hectate clapped, and her companions chittered. “You will go to Hogwarts to protect the boy. Dark forces are at work, and I fear that Hogwarts will no longer be safe for him.

 

Now! I can’t stay here all night. Meet me at the top of Half-Blood Hill at eleven a.m. sharp! We have some work to do.” She waved her in front of her and disappeared within the mist.

 

XX

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 Order of the Olympians

 

Chapter 3

 

Nico spoke up, “Harry Potter is the Chosen One. He’s the one we need to protect, isn’t he?”

 

“Very good!” Hectate clapped, and her companions chittered. “You will go to Hogwarts to protect the boy. Dark forces are at work, and I fear that Hogwarts will no longer be safe for him.

 

Now! I can’t stay here all night. Meet me at the top of Half-Blood Hill at eleven a.m. sharp! We have some work to do.” She waved her in front of her and disappeared within the mist.

 

XX

 

As soon as the goddess disappeared, the campers around Percy started moving again, causing him to jump in his seat.

 

Leo did a double take towards his friends. “Woah! How did you get over there? Weren’t you standing over by Chiron just a second ago?”

 

One of the centaur’s hooves pawed the ground. “Hectate?” he asked with a grim expression.

 

The four demigods nodded, and Annabeth relayed the information the goddess provided.

 

Clarisse was the first to respond, she stood and threw her up arms in the air in frustration. “You mean there is this whole other world of witches and wizards that we have had no idea about?”

 

Her boyfriend, Chris Rodriguez, shrugged and said, “And an evil wizard wants to destroy the world...I mean I guess we can’t really be surprised anymore.”

 

Clarisse shot him a look. “Because a goddess wanted to keep her children all to herself, now a wack-job is threatening everything! Who knows, we could have gotten along with those guys!”

 

Will snorted. “Clarisse, daughter of Ares, did you just suggest that the goddess’ first reaction should have been peace?”

 

“I can be peaceful when I want to be!” She practically howled at him, causing Chris to step in between his girlfriend and the son of Apollo.

 

Annabeth held up her hands trying to pacify her two friends, “Guys, focus. I’m sure Hectate had a good reason for keeping us apart. Remember Camp Jupiter? The Greeks and Romans were part of almost every civil war battle this country has had. Every time the two sides would meet, there would be bloodshed. Maybe she was just worried it would be a similar outcome.”

 

Of course Annabeth’s words held meaning for the people there, so Will and Clarisse mumbled their apologies to each other.

 

Percy ran a hand through his hair. “Alright, so Hectate asked us to meet up at Half-Blood Hill at eleven tomorrow, so I would suggest we get some rest. I’m sure wherever we are going, we will need to prepare.”

 

Rachel surprised him by sniffling, then coming to wrap her arms around his waist for a hug. “You guys better be careful, or I will personally kill you,” she muttered into his shirt, then wiped her eyes and hugged the rest of the four demigods. Percy was a little taken aback, but touched.

 

The head counselors all took their time shaking their hands, patting them on the back, and giving out awkward goodbye hugs. When things had calmed down a little, it was only Percy, Annabeth, Nico, Will, Chiron, Leo, and Calypso. Leo couldn’t make eye contact with Percy, and seemed to be crushing his girlfriend’s hand.

 

Percy clapped a hand on his shoulder. “Dude, you are the one person who isn’t allowed to get emotional on me.” The son of Hephaestus’ eyes were sad for half a second longer, then Leo’s familiar impish smile broke out on his face.

 

“Emotional? All I am emotional about is that you, sir, will be missing out on Super Sized McShizzle for who knows how long!” Leo’s goggles fell forward onto his face at that, letting his long curly black hair stick straight up.

 

Everyone laughed, and gave the couple one last hug. Chiron shook each of their hands, and promised to see them off in the morning.

 

Percy turned to his remaining three friends. “Alright guys...so let’s get some sleep and meet back up in the morning. I’m not sure how long we will need to pack for, so just try to be as prepared as possible.” They nodded, and began walking towards their own cabins. Percy hugged Annabeth tight, and kissed her hard on the mouth.

 

“As long as we are together, right?” his lips smiled against hers.

 

“Right.” She agreed, “Goodnight Seaweed Brain.”

 

Percy watched her as she walked into her cabin, and was surprised to see Nico standing in front of the Poseidon cabin as he turned around.

“Nico? What’s up?” He asked.

 

“I…” The younger boy started. “I just wanted to say thank you. For letting Will come on this quest.” Nico di Angelo stuck his hands in his pockets and kept his eyes on the ground.

 

Percy smiled. “Don’t thank me yet. I’m sure this quest will be dangerous enough for you both to rethink this arrangement.”

 

Nico raised his head to look him in the eye, “Dangerous or not, it means a lot to me. I-I-I would rather be in danger together...than safe separated.” His black combat boots were shuffling against the ground.

 

Percy’s eyes softened. “I know what you mean man. Go get some sleep, and try to stay away from graveyards.” He added with a raised eyebrow.

 

The younger boy chuckled, shook Percy’s hand, and walked towards the Hades cabin.

 

XX

 

At ten fifty-five, Percy met the other three demigods and Chiron at the top of Half-Blood Hill. He squinted towards the sun, which was slowly rising towards its peak in the sky. Everybody had met in Percy’s cabin earlier that morning to Iris Message Jason, Piper, Frank and Hazel at Camp Jupiter to let them know what was going on. They wished Percy and his friends luck, and threatened them to stay alive until they saw them next.

 

Each one of them carried a medium sized suitcase, all of which were borrowed from the Aphrodite cabin. The campers had teamed up with the Apollo kids to decorate each of their bags, and Percy chuckled as he examined each one.

 

Will’s bag was a light yellow color, and was covered in pictures of the sun, bows and arrows, and lyers. There was even a small grey skull etched in on the corner. Nico’s bag was made out of a black material, and was-not surprisingly-covered in skeletons, a three headed dog, a scepter, and a small yellow sun, which was happened to be smack dab in the middle. Annabeth’s bag was sea-green, and was decorated with owls, olive trees, shields, and a large trident covering an entire pocket.

 

Finally, Percy held his up. It was a deep blue, but instead of various drawings, besides one glowing trident, everyone in the camp had signed his bag. Little notes saying “good luck,” and “come back soon” accompanied an array of different colored lip outlines. Annabeth shook her head in frustration and muttered something about “love-sick devils.”

 

Everything was quiet for the next few minutes. The four demigods let the waning summer breeze flow through and around them. Familiar sounds of campers cheering over by the lava-encased rock wall, the clanking of sword against sword combat, and laughter down by the beachfront were carried by the wind. Who knew when they would be surrounded by familiarity again?

 

Thirty more seconds passed, and the alarm on Annabeth’s watch went off. Without wasting any time, Hectate appeared through the mist, this time wearing robes stitched from gold, and a matching intricate headband holding back her long, flowing black hair.

 

“Young demigods, I am pleased to see that a good night’s rest has not left you with any doubts of participating on this quest.” She gave a smug smile, and Percy felt his temperature rise a few degrees.

 

“We’re here, just as you asked. What is the next step?” Percy asked, trying to stay focused.

 

“You all remember that your quest involves protecting a boy named Harry Potter correct? He happens to be fifteen years old, and will be entering his fifth year at Hogwarts. The best way for you to grow close to him and his friends would be for you to accompany him as fifth year students.” She gave a knowing smile, and waited for Percy and Annabeth to make the connection.

 

“Wait, hold up.” Annabeth asked with confusion. “Percy and I are too old. We are both seventeen…”

 

“My dear, are you not speaking to the goddess of magic? Of the mist? I can make you appear as though you are eighty years old! Much less two years younger than your actual age.” Hectate gave a sharp laugh, and flicked her wrist. Swirls of black mist whipped around Annabeth and Percy, who both moved away half a second before it reached them.

 

When the mist dissolved, the duo didn’t look too much different. Percy was a few inches shorter, though still an inch or so taller than Annabeth. He begrudgingly noticed that he had lost a little bit of his muscle definition, but all in all he couldn’t complain. When he looked at Annabeth, she gave him a sad smile before placing a less-calloused hand on the side of his head.

 

“Our grey streaks are back.” She noted, playing with his. His eyes immediately found her streak, and they both remembered their time holding up the sky itself.

 

“Yes, yes. I did not think you two would want to forget about your triumphs now, hmm? Moving forward!” The goddess turned to face all four demigods. “When you arrive at Hogwarts, you will notice that the people there use wands to control their magic. Therefore, each of you need to have one of your own.”


At that, Nico grimaced, no doubt remembering the dream when he was being tortured with what he now knew was a wand.

 

“Percy Jackson, as you are the leader of this quest, let’s start off with you.” Percy stepped forward, his hand pressing against Riptide in his pocket.

 

“Ah, now that is perfect for what we need.” Hectate chimed, seemily knowing what Percy was holding. “Let me see the blade.”

 

Percy hesitated, but did as she asked. “Your dear sword knows you well.” The goddess chucked. With a flick of her wrist, the bronze sword shrunk into a twelve inch wooden stick with an intricate glittering bronze pattern weaved throughout. “When you wish to have your sword returned to you, simply whisper her greek name.”

 

“Annabeth Chase, step forward.” Percy switched places with Annabeth, and Hectate motioned for her to bring out her weapon as well. Her blade made from drakon bone was well balanced in her hand, but she presented it to the goddess. Hectate’s eyes flickered with light, and Annabeth’s sword shrunk to a wand similar to Percy’s but instead of the wood weaved with bronze, it was ingrained with a shimmering white, which must have been the drakon bone. “When you wish for your weapon to return, whisper the greek word ‘nostos.’”

 

Nico and Will both followed suit, with Nico’s Stygian Iron sword transforming into a wand with darker wood and stark black iron forged around as the pattern and, and Will’s bow molding into a ten inch light wand with arrows carved into the sides. “When you need your weapons, you will also whisper the greek word ‘nostos.’ Son of Apollo, when your bow is needed, your quiver filled with special arrows will appear on your back. Can’t let you walk around in the outside world without any ammunition now can I?”

 

The four demigods examined their new wands, before Hectate spoke up again. “Oh I almost forgot...obviously you won’t have as much training as the fifth year students do, so your wands are hardwired for magic. You will still need to learn the spells to direct your wands, but they are connected to your demigod blood.”

 

Chiron had been watching silently as the exchange had taken place, but now cleared his throat. “Are the children’s current valuables sufficient? Or will they need more to blend in with the other students?”

 

The goddess blinked as if she forgot the centaur was there. “The demigods will need to retrieve supplies from Diagon Alley. One of my children has arranged for someone to meet them in London.”

 

“Wait, how are we supposed to get to London?” Nico asked, “I mean I could shadow travel us there…”

“But, that’s out of the question.” Will interrupted.

“My dears, you will be flying of course. No safer way to travel.” Hectate clapped her hands, and four first class tickets appeared in Annabeth’s hand.

 

“Uh...I would rather not be shot out of the sky on the first day of our quest.” Percy raised his hand, shooting nervous glances towards the sky.

 

Hectate rolled her eyes, “The Lord of the Skies has promised to allow you safe travel...this time” Thunder rumbled up ahead, and Percy could feel himself start to sweat.

 

“I don’t know about that…” Percy started, but Hectate waved him off. “Stop whining demigod, and get moving.”

 

“Argus will take you all to the airport,” Chiron motioned towards their one-hundred eyed friend.

 

“Yes yes...I feel like I am missing something…” Hectate pondered with a fist underneath her chin. “Ah! Yes! Those Golden Drachmas won’t do you any good in the wizarding world.” The goddess ran her hands along her robe, as if looking for something.

 

She pulled out four dingy black leather pouches and handed them to the demigods. “You’ll find more than enough knuts, sickles, and galleons in there. They are similar to your friend Leo’s toolbelt. If you ever need more, all you do is ask.”

 

While they examined their strange new money, Hectate began lifting the mist around her. “Protect the boy, demigods. If you fail, the Dark Lord will destroy everything you have ever loved.” On that happy note, the goddess dissolved.

 

“That was cheery…” Will mumbled, trying to bite into the bronze knut.

 

“You heard the goddess, we need to get you four to London.” Chiron announced. Percy noticed that he wasn’t meeting any of their eyes.  They shook the centaur’s hand and gave quick hugs one more time before piling into the Camp Half-Blood van.

 

After about forty-five minutes of four ADHD demigods failing to try to keep still in the van, nobody was anxious to board an airplane for eight hours. Once they got to the airport, they decided to forgo checking bags, as everything that connected to them to home was stuffed into their suitcases. Security had been...interesting, to say the least.

 

Their wands had thrown the metal detector into a frenzy, but after a thorough investigation, the security team determined that it was just a fluke in the system. Scratching their heads in confusion, they allowed the demigods to proceed to their gate.

 

With about half an hour before boarding time, Will and Nico were grabbing coffee while Percy and Annabeth discussed their upcoming trip.

“I’ve been thinking…” Annabeth started, glancing in Percy’s direction.

 

“Wise Girl, you’re always thinking.” he replied, just as he took a large bite out of a blueberry muffin.

 

She rolled her eyes. “I mean I’ve been thinking about one of the lines of the prophecy. ‘The darkness shall fall by the rising sun.’ It’s just a hunch, but maybe Will was meant to come with us on the quest.”

 

Percy thought about it for a second. “I mean I guess it makes sense. ‘Rising Sun,’ could mean the son of Apollo. But, I wonder what ‘darkness’ he would need to defeat…”

 

“Let’s not dwell on that. There are too many lines in there that give me goosebumps.” Annabeth shivered as she thought about them. Percy nodded and put his arm around her. WIll and Nico arrived just as they were about to start allowing first class passengers to board.

 

“Are  you all ready for this?” Nico asked the group. They looked each other in the eyes, nodded grimly, and brought their decorated suitcases with them towards the plane.

 

XX

 

Never again. Never, ever, ever again. Percy swore loudly as the landing gear touched down, his heart racing a million miles an hour. Throughout the flight, he was convinced that every little bump or movement from turbulence was Zeus changing his mind about letting him travel safely. While the Lord of the Skies might not have destroyed their plane, he damn well made sure that Percy wouldn’t get any sort of rest in his domain. Eight hours crammed into a small space, and every time he closed his eyes, there was an immediate jolt, shaking him awake. To make it worse, it was well past midnight when left stepped off the airplane.

 

As soon as they arrived in the “Pick Up” area of the airport, Percy immediately sank to the ground, thanking his father, Zeus, and every other god and goddess he could think of for letting him survive the trip. Annabeth laughed at her boyfriend's antics, and scanned the deserted area for the person they were supposed to meet.

 

“Hey Annabeth, what about that guy over there?” Nico yawned and pointed towards a burly, greasy man with a permanent scowl on his face, and a twitching fake eye in place of a real one. “He’s...different.”

 

Will muttered something about “just our luck” under his breath. The man with one eye must have been waiting for them, because he approached, albeit slowly and with a limp.

 

“You the kids Dumbledore asked me to fetch, eh?” His voice was gruff, and filled with obvious disdain. This man really did not like being a babysitter.

 

The four demigods looked at each other. “Dumbledore?” Percy asked, “Is he the son of H-”

 

Annabeth immediately started coughing, covering up the last part of Percy’s question. She shot him a frustrated look, and turned back towards the man’s narrowed eye.

 

“We aren’t sure who are supposed to meet sir. We are part of the exchange program from America.”

 

“Well I was told to meet four kids from New York who were going to be attending Hogwarts this year at the crack o’ dawn…”

 

“Yes!” Will announced, now excited. “That’s us. We are going to Hogwarts!”

 

“Keep your voice down boy!” the man hissed. “You never know who’s listening…” his voice dropped into a whisper. “My name is Alastor Moody. We will be apparating to our base today.”

 

“I’m Nico di Angelo, and this is Will Solace. And... I’m sorry, Apparating?” Nico asked suspiciously.

 

Moody grinded his teeth. “Yes apparating! Have you learned nothing from your school in New York!?”

 

Annabeth put a hand on Percy’s chest to keep his anger in check. “Sir, my name is Annabeth Chase, and this is Percy Jackson. We have not learned how to apparate just yet. This will be our first time.”

 

Moody’s eye seemed to twinkle at that. “Your first time, eh? Well this will be fun...for me.” The burly man chuckled, and squeezed in between Annabeth and Percy. “Two at a time. Try not to hurl.”

 

The two demigods’ eyes widened, but they held onto their suitcases, and Moody grabbed each of their arms, then disappeared from view.

 

“Wha-” Will started, his heart racing. “Where did they go!” He latched onto Nico’s arm as he frantically searched the surrounding area.

 

“Will, calm down.” Nico scolded, taking his arm back. “I think what Moody did was similar to shadow-travel. I’m sure he will be back in a second for us.”

 

Not ten seconds later, the greasy man appeared before them again. “Yer friends didn’t handle the jump too well. Let’s see how you two do…” Nico prepared himself as Moody latched on, but Will yelped in surprise.

 

The next thing they knew, the demigods were standing in front a dingy set of dark brick apartment buildings. A car alarm went off in the distance, but the surrounding area was deserted and eerily quiet. Nico’s stomach tossed with familiar excitement as he looked over to see Will hunched over a grassy spot, obviously trying not to lose his dinner. Percy and Annabeth seemed to be recovering, but under the flickering streetlight Nico could see Percy looking a little green.

 

Moody was looking at Nico with newfound respect, but didn’t say anything. In his hand appeared a long wooden walking stick that looked as if it had seen its fair share of battles. “Come on you lot.” He motioned for them to join him on the sidewalk. Moody struck the end of his walking stick against the ground twice, and waited.

 

The earth began to shake around them, and the four demigods swayed as they watching a building push and pull its way to the front. Percy was sure that people would come running, but the mortals didn’t seem to notice anything happening. When the ground settled, an ominous older building stood in front of them. A set of worn steps led up to a battered front door. Moody began moving towards it.

 

“This is 12 Grimmauld Place. I’ve no idea why, but Dumbledore asked to bring you lot here. He even fiddled with the security measures. We’ll see if they worked.” He eyed the four with suspicion, btu continued forward.

 

As the wizard reached for the doorknob, Percy  stopped him. “What happens if they don’t?”

 

He gave the four a maniacal smile and said, “Then you die.”

 

Xx

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians


Chapter 4

 

“This is 12 Grimmauld Place. I’ve no idea why, but Dumbledore asked to bring you lot here. He even fiddled with the security measures. We’ll see if they worked.” He eyed the four with suspicion, btu continued forward.

As the wizard reached for the doorknob, Percy stopped him. “What happens if they don’t?”

He gave the four a maniacal smile and said, “Then you die.”

XX

Moody turned the bronze doorknob, and sneered at the silver serpent knocker as he opened the door. Percy held his breath before following close behind him. As soon as all four demigods stepped foot inside the hallway, a cloud of heavy chalk dust whirled around them. Moody looked on with interest, but the dust seemed content with whatever it was it found, and fell slowly towards the ground. 

“Well if that ain’t strange…” Moody mumbled. “All right you lot, it’s way past yer bedtime. Go on upstairs. There are plenty of beds up there.” With that, he limped towards the closest door, and disappeared behind it.

The four demigods examined their new safehaven before heading upstairs. The front door opened into a long hallway, with a large dusty chandelier softly illuminated with twentieth-century gas lamps. Percy noticed the once brilliant wallpaper peeling off, and various cobwebs hanging in almost every corner. 

As they made their way down the long hallway, they shied away from the silver serpents that decorated the wooden paneling underneath the wallpaper. When they reached the first landing, a voice shrieked out from behind them.


“FILTHY HALF-BLOODS. I CAN SMELL YOU!” 

The demigods whipped out their wands, and pointed them towards the horrible voice. Just before they called out their weapons, the voice screamed again.

“FREAKS! HOW DARE YOU STEP FOOT IN-” 

“SHUT IT!” The hallway door flew open, and Alastor Moody bellowed towards the voice. The demigods backed up the stairs quickly, and watched as the wizard flung a tattered velvet quilt off of a portrait, and cursed loudly at its occupant.

“Is that...is that painting alive?” Annabeth asked, gripping her wand tightly.

Moody directed a spell towards the painting and the lady stopped moving. He returned the quilt to its rightful place and sneered at the newcomers. “Of course it’s alive! Haven’t you lot ever seen moving portraits before?”

Percy lowered his wand, and motioned for the others to do the same. “Uh..no. I guess we don’t have them in New York.”

The wizard narrowed his eyes. “Then you’ll have an interesting time arriving at Hogwarts. Place is full o’ em. Now get to bed!”

They all looked at each other with wide eyes, but shrugged as this wasn’t the strangest news they had ever heard. Percy waited for Moody to limp back into the room he had claimed, then nodded towards the others to continue on upstairs.

Annabeth reached her hand towards the doorknob of the first bedroom on their right, but Nico stopped her. “This one is occupied. I can sense a few people sleeping in there.”

“How about the next one?” She asked, pointing towards the room a few feet down the hall. Nico tilted his head for a second, then shook his head.


“Seems to be empty, come on.” He led the group into a dusty room with four matching twin beds, two pushed up against the north wall, and two pushed up against the west wall. The room was dark, with the eerie moonlight streaming in through the boarded in window. They all stumbled in, the events of the day finally catching up to them.

Percy and Annabeth dropped their suitcases on the sides of the beds on the west wall, and Nico and Will took the remaining two beds.

“I’m sure I don’t need to remind you guys, but let’s keep our ‘wands’ with us tonight. I don’t like not knowing who else is in the house.” Will yawned, and stuffed his own wand into a clasp near his ankle. They all mumbled their ‘goodnight’’ and went silent. 

Percy waited about half an hour until he could hear the soft snores of his friends, then rolled over into an unfamiliar dream.

XX

Percy was floating. Or, at least that’s what it felt like. His body didn’t seem completely corporeal, so his feet weren’t exactly touching the ground. He took in his surroundings quickly. Percy seemed to be near the end of a tunnel, or chamber. Stone pillars decorated with silver serpents lined the edges of this place, and he could feel his nerves rising as he realized the ceiling was completely covered in shadows.

He almost yelped as he saw movement from the corner of his eye. Percy whipped around and saw a young boy, maybe around the age of eleven or twelve sprinting towards a small lump on the ground. The scene in front of Percy was hazy, but he thought he could make out the boy trying to stir the lump, maybe it was a person? If so, they had to be young. 

The boy jumped, startled, and started speaking to an older boy leaning against one of the pillars. Percy could make out an arrogant smile, and hated him immediately. If the lump on the ground really was a person, why wasn’t this older boy helping?

The two spoke for a few minutes, but Percy couldn’t hear what was said. He noted that this was unlike his usual dreams where he was watching events take place in real time, or revisiting the depths of Tartarus. No...this was different, he didn’t belong here.

He could feel the temperature in the room rise a few degrees. The conversation had turned into an argument. The younger boy was now up on his feet, seemingly yelling at the older one. A flash of movement, and shimmering letters began appearing in the air. Percy tried to lean in to see what they spelled, and had to concentrate because his dyslexia was acting up.

 

TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE

I AM LORD VOLDEMORT

 

That must be his name, Tom Riddle. Percy felt like the name was deeply important, but wasn’t sure why. The younger boy certainly seemed to get the connection, because he took a slight step back as if he were afraid.

Flames erupted in the corner of the chamber, and a brilliant crimson bird flew trait towards the two boys, dropping some kind of ragged bundle on the ground. The bird looked into the younger boy’s eyes as if trying to tell him something.

Percy was struggling to get closer to be able to hear what was said, but missed the next few seconds of the exchange. He froze when he felt the entire chamber shudder. Percy glanced up to see a giant serpent uncoiling out of a stone statue, a sickly green color that was the width of a tree trunk. 

A tingling sensation began crawling its way up through his fingers, arms, and reached up towards his neck. Percy struggled to move, and could feel his body rejecting the effort. Fear gripped him, and as he tried to cry out for help, darkness overtook him. 

XX

“Percy, wake up.” A familiar voice brought him into the light, and he had to force his body to listen to him. He groaned and looked over at his friends.

They all seemed to have a few dark circles under their eyes as they struggled to get out of bed. “Did you guys have nightmares too?” They all nodded, and looked at him expectantly. He relayed what happened in his dream, and asked Annabeth about hers. 

She ran her fingers through her curly blonde hair and huffed. “I was in this chamber that was surrounded by these heavy black flames. This nervous looking guy with a turban tried to kill this kid, but everytime he grabbed the boy, he would blister up and eventually dissolved into dust. It was the strangest thing..”

“I wonder if it was the same kid in my dream.” Nico began, taking a seat on the bed next to Will. “In mine he was running from some kind of monster, it looked like a type of werewolf.”

Will nodded, “I bet it was. Black hair? Glasses? It was the same kid who was in mine. He used his wand to produce some kind of holographic deer to destroy all of these skeleton looking things with dark cloaks.” 

Nico narrowed his eyes at that. “Skeleton looking things with dark cloaks? My father is the Lord of the Underworld, and I haven’t heard of anything like that.”

The four demigods mulled over their dreams for a few minutes before Annabeth spoke. “I bet the kid in all of our dreams was Harry Potter, the chosen one we were sent here to protect.”

Percy nodded, “It makes sense. I bet that ‘Dark Lord’ person had something to do with all of the horrible things he went through.”

Annabeth took Percy’s hand. They didn’t say anything, but made eye contact with Nico. Will put his arm around his boyfriend, “Look, obviously I didn’t go through anything like you three did. But maybe this Harry Potter guy might be able to relate to you more than we thought.”

Nico gave Will a small smile, then whipped his head towards the door. “Someone’s coming.” They each brought out their wands, ready to call on their weapons, when a small knock sounded at the door. 

“Good morning!” A cheery voice sounded on the other side of the door, and the knob slowly turned. The four demigods lowered their wands as a plump face appeared in the opening. The woman had frizzy red hair like Rachel’s, kind eyes, and a bright outfit that had its fair share of tatters.

“Sorry to scare you dears, but my name is Molly Weasley. Breakfast is ready, so come on downstairs so you can meet everyone.” She gave them a quick smile that had a hint of sadness behind it and disappeared behind the door again. 

Percy’s stomach growled, and his ears turned a little pink. “Food is waiting, let’s go.” They all quickly changed, brushed their teeth, and headed down the dusty stairs, still a little on edge. When they reached the doorway to the dining room at the foot of the stairs, Percy immediately calmed down.

It was the brightest room they had seen since entering 12 Grimmauld Place. At least thirty gas lamps hung on the walls around the room, which flickered softly to keep the shadows to a minimum. An exceptionally long table with about seven people gathered around one end of it stood in the center of the room. Every eye snapped its attention on the four newcomers when they stepped through the doorway.

“Ah! You made it down. Come in, come in dears! I’ll introduce you to everybody.” Mrs. Weasley stood up happily and ushered them to come closer. Annabeth smiled at Percy and took the first step towards the crowd.

Mrs. Weasley began pointing out people, “These are my sons, Fred, George, and Ronald.” The two older boys looked to be identical, Percy was sure only Annabeth would be able to sort them out. The younger one had the same fire red hair, tattered clothes, and soft smile that the rest of his family had. Mrs. Weasley pointed out the young woman sitting next to Ron, “This is Hermione, the brightest young witch of her age.”

Hermione had frizzy light brunette hair that was braided down her back, a pretty face, and curious eyes. Percy immediately figured that her and Annabeth would get along. “This is Sirius Black, the owner of this house.” She motioned towards a tall man with long black hair. He was unusually skinny, and had a sunken face. However, his eyes were bright, and he greeted them with a large smile. 

Percy’s eyes found those of the man next to Sirius. He was old, like really old. Wrinkles covered his pale face, and an incredible white beard flowed down towards his lap. Despite his apparent age, his eyes twinkled with fascination and excitement, and Percy figured he was much more powerful than he looked.

“And this, of course, is-”

“Dumbledore.” Annabeth chimed in. “You must be the Dumbledore that Moody mentioned last night.”

He gave her a knowing smile. “You would be correct.” The old wizard turned to look at the rest of the demigods. “You must be Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson, Nico Di Angelo, and Will Solace.” Each demigod raised their hand slightly when their name was said. 

“Well dears, it is so nice to meet you. Come, come. There is plenty of breakfast!” Mrs. Weasley ushered them into their chairs and fussed until each had food in front of them.

“So..uh...why are you lot coming to Hogwarts?” Ron asked, clearly suspicious. Hermione shot him a ‘how rude’ look, and mouthed her apologies to the group.

Annabeth didn’t miss a beat. “Our headmaster, Chiron, thought it would be a good idea for a few of his students to study abroad. The four of us were chosen based on merit and current skill set.”

Ron didn’t really seem satisfied with her answer, but he let it rest for now. The rest of breakfast revolved around the demigods getting to know Ron and Hermione. Apparently they were Harry Potter’s best friends, and they described a few of their experiences at Hogwarts so far-not going into any gory details of course. Percy knew the whole crowd was trying to make light of the past, and he made a note to dig a little deeper once he knew them well enough.

Dumbledore cleared his throat, getting everyone’s attention. “Percy, may I speak with you for a minute?” 

Percy swallowed the last bite of his tenth pancake, wiped his mouth, and followed Dumbledore to a room that broke off from the dining room. It was small, but homey. The fireplace had a simmering fire that made him feel more comfortable. Dumbledore took out his wand, and Percy’s eyes immediately examined it. It looked to be about fifteen inches long with a unique design to it. He thought about how Grover would be able to identify the wood it was made out of, then cast his eyes down at the thought. He missed his friend.

“It draws you in, doesn’t it?” Dumbledore asked softly, admiring the wand in his hand. Percy nodded, and waited for the wizard to continue. “It’s core is made out of Thestral tail-hair. Of course, you would have no idea what they means.” He said with a smile.

“I trust that by now you have figured out that I am the son of Hectate?” He asked. 

Percy smiled back at him. “I don’t know how I knew. You just seem to give off a different vibe than everyone else.”

“Well Mr. Jackson, you will have to get used to that at Hogwarts. You and your friends will give off that same uh...vibe, as you call it. I imagine you and your friend Nico di Angelo will have more encounters with that than the others.”

Percy let out a sigh. “Yeah, it comes with the territory. I don’t think we will ever get used to it, but at least Nico and I know to expect it.”

Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled. “Two children of the Big Three under one roof...what a sight to behold. I think you will get along quite well with Mr. Potter. I have a feeling that you two are very much alike.” He paused, and chose his next words carefully. “I must warn you, Mr. Jackson. I will not be available to you once Harry arrives. To keep him safe, I must keep my distance. It will be difficult, because I hold great love for that boy. But, if staying away from him means that I can protect him a little while longer, I will do it.” 

Percy studied the man in front of him, the son of Hectate. Hermione had told him that Dumbledore was the greatest wizard in the world, and he believed her, but not only because of his supposed abilities. Percy admired how greatly he loved, and his desire to protect those around him. He was the headmaster of Hogwarts, and dedicated his life to seeing to it that the descendants of Hectate learn how to use magic properly.

“I understand, Professor.” He said confidently. And he did. Percy trusted his friends to help him protect Harry Potter, even without Dumbledore’s immediate help.

Dumbledore looked visibly relieved. “Thank you, my boy. Now, if you excuse me, I must see to it that Harry Potter does not get expelled from Hogwarts.” With a wink, Dumbledore apparated into thin air.

Percy blinked, then turned around to head back into the dining room. He relayed the cryptic message that Dumbledore left him with, and walked back next to Annabeth.

Sirius stood up, obviously in distress. “I should be with him! He’s just a boy!”

Molly swatted Sirius back into his seat. “You know that will only put him in more danger. You are a wanted man! Dumbledore knows what he’s doing. Arthur will make sure he gets to the hearing safe and sound.”

Sirius moved his greasy black hair out of his eyes and mumbled “They will eat him alive in there…” under his breath.

The four demigods watched the exchange curiously. What in the world were they talking about?

Ron and Hermione caught their eyes, and mouthed for them to meet the two upstairs. One by one, each student excused themselves from the table and filed into Fred, George, and Ron’s bedroom. 

Will crossed his arms and spoke up first, “Can you explain what they were talking about down there?”

Hermione sat down on Ron’s bed and fiddled with the thumbs. “Sirius told us that Harry was attacked by Dementors yesterday evening.” 

Obviously, none of the demigods had heard of Dementors before, and gave her a questioning look. “I guess they don’t have them in America…” Ron mumbled, looking Hermione in the eye. 

She continued. “Dementors are under the control of the Ministry of Magic, they guard Azkaban, the wizarding prison for the most foul dark witches and wizards.”

Ron shiverred. “They are bloody terrifying. Harry knows how to produce a patronus charm, so he was fine, but the Ministry would never send Dementors to attack an underage wizard...so…”

“The question is, who sent them?” Nico finished for him. “My guess would be this ‘Dark Lord’ guy that we’ve been hearing so much about.” 

Hermione narrowed her eyes. “Yes, that is what we were thinking too. I guess even across the pond...his...name still comes up.”

Percy raised his hand, “Does anyone actually know this guys name? It seems like everyone is scared to use it.”

Ron and Hermione exchanged nervous glances. “It’s just..names have power, you know? I’ll write it down for you.” 

Hermione took out a piece of paper from her notebook, scribbled something down, then handed it to the four demigods. Their eyes widened at the name VOLDEMORT, and Percy coughed. It was the same name from his dream, that creep Tom Riddle must have been Voldemort. He didn’t really understand how that was possible, seeing as though the guy in his dream couldn’t have been older than sixteen.

“Anyway, underage wizards aren’t allowed to use magic outside of the school grounds, so the Ministry found out he used the Patronus charm-to defend himself-in front of his cousin, Dudley, who is a muggle. They want to expel him…” Hermione sniffed, and put her head in her hands.

“But, Dumbledore isn’t going to let that happen. Dad took Harry to the Ministry to have his hearing, and Dumbledore is going to defend him. They will bring him back here.” Ron finished for her.

“Oh, Ron. Harry is going to be so angry with us!” Hermione cried into her hands. Annabeth took pity and sat down next to her on the bed, rubbing her back.

“Why, what did you do?” Will asked, a little attitude in his voice.

Ron shot him a look. “Dumbledore asked us not to write anything of importance to Harry this summer. He thinks our letters could have been intercepted, so he’s probably going out of his mind worrying. He watched You Know Who come back last year, and hasn’t been given any sort of information.”

Percy grew frustrated at that. Sure, he understood the need to be careful, but this kid had clearly gone through enough. He didn’t need his friends bailing on him.

“You could have at least explained that to him!” He grumbled through his teeth. 

Hermione looked up, exasperated. “What were we supposed to do! This was a direct order from Dumbledore! He didn’t want Harry to know anything about the Order!” She immediately caught her mistake, and clasped a hand over her mouth.

Annabeth stood up from her spot. “The Order? What’s that?” Her stormy grey eyes were locked onto Hermione’s, willing the information from her.

“I..uh..oh whatever!” She threw her hands up in the air, and folded them across her chest. Ignoring warning looks from Ron, she looked at the four demigods. “The Order of the Phoenix. They are a group put together by Dumbledore to fight back against You Know Who. This place is the headquarters.”

Ron sighed, and shot them a suspicious look. “Dumbledore must trust you lot quite a bit to let you stay here.”

Hermione stared at him, as he had made a really good point. “Yes...why did he let you come here? He must have known you would find out.” 

Percy shuffled his feet, but spoke confidently. “Maybe he believes that we have a part to play in this war too.”

The room was silent for a few moments as they all processed what they had just heard.

Annabeth clapped her hands, successfully changing the subject. “All right, well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, do you think you two could catch us up on some spells and information before we get to Hogwarts? All of us are worried that our curriculum in America is...different..than it is here.”

Percy threw his arm around Annabeth and kissed her cheek. Leave it to her find homework for them to do before school even started.

Percy watched understanding flicker across Hermione and Ron’s faces as they realized him and Annabeth were a couple. Hermione brightened considerably, and ran out the room quickly. Ron groaned when she came back in carrying a stack of heavy books in her arms. “You bet we can!!” She grinned like a madwoman. 

Percy inwardly sighed, but knew this was the best plan. They needed to be able to protect themselves with the wands Hectate had given them, not just with their trusty weapons. He motioned for his friends to find a spot in the room and sit down. 

Once everyone was comfortable, Hermione jumped up and handed everyone a different leather-bound book. “First things first, Hogwarts, A History...”

Percy forced himself to pay attention, but a nagging feeling creeped into the back of his mind. He would meet Harry Potter soon. The entire reason Percy’s life was ripped from its roots and he was sent over to London. The entire reason he and Annabeth weren’t enjoying a romantic picnic in Central Park right now. The entire reason for this mysterious quest. Percy would meet The Boy Who Lived soon enough.

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 5 

“Annabeth clapped her hands, successfully changing the subject. “All right, well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, do you think you two could catch us up on some spells and information before we get to Hogwarts? All of us are worried that our curriculum in America is...different..than it is here.”  

Percy threw his arm around Annabeth and kissed her cheek. Leave it to her find homework for them to do before school even started.  

Percy watched understanding flicker across Hermione and Ron’s faces as they realized him and Annabeth were a couple. Hermione brightened considerably, and ran out the room quickly. Ron groaned when she came back in carrying a stack of heavy books in her arms. “You bet we can!!” She grinned like a madwoman.  

Percy inwardly sighed, but knew this was the best plan. They needed to be able to protect themselves with the wands Hectate had given them, not just with their trusty weapons. He motioned for his friends to find a spot in the room and sit down.  

Once everyone was comfortable, Hermione jumped up and handed everyone a different leather-bound book. “First things first, Hogwarts, A History...”  

Percy forced himself to pay attention, but a nagging feeling creeped into the back of his mind. He would meet Harry Potter soon. The entire reason Percy’s life was ripped from its roots and he was sent over to London. The entire reason he and Annabeth weren’t enjoying a romantic picnic in Central Park right now. The entire reason for this mysterious quest. Percy would meet The Boy Who Lived soon enough.”

 

XX

 

“Arghh, no more! No more!” Percy groaned dramatically and dropped the heavy History of Magic book onto the floor in front of him. 

“I second that!” Ron’s arm shot upwards. He was laying down with his back against the floor and an arm covering his face in frustration. “Six hours. We’ve been studying this rubbish for SIX HOURS HERMIONE!” 

Annabeth was a bit startled at that. “Are you sure? It sure hasn’t felt like that long, I can’t believe how much we have learned!” She was beaming, and Percy just stuck his tongue out at her.

Hermione laughed, “Wow, it’s three o’clock! It really has been six hours. Time sure flies when you are having fun.” Annabeth nodded her agreement, and the two high fived loudly. The rest of the group, on the other hand, groaned and crumpled up loose sheets of paper and flung it at the two girls. 

Will stood up and stretched his hands high above his head, “At least we know that we are all caught up now before heading off the Hogwarts.”

Nico shot an annoyed look at him, “Uhh, theoretically. We still have to practice the spells to be able to use them.”

Hermione’s eyes widened at that, “You’ll have to wait until you get to Hogwarts for that. You can’t practice any magic outside of the school grounds. Remember Harry?”

As soon as she mentioned the boy, the temperature in the room seemed to rise a few degrees.

Percy spoke slowly, sensing that Harry’s trial was a touchy subject. “So...when do you think we will hear how it went?”

Immediately, Mrs. Weasley could be heard downstairs fussing loudly. “HARRY! YOU’RE OKAY!” 

The group upstairs looked at each other with wide eyes, then Ron and Hermione bolted from their spots on the floor and flew downstairs. The four demigods stood up a bit slower, letting things calm down before entering the mix. 

“I knew it! Ron yelled excitedly. “You are always getting away with stuff!”

They were bound to clear you. There was no case against you, none at all…” Percy heard Hermione say, her voice shaking with anxiety. They heard another voice start to talk, but couldn’t hear what was said over the boisterous singing from Fred and George, “He got off, he got off, he got off!”  

Percy chuckled, “I guess he got off.” Annabeth made a face, and questioned when they should make themselves known. 

They heard a new male voice speaking with Sirius, something about a mouthful at the Ministry, whatever that meant. Fred and George’s anthem was still ringing loud and clear until Mrs. Weasley finally roared, “SHUT UP!” 

Nico stepped forward, “Well, that sure seems like our cue, doesn’t it?” Will chuckled, and followed him downstairs, Percy and Annabeth close behind them. 

Mrs. Weasley caught sight of the four newcomers, and ushered them down to the ground floor. “Come, come! You can finally meet Harry!” She was so excited that she kept her hands constantly fidgeting in front of her.

In between Ron and Hermione was a boy who looked surprisingly like Percy, His black hair gelled down and placed neatly, but Percy got the feeling it was normally disheveled because the boy didn’t seem like the kind of guy who wore suits that were slightly too big on him on an everyday basis. Harry Potter was a few inches shorter than him, and less muscular, but they had similar bright green eyes that seemed to always carried a hint of sadness behind them, as if they had seen too much to be completely happy.

Those bright green eyes widened a fraction when he caught sight of Percy, and he asked, “Who are you?”

Percy stepped forward and held out his hand. “I’m Percy Jackson, this is Annabeth Chase, Nico di Angelo, and Will Solace.” The other demigods nodded their hello’s, and Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously, but took Percy’s hand.


“I’m Harry Potter. Nice to meet you.” 

Percy gave him a crooked smile, and replied jokingly, “I hear that you’re kind of a legend around here. Glad to see that we will have someone like you showing us around Hogwarts.” 

At that, Harry gave him a confused look. “Wha-?”

Ron placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Yeah Harry, this lot will be coming to Hogwarts this year. They are fifth years like us.” 

Annabeth folded her arms next to Percy, “That’s not to say that we need babysitters. It will just be nice to know a few people before going to a new school.”

Harry seemed to notice Annabeth for the first time, and couldn’t quite work out what to reply. All he said was, “uhh...huh.” 

She held his dumbfounded stare with her own stormy grey one. After a second of her silently willing him to back off, his senses seemed to wake up, and he shook his head. 

“I need to go unpack my things.” He started up the stairs hurriedly, before turning his head backwards. “Ron? Hermione?” They immediately followed him, and Percy noticed Will grimace as they heard the door slam. 

Mrs. Weasley and Sirius exchanged glances with each other before slowly heading back into the kitchen. The other male voice they had heard must have left before the four demigods had made themselves known.

Nico scratched back of his head. “So that’s The Boy Who Lived, huh? Doesn’t look like much.”

Annabeth tilted her head, her grey eyes swirling, analyzing the door the trio had retreated behind. “Neither do we.”

Will snorted at that, “I think you are thinking of me, Annabeth. I don’t look like much. The three of you look like you could skewer a hellhound with just one glance.”

They all looked at him. “See! Just like that,” the Son of Apollo laughed, and slapped his friends on the back, ushering them into the dining room for a late lunch.

 

XX

 

“It’s fine Hermione. It was Dumbledore, not you two. Please, just forget about it.” Harry repeated, exasperated. Ron and Hermione had apologized relentlessly about not writing more during the summer. Sure, he was frustrated, but he couldn’t handle his friends acting like this. 

Hermione looked downwards at her fiddling thumbs, and Ron shuffled his feet. Harry rolled his eyes and tried to change the subject. “What’s up with the Americans?” he asked. 

The two were visibly relieved. “Oh, they are part of a study abroad program!”

“A study abroad program? Why would they be staying here with Sirius then?” Harry questioned, folding his arms. Something was different about those four.

Ron and Hermione looked at each other. “Well...Dumbledore asked for them to be brought here. Moody couldn’t tell us why. I guess he is fine with them knowing about the Order.”

Harry stood up, his frustration bubbling over. “He let four strangers know more about the Order than me? The one who actually fought Voldemort?”

Hermione gave a little yip, and stood one step backwards. “Harry, maybe they have a part to play in this. We just don’t know.”

Harry didn’t know about that. When he first walked into 12 Grimmauld Place, he could immediately tell that something was off. Some weird presence that didn’t belong there. The second he looked into Percy Jackson’s eyes, he knew what was causing his uneasiness. 

The boy looked to be about fifteen, but his eyes told a different story. They were seagreen, and Harry hadn’t been able to look away from them. They seemed older, wiser, and...terrifying. After watching Voldemort reform into his new body, not much scared him anymore. But the look Percy Jackson had given him sent electricity down into his bones. 

And then..he smiled. All of that darkness washed away, and he looked just like a regular guy. He still radiated power, but he now seemed approachable. 

That Nico guy, on the other hand, was just downright scary. His sunken frame and pale skin reminded him of a younger Sirius, but that’s where the comparison ended. Where Sirius had a twinkle in his eye that Harry knew as mischief and fun, Nico Di Angelo seemed to have a presence of death-and Harry had seen his fair share of death. His black jeans, grey “Machine Head T-shirt,” and black aviator jacket practically screamed, Touch me, and you die

The blonde guy, Will, honestly didn’t seem so bad. He seemed like one of those Californian surfers he had heard about, laid back and care-free. Harry had pegged him as someone who might belong in Hufflepuff.

But, wow, Annabeth. Harry wasn’t sure how he hadn’t noticed her immediately. She had blonde princess curls and an incredible frame. He felt a little ashamed of himself for thinking like that, but no girl had really stood out to him before like Annabeth did. As soon as her startling grey eyes had met his, his brain had a nervous breakdown. She had been analyzing him-everything about him, he knew. Harry had the feeling that she could reach into his brain and pick out his closest guarded secret without breaking a sweat. 

He never really talked about girls with his friends, so he decided to keep his fascination with Annabeth to himself. 

“Well, I don’t know if we should trust them. Four Americans show up in the Order of the Phoenix headquarters a couple of months after Voldemort regains his power? Seems pretty weird to me.” Harry huffed and fell backwards onto Ron’s bed.

A sharp knock on the door startled the three of them. “Booklists have arrived!” Mrs. Weasley barged in carrying a stack of letters. “About time, I thought they’d forgotten, they usually come much earlier than this…” 

Hermione took the pieces of parchment from Mrs. Weasley and handed them out to the boys. “I’ll take them with me to Diagon Alley and get the new books you all need. I’m going to bring the Americans with me as well, to make sure they get everything they need for Hogwarts.” The trio thanked Mrs. Weasley and she trotted downstairs to find the newcomers.

Harry was about to offer to join Mrs. Weasley, he would like to spend a little more time around Percy, Annabeth, Nico, and Will so that he could figure them out, but Ron’s face stopped him. 

“What’s up with you, Ron?” he asked. 

Ron was staring open mouthed at the parchment in front of him. Hermione rolled her eyes and snatched it out of his hands, but Ron didn’t seem to comprehend the change.

“Prefect? Prefect?”

 

XX

 

Mrs. Weasley had showed the four demigods the fireplace they would be traveling from. Of course, none of them had ever traveled by Floo Powder before, so they were a little apprehensive. 

“So..you the fire takes you to another fireplace?” Will asked, rubbing his elbow nervously. 

The kind redhead didn’t seem to notice their attitude change. “Of course, dears. All you have to do is toss a spot of powder into the fireplace, and say where you want to go, Diagon Alley!” 

Annabeth shrugged, “Seems simple enough.” Without hesitation, she followed Mrs. Weasley’s directions exactly, and green flames erupted around her.

Percy’s heart caught in his throat, “Annabeth!” He cried, gripping his hands on either side of the fireplace.

Mrs. Weasley chuckled and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Not to worry! She is waiting for you in Diagon Alley, don’t dally now.” But Percy’s brain short circuited when he watched his girlfriend get eaten by the green fire, so he blocked out any rational explanation as to where Annabeth was. He hastily grabbed a handful of the powder and tossed it at his feet. Unfortunately, he inhaled some of the powder and coughed furiously while trying to announce his destination. 

“D-d-iag-only!”

Heat overwhelmed him, and Percy had to cover his eyes with his arm for protection. The next second he felt as though he was moving a million miles per hour, twisting and turning around a whirlpool. His reflexes kicked in, and he forced himself into a defensive stance, and fought furiously against the current to grip his wand. 

The churning in his stomach slowed to a stop, and he braced himself as he completed a barrel roll out of a grimy, grey stone fireplace. He took half a second to check his surroundings. The place he was in had flickering fluorescent lighting, and he quickly shook off the soot on his clothes before slowly pacing around the aisles.

Percy readied his wand, just in case he needed to call his weapon, and proceeded past a withered skeleton hand encased in glass, menacing tribal masks, and human bones strung along one of the walls. As he rounded the corner, he bumped into someone wearing a long dark cloak.

The man turned around quickly with a sneer etched into his pale face. His grey-blonde hair fell straight down his back, perfectly groomed. “Children should watch where they are going, don’t you agree? Especially when they are running around in places they clearly don’t belong.” 

Percy picked up on the demeaning tone, and immediately hated the man. He narrowed his eyes and straightened, gripping his wand tighter.

“I think pretentious snobs like yourself should be careful what tone you use with people you clearly couldn’t handle in a fight.” 

Percy watched as the glare he gave off reflected in the man’s eyes. At first humor flickered across his face, then after a second, doubt. That doubt quickly turned into real fear as he studied Percy’s face, and felt the electrifying power that radiated off of him.

“Father? What’s going on?” A boy with the same pale blonde hair and haughty attitude appeared beside the man.

His face was masked of emotion within a second. “Nothing, Draco. We’re leaving.” With a flick of his dark cloak, the man hurried out of the store, only pausing to look back towards Percy. Draco narrowed his eyes towards Percy, sizing him up, before following his father out the door.

After waiting thirty seconds, Percy rushed out onto the street. He had to find Annabeth, what if she had ended up somewhere like he had? He was sure she could take care of herself, but that didn’t mean he wasn't worried about her. Watching her disappear within the flames had brought back a PTSD episode from his time in Tartarus, and the only thing that would calm him down was seeing her face.

He marched through the crowd, his eyes scanning furiously. The alleyway he was in was dark and dirty, Unpleasant witches and wizards milled around, suspicion dripping from their greasy heads. Everyone seemed to give Percy a wide berth, as if they could sense that he was much worse than however bad they thought themselves to be.

After stepping into the sunlight, a hand gripped his arm, and he immediately reacted. He pushed the figure up against the closest brick wall, pressing his wand up against their throat. Just as he was about to call Riptide, the figure cried out. 

“Percy! Percy it’s me!” Will’s voice broke Percy out of his fury, and he immediately backed away from the son of Apollo.

“Gods, Will. I’m sorry man.” He rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment as Will tried to catch his breath. 

“We’ve been looking for you everywhere! Annabeth’s going out of her mind. She’s going to kill you Perc.”

Percy perked up at that, “She’s okay? Where is she?”

Will rolled his eyes. “Dude, she’s fine. We all traveled by Floo Powder. You just had to rush off and send yourself somewhere else!”

“Just take me to her.” Percy grumbled, and Will didn’t argue this time. He led Percy across a cobblestone street filled with hundreds of people carrying various things, from live animals to broomsticks and large cauldrons. They finally reached a large shop with a wide window, the sign reading “Flourish & Blotts.” 

There wasn’t much of a crowd inside, but the place was completely filled with books. He had to sidestep around piles of them that reached upwards towards the ceiling. 

“Percy!” His head snapped towards Annabeth’s voice, and his vision finally cleared. She was safe. She was right in front of him. She was…

Punching him hard in the stomach…

“Ow!” He protested, wrapping his arms across his waist. “What was that for?”

She was furious, “that was for running after me like a incoherent maniac! Mrs. Weasley explained how Floo Powder worked, you didn’t have to freak out when I was just following directions!” 

Percy knew he shouldn’t have acted so irrationally, but seeing Annabeth slip from his grasp so quickly, he just snapped. She must have seen the anguish in his eyes, because her eyes softened. Annabeth took another step towards her boyfriend and draped her arms around his neck. They touched foreheads for a few seconds, drinking in the nearness of each other. Percy kissed her deeply, letting her feel all of his misguided fear at her disappearance. 

“Eh hmm.” Mrs. Weasley cleared her throat, breaking the couple from their spell. 

They both looked at her sheepishly. “Percy, what in the world were you thinking? You could have ended up anywhere! You must be absolutely clear with Floo Powder, do you understand me?” She folded her arms and tapped her food.

Percy couldn’t help but chuckle, she reminded him so much of his own mother. “Yes, Mrs. Weasley, I understand. I’m sorry, I just freaked out when Annabeth….” He looked away. He didn’t like to admit when he was scared.

She just shook her head and gave him a small smile. “That’s okay dear. Now we know, don’t we? Well good news, we were able to get everyone’s booklist for the school year, I’m delighted that you didn’t come empty handed.”

Percy looked at her in confusion, but Nico appeared in the corner of his eye and held up the small pouch filled with Hecate's coins. He nodded and asked, “That’s great, is there anything else we might need?” 

She laughed heartily as if it was a ridiculous question. “Oh dear, Dumbledore mentioned that you only packed for the bare minimum for this study abroad. There is so much you need! She began rambling on about trunks, uniforms, winter cloaks, gloves, cauldrons, and telescopes until Percy’s head spun. 

Annabeth took hold of Percy’s hand and smiled sweetly at him. “Then I guess we better get started, huh?”

He shot a crooked grin at Will and Nico, grabbed their supply list from Mrs. Weasley and steered his friends towards Diagon Alley.

 

XX

 

Nico di Angelo fell onto the stained wooden bench outside of ‘Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions,’ utterly exhausted. It honestly hadn’t taken him and his friends too long to find everything on their school supply list, but shopping took more energy out of him than shadow traveling-and at least he liked shadow traveling. 

He groaned as Will’s face appeared close by, smiling his usual happy grin. It normally sent flutters through his stomach, but Nico knew this particular smile meant that he had to go into another shop.

Nico shook his head furiously as Will closed in. “No, I refuse to go anywhere else. I’ve done enough shopping today.” 

The son of Apollo sat down next to his boyfriend. “I know you hate this. But, do you trust me?”

The question surprised him enough to look up from his hands. “What’s that supposed to mean?" 

Will smiled, knowing that he successfully bait his fish. “It means you’ll have to come with me!” He took Nico’s hand and brought him into a place that smelled dangerously like the Triple G Ranch. “Eeylops Owl Emporium? Why are we going into here? Nobody else did!” He complained. 

Will didn’t answer, but instead led towards the back, and stopped in front of a cage hidden in the shadows. Nico studied his face, and was surprised to find it suddenly serious. “I saw this owl..and I thought of you. I talked to the owner, and apparently she’s afraid of the open sky. Hidden in the shadows, but I think with some love and care, she could learn to love the sunlight.”

Nico didn’t respond, couldn’t respond, he was completely choked up and desperately tried to hide it. Nobody had ever truly been able to read him before, except maybe Reyna, but he suspected that was because she leant him her strength multiple times. Will could see straight through him, and scrape away the enormous walls he had built up ever since the day Percy told him that his sister was gone. 

He silently stared into the owl’s eyes. She was gorgeous, silky black feathers were layered throughout her small frame. The sign next to the cage read “Greater Sooty Owl,” but Nico figured she must have developed some darker coloring from being hidden away for so long. Her underpart was more greyish-brown, and paler than the rest of her. The eyes were ebony black, and stared right back at Nico, suspicious of the demigod. Nico reached up, grabbed the handle on the top of the cage and silently brought her to the counter to check out. 

Will was clearly delighted. When Nico paid for his new friend, he tossed a dark sheet around her cage to keep her comfortable. “What are you going to name her?” Will asked, opening up the door for him.

Nico’s gaze flickered towards his boyfriend then back to the covered cage. He was quiet for a while, and Will thought he was ignoring the question. However, he mumbled his answer so quietly so that Will had to pay attention to what he said.

 

“Her name is Bianca.”

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians 

Chapter 6

 

Nico reached up, grabbed the handle on the top of the cage and silently brought her to the counter to check out.

Will was clearly delighted. When Nico paid for his new friend, he tossed a dark sheet around her cage to keep her comfortable. “What are you going to name her?” Will asked, opening up the door for him.

Nico’s gaze flickered towards his boyfriend then back to the covered cage. He was quiet for a while, and Will thought he was ignoring the question. However, he mumbled his answer so quietly so that Will had to pay attention to what he said.

“Her name is Bianca.”

 

XX

 

It was just after six o’clock when the four demigods and Mrs. Weasley arrived back at 12 Grimmauld Place. Each had fulfilled their school supply list along with their books and new trunks to take to Hogwarts. Only Nico ended up with an animal to bring along, but after seeing the two together for just a short time, Percy was already regretting not buying one.

Mrs. Weasley disarmed the jinxes waiting for intruders and walked through the wooden door, followed by the demigods. She cast a spell that lifted their new luggage upwards and into their room to pack later. When they all reached the dining room, they were surprised to see it filled with people. A scarlet banner hung over the center of the dining table that read, “Congratulations Ron and Hermione-New Prefects!” Mrs. Weasley squinted at the banner, then squealed with delight. 

Hermione was beaming with pride next to an embarrassed looking Ron. “My Ronald is a school prefect? That’s four in the family! Oh I’m so proud of you!” Mrs. Weasley was crushing Ron with a hug, and giving her best wishes to Hermione. 

Percy cleared the space between them in two strides and stuck his hand out to the two as well. “Congratulations to you both. We have no idea what being a Prefect means, but I assume it’s a good thing.”

He heard a pair of snorts behind him, and spun around to found Fred and George snickering. “I don’t know about that mate, only a right sure prat is appointed to Prefect.” 

Percy honestly couldn’t tell which brother was which, so he just gave Mrs. Weasley a confused stare. She slapped both boys on the arm and shooed them away. “Percy, dear, being a Prefect is a special privilege. One boy and one girl is selected from each house and given extra authority and responsibilities. They report to the head of the house and to the headmaster himself!” She was so pleased with herself, and wouldn’t take her hands off of her son. She kept patting his cheeks muttering, “So proud, my son! Almost all of the boys in the family…”

Ron looked like he was going to die of embarrassment. “That’s enough Mum!” He pushed her hands off of him and went to hide behind Hermione. The other demigods moved to congratulate the two, and Percy began scanning the crowd. There had to be at least six more people there an this morning. He caught sight of a head of jet black hair mulling around in the corner eating finger food and made his way over. 

“Hiding in the corner?” Percy asked, surprising the boy. He jumped and narrowed his eyes when they landed on Percy. 

“I’m not hiding, I’m eating.” Harry retorted, stuffing another mini sandwich in his mouth.

“Mhhmm.” Percy tilted his head, “And you aren’t upset at all for not making Prefect?”

Harry widened his eyes, as if Percy had caught him red-handed, but threw up walls immediately. “Ron’s my best mate, I’m happy for him!”

Percy threw up his hands in fo-defeat, and gave Harry a crooked smile. “Whatever you say man. Who are all of these people?” he asked, gesturing to the boisterous crowd.

Harry was obviously relieved for the change of topic. “They are other members of the Order. That’s Mr. Weasley and Ron’s brother Bill,” he said, pointing out two new frizzy, red-headed men. “Over there is Lupin, Tonks, and Kingsley Shacklebolt.” At the sound of his name, Lupin turned from his conversation with Tonks and his eyes met Percy’s.

Percy immediately pegged him as some kind of monster. He didn’t think the man was evil, but Percy definitely knew a monster when he saw one. He would need to keep an eye out. Lupin noticed Percy’s narrowed eyes, and slowly went back to his conversation. Harry gave him a confused look at the exchange, but said nothing.

Mr. Weasley clapped his son on his back, and raised a glass. “Well, I think a toast is in order.” Annabeth, Nico, and Will grabbed a glass and found their spots next to Percy. “To Ron and Hermione, the new Gryffindor prefects!"

Everyone drank and continued to congratulate the duo before continuing to their conversations. Percy noted Harry in a headlock under Sirius’ arm, talking to Lupin and Tonks. Something they said must have cheered him up, because Harry had a real smile on his face, and wrestled himself out of his godfather’s grasp. 

Percy and Annabeth found Moody carefully examining an old piece of parchment in his hands. “What’s that?” she asked with real fascination. He didn’t bother looking up at her, but turned it so she could see.

“Original Order of the Phoenix,” was all he said. Percy sensed that someone was watching him, and he glanced up to find Harry Potter standing in front of him with his arms folded. Percy moved away and gestured for the boy to take his place. Without taking his eyes off Percy, Harry slid next to Annabeth and examined the cracking photograph. 

A small group of fidgeting people smiled at the camera. It was moving, which still freaked Percy out, but he kept that to himself. Moody rattled off a few names he hadn’t heard before, “Dedalus Diggle, Marlene McKinnon, Frank and Alice Longbottom..”

Harry tensed at the last name, and Percy figured it had to be important somehow. He wasn’t really interested in the old photo, so he decided to go find Nico and Will.

He pushed past the Weasley twins, who were making some kind of shady deal with a shorter, greasy, mobster type of fellow, and found his friends talking to Lupin and Tonks. She was laughing with Will and rapidly changing the color of her hair and physically morphing her face.

Even Nico cracked a small smile, “You would get along well with our friend Frank. His favorite thing to change into is a Bulldog.”

Lupin eyed Percy, and straightened considerably. “You look like a young man with a question.” He was intelligent and analytical, just like Annabeth.

Percy nodded slowly, “I know you’re some kind of monster. I’m just trying to figure out what kind.” Tonks spit out the orange liquid she had been sipping on and stared at Percy. 

“Blimey, how did you know that?” She asked in disbelief. Nico and Will took a step back to where they were in line with Percy, and gripped their wands.

Percy just shrugged, “Good guess. I don’t think your dangerous, at least not to us.” His friends’ shoulders relaxed half and inch.

Lupin smiled at the demigod with newfound respect in his eyes. “Very well, I’m a werewolf. Have been since I was in Hogwarts myself unfortunately.”

Nico grumbled, and Percy shot him a crooked smile. “Hey, as long as he’s not with Lycaon, he’s cool.”

A dark grin spread across Nico’s face. “Thalia took care of him. At least for a little while.”

Lupin cleared his throat, “I’m sorry, are you referring to the myth Lycaon? I’m a werewolf, and even I know he’s not real.”

The three demigods exchanged knowing glances. Will offered a rational explanation, “Nah, just a big bad wolf in our parts. He liked to use the name to-”

A piercing scream interrupted Will. Dread and despair sunk into the bones of the house and raised the hairs on the back of each person in the crowd’s neck. Percy didn’t think twice before breaking into an all out sprint towards the scream-a scream he would know from anywhere.

Annabeth.

He took the stairs three at a time, crying out her name. The agonizing shriek led him to a dark room at the end of the hallway upstairs. He burst into the room, Riptide raised and ready to fight, and his knees turned into jello at the scene in front of him.

 

XX

 

Annabeth was standing so close to him, or rather, he was standing so close to her, that Harry could smell the floral and lemony scent drifting off her hair. 

He tried to concentrate on the photo Mad Eye Moody was showing him, but a heavy pit formed in Harry’s stomach when he saw his parents, happy and alive, standing next to the foul man who betrayed them. Harry was an orphan because of the man, and his parents had no idea what would happen to them in the coming months. No, Moody might have found it interesting, but Harry found it very disturbing.

Harry noticed that Percy had moved away, so he decided to take advantage of this opportunity to try and impress Annabeth. He stepped away from the photo, and tried to think of something interesting to talk about.

He had heard Mrs. Weasley and Moody talking about something upstairs when he first arrived...I wonder if it’s still there…

“Hey Annabeth.” She reluctantly moved her grey eyes from the photo to his face, and Harry could feel himself catch his breath. “Have you ever seen a boggart before?” 

She squinted her eyes, “No..what’s a boggart?” He caught back onto his train of thought before making himself look like an idiot. “It’s a nasty shapeshifter that tries to scare the daylights out of people, but they are fairly easy to dispose of…” She raised an eyebrow, and waited for him to continue. 

“Well...wanna see the one upstairs?” He asked, with one hand behind his head.

She studied him again for a second, but gave a soft smile and nodded. “Let’s do it!” She pulled out her wand, showing him that she was ready.

Harry didn’t have the heart to tell her that they couldn’t really perform magic outside of Hogwarts, but at least he could show it to her before he got one of the members of the Order to take care of it.

He led her upstairs to the back room where a giant eighteenth century mahogany dresser stood in the corner of the room. Harry glanced back at Annabeth, gauging her level of fear. Surprisingly, the only emotion she was giving off was a slight nervousness. They filed into the room, and stood a little ways off from the dresser.

They exchanged a nod, and Harry stepped forward. He barely laid his hand on the dresser when he was thrown back violently against the wall, hitting his head hard. Annabeth screamed, and Harry tried to raise his wand, but his vision was spinning.

Annabeth dropped to her knees, and let out another bloodcurdling scream, and Harry forced himself to focus.

A giant black widow stood before Annabeth. In this small room, the spider seemed even larger than Aragog. A bloody red hourglass was marked on its abdomen, and its eight legs had sharp, curved barbs sticking out of them. Where the head should be, a misshapen woman’s face with large pincers jutted from its mouth. Harry was absolutely paralyzed with fear, and cast his eyes straight down.

His eyes caught sight of something underneath the giant spider-woman. Wrapped inside Chinese Handcuffs made of strong web silk, was Percy Jackson, dead. His black hair fell backwards towards the ground, his pale face hung towards the spider, his neck exposed. A deep gash was stretched across, and blood was spilling out of his body.

Harry knew the scene in front of him was fake, he knew that it was just a boggart exposing Annabeth’s deepest fears. But the spider was unlike anything he had ever seen before, and fear gripped every nerve of his body.

A figure burst through the door-Percy. Alive and well. He was holding what looked to be a glowing bronze sword, but Harry must still not be seeing things right. He yelped as he laid eyes on the beast, but caught sight of Annabeth. Quicker than Harry would have thought possible, Percy Jackson somersaulted in the air, landing on the spider’s back. He drew the sword in a magnificent arc, and brought it downwards into the spider’s abdomen. 

Harry wanted to tell him that only magic could work on Boggarts, that whatever he was doing wasn’t going to work, that he needed to go get help. But a cruel howl pierced his thoughts before he could say anything. The spider writhed to the ground, bellowing in pain. Harry’s eyes widened as he watched the spider and its dinner transform into a thinning grey shadow and wither into dust.

Percy rushed to Annabeth, who hadn’t moved, and crushed his body against hers. His hands were flying, checking her face, arms, legs, and the rest of her to make sure nothing was broken. Harry felt a sting of jealousy, but also wanted to make sure she was okay.

Her mind seemed to register that Percy was sitting in front of her, and broke down into tears. Harry felt absolutely rotten. All he had wanted to do was show a pretty girl something interesting..he had no idea that she had a serious phobia of spiders. He saw Percy holding Annabeth as she cried against his chest, murmuring “It’s okay, it’s okay. You’re okay. We’re okay” over and over again.

Nico and Will were the next two to appear, apparently inherently faster than everyone else. Percy gestured for them to take his place, and they rushed over. In the next second, he had Harry pushed up against the wall, the tip of that bronze sword of his pointed at his exposed neck.

“What did you do to her!” He bellowed, fury and unsheathed anger radiating off of him. 

Harry’s brain wouldn’t work. There was a freaking sword pointed at him. He wasn’t just seeing things, it was an actual sword, one that looked like it would easily cut him into tiny pieces. And his mind was clouded, almost drunk from the anger that Percy was putting off.

“B-b-boggart-t-t! I didn’t m-mean to-to!” He stammered, eyes focused on the tip.

More figures burst into the room, running in the two different directions. Sirius and Ron flew towards Percy and Harry, Hermione and Mrs. Weasley ran to help Annabeth. 

“What’s going on here! Release my godson!” Sirius yelled at Harry, wand at the ready. Percy didn’t even so much as glance at him before responding, “He hurt Annabeth! Look at her!” He nodded towards the girl, who was shakily getting to her feet with help. 

“He wouldn’t hurt anybody!” Ron said, clearly surprised at Percy. 

Mrs. Weasley held up her hands and approached slowly, “Percy, it was just a boggart. I think he was just showing Annabeth. It’s harmless…”

Percy caught her eye at that. “Harmless!? Look at her! You’re calling that thing harmless!?”

“S-s-seaweed b-brain. I-i’m fine. It just scared me.” Annabeth pleaded with Percy, and Harry hoped and prayed that it would work.

His eyes softened at her words, and he glared at Harry again. Those shocks of electricity ran through his veins again, and he released Harry. He whispered something in a different language, and the glowing sword shrunk back into his wand, which Harry now noticed was etched with a bronze pattern. Percy pushed past everyone in his way, and took Annabeth’s face in his hands and kissed her hard.

Harry’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what was going on. Percy and Annabeth were together. Oh no...he had been flirting with another guy’s girlfriend, then ended up scaring her half to death. Guilt and embarrassment raked through his entire body, and suddenly he couldn’t stand to be in that room for another second. He broke through Sirius’ and Ron’s hands that were comforting him, and sprinted towards the bedroom he would share with Ron, Fred, and George.

When he reached it, he was relieved to find it was empty, and slammed the door behind him, sinking downwards towards the floor.

 

XX

 

“Are you sure you are okay Annabeth?” Hermione asked, holding out a mug of freshly made hot chocolate. The four demigods, Ron and Hermione were all sprawled out across their room. Nico and Will were sitting comfortably on the floor with their backs to their packed trunks, Percy and Annabeth were cuddled together on his bed, and Ron and Hermione had pulled the dusty chairs from the corner to the center of the room.

Annabeth smiled at the girl, “Honestly guys, I’m okay. I just wasn’t expecting to see..what I did. Harry really didn’t do anything wrong.” At that, Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth. She might forgive the boy easily, but it would take some time for him. Annabeth put pressure on his hand, and kissed it softly. 

Ron and Hermione exchanged a look, but decided to change the subject. “Tomorrow we leave for Hogwarts. What are you all most looking forward to?”

Before anyone could answer, there was a soft knock at the door. They all widened their eyes when Harry Potter walked through, looking sheepish. Ron and Hermione were on their feet instantly, and moved next to him.

Harry waved them off, and coughed before he met Percy’s eyes. “Uh..I can talk to you two, alone?” 

Annabeth brought Percy off the bed, “of course you can.” She shot a look towards Nico and Will, and they slowly moved out of the room, followed shortly by Ron and Hermione.

Percy had his arms crossed, waiting. Harry was nervous, “Listen..Annabeth, I am so sorry I brought you to see the boggart. I thought it was cool, and I didn’t realize that you and Percy were…”

“Together?” She finished for him. Harry nodded with his eyes cast downwards. “It’s okay, Harry. I wanted to see it, I just wish I hadn’t of froze when I saw her…”

“A-and Percy,” he started, working extremely hard to meet his eyes. “I’m really sorry for flirting with Annabeth. If I would have known you two were together, I never would have tried to impress her.” 

Percy held his glare for another three seconds or so, then his eyes softened. “Apology accepted, man. Annabeth’s okay, and I don’t blame you. She kind of makes people’s brains turn to mush.”

The two boys laughed at that, Percy earning a punch in the arm from Annabeth. “So, are we all good now guys?”

Percy held out his hand for Harry, who took it. “Yeah, we’re good.”

Harry beamed with relief, before remembering something. “Just one thing...where did you get a sword?” The two demigods gave each other a surprised look, before Percy shrugged and pulled out his wand.

He whispered Riptide’s greek name and watched as the wand transformed into his three foot glowing celestial bronze sword.

Harry back up a step before remembering that he had made up with his new friends. “Wha-? How?”

Annabeth shrugged, “Magic. Our uh...wand maker is big into transfiguration.” Harry wasn’t satisfied with the answer, but he wasn’t about to make any more waves, at least not yet.

“Well that is really, really cool.” Harry smiled, happy to have everything set right before his fifth year at Hogwarts. Another knock sounded at the door, and Will’s face appeared. 

“Everything good here? We heard laughing, it must be a good sign.” he said with a wink. Percy’s sword shrank back into his wand, and he nodded to his friend while clapping a hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“You bet!” Will and Nico filed into the room while Harry met a grinning Ron and Hermione in the hallway. Before he closed the door, he turned back to the four demigods.

“Goodnight, and…sorry again.” Harry said with a sad smile.

Percy shot the trio a crooked grin, and they all relaxed. “Water under the bridge, man. Let’s just get excited about going to Hogwarts tomorrow, alright?” 

Harry looked at his friends, and they all nodded in agreement. “See you in the morning!”

With that, the four demigods got ready for bed and tried to fight their excitement about the next day to get a little rest. After waiting half an hour for his friends to fall asleep, Percy closed his eyes and pleaded to his dad for pleasant dreams.

 

XX

 

Nico di Angelo was not a fan of the cold, so he figured it was just his luck when he opened his eyes to find a blanket of powdery white snow laid out in front of him. Underneath the crunch of his black leather combat boots he could feel an old cobblestone walkway. On either side of the street were small shops and pubs with flickering candles casting wild shadows onto the undisturbed snow. Despite the presence of what seemed like many witches and wizards inside, an eery silence covered the air around Nico like an unpleasant summer breeze.

When he looked up, white specs began falling from the dark violet sky, and Nico pulled his heavy Aviator jacket tighter to his body. Wherever he was, he didn’t want to be there anymore. 

Nico twirled his head towards a movement in the corner of his vision. He was surprised to see a couple standing hand in hand near an old inn. They had sad smiles, and Nico was curious as to why they didn’t seem the least bit cold. The man had a head of messy hair like Percy’s, and pushed up the glasses sitting on his nose. The woman had striking green eyes that held a mixture of what Nico recognized as love and regret.

They stood in front of the building, and Nico noticed that it was the only building on the street that was falling apart. Half of the shingles on the roof had fallen down into the snow, and the arch windows looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to them. The old wooden door was broken in half, and Nico could see a single candle flickering in the center of the room. He wanted to ask what the couple was doing in front of a broken down building, but he couldn’t quite seem to get the words out.

The woman’s bright green met Nico’s, and his breath caught in his throat. He realized that whoever these people were, they were dead. The dead always seemed to find him, much to his frustration. Even the Oracle had referred to him as the Ghost King, which he decided was the worst nickname in the world. Most of the time, the ghosts would whine and moan about their lives, begging the son of Hades to complete their unfinished business. 

He tried blocking them out as much as he could, but the two standing in front of him were different. They didn’t seem to be upset with their fates, it was more like they had accepted it. They gave him a hopeful look when he didn’t run away, and held their hands a little closer together.

The man spoke, in a soft and calming tone. “Protect my son. Please, protect Harry.” Nico’s eyebrows shot upwards. These people were Harry’s parents?

Nico finally found his voice. “I will. That’s what my friends and I are here for.” Their smiles widened a fraction and they nodded their thanks. Before Nico could ask his next question, the temperature around them dropped sharply. 

The lights from the shops and pubs shut off abruptly, and Nico was thrown into sinking darkness. A harsh, cruel laugh echoed around him, filling him with gripping fear.

“You might be here to protect the Chosen One…but who will protect you, little demigod?” The voice was sharp and rough, and Nico paled. 

He had heard that voice before. Nico didn’t even have time to scream when the darkness overtook him.

 XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

 

Chapter 7

 

The man spoke, in a soft and calming tone. “Protect my son. Please, protect Harry.” Nico’s eyebrows shot upwards. These people were Harry’s parents?

Nico finally found his voice. “I will. That’s what my friends and I are here for.” Their smiles widened a fraction and they nodded their thanks. Before Nico could ask his next question, the temperature around them dropped sharply.

The lights from the shops and pubs shut off abruptly, and Nico was thrown into sinking darkness. A harsh, cruel laugh echoed around him, filling him with gripping fear.

“You might be here to protect the Chosen One…but who will protect you, little demigod?” The voice was sharp and rough, and Nico paled.

He had heard that voice before. Nico didn’t even have time to scream when the darkness overtook him.

 

XX

 

Nico awoke abruptly from his nightmare and sat straight up in his bed, covered in sweat. He was surprised to find light pouring in through the windows and commotion in the bedroom. Percy and Annabeth were already dressed and ready to go, stuffing their Camp Half-Blood bags into their new trunks. Will was throwing on a blue sweater over his bright yellow tank top when he noticed Nico rubbing his eyes.

“Hey, I was just about to wake you. We need to leave soon.” Will gave Nico a hand up, and he tried to remember what he was just dreaming out. Something important, he knew, but for some reason only white noise played in his head and a sinking feeling clung to his stomach when he tried to think back. 

Will tilted his head in confusion when he noticed Nico’s narrowed eyes, “You okay?” Nico was so deep in thought that he didn’t even hear him talking. Will moved to where he was standing directly in front of his boyfriend, waving his hand in front of Nico’s face. Nico jumped, startled, and grunted in frustration, stepping backwards. 

“What’s wrong with you this morning?” Will asked, crossing his arms over his chest. Nico waved him off and moved towards the bathroom for a quick shower. Will wasn’t about to let it go though, and quickly blocked the door. “Seriously, tell me what’s wrong. Doctor’s orders.” 

“Nothing!” Nico tossed his hands up in frustration. “At least, I think it’s nothing.” By this time, Percy and Annabeth heard their argument and went to stand beside Will.

“Nico, what’s going on?” Percy asked with concern in his eyes, which only made Nico angrier. 

“Nothing’s wrong! I just have a bad feeling, that’s all.” Nico huffed and gave his friends his favorite death glare. They just exchanged worried glances.

“We’ve been through enough to learn to trust our instincts.” Annabeth said, taking a step to the side so Nico could get through. “If you have a bad feeling, then we all need to be on the lookout.”

That seemed to satisfy Percy, so he moved out of the way as well. Will stood still, tapping his foot in annoyance. “When you stop acting so grumpy, then we can talk about it.” Nico rolled his eyes and pushed past him into the bathroom. He quickly turned on the shower and leaned against the sink and rubbed his temples, waiting for the water to heat up. In a few minutes, steam had filled the bathroom and Nico stepped in, letting the water pour over his skin. 

It might not have the same effect as it might on Percy, but the water definitely helped clear his head. He could feel the fear and frustration slide off of him, and instantly felt guilty for shutting Will out. Nico groaned to himself when he realized he would need to apologize, it was never his strong suit. Finally clean, he shut the water off and grabbed a towel, letting himself enjoy the fluffiness of it. 

“WILL YOU LOT GET DOWN HERE NOW, PLEASE!” 

Nico jumped about ten feet in the air. A harsh knock sounded at the bathroom door, and he fumbled with the knob before opening it. Will was tapping on his watch, “Looks like we need to leave now if we are gonna make the train. Come on!”

Nico threw on his favorite black Metallica T-shirt, jeans, combat boots, and his aviator jacket before tossing a treat to Bianca, who chittered her appreciation. He whispered “goodmorning” to her before throwing a dark sheet over her cage. It looked like someone had bewitched the luggage so that it moved on its own, and Nico couldn’t help but smile, he loved magic.

He scrambled downstairs to find everyone rushing out the door. Nico winced as he passed the first landing, and that horrid painting that was screaming at him.

“FILTHY HALF-BLOODS!” He shot her a very unpleasant gesture with both hands and grinned to himself when she pretended to faint at the sheer rudeness. His friends were waiting for him outside, playing with a bear-like shaggy black dog that was running around their feet.


Mrs. Weasley was shaking her head in frustration, “It’s your head Sirius…”

Nico looked at the demigods in confusion. Annabeth leaned over, whispering, “Sirius is an Animagus. Kind of like a shape shifter, but can only turn into one animal.” He nodded his head in understanding and examined the group in front of him.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione had joined them by the sidewalk and were laughing at Sirius’ antics, Mrs. Weasley and Tonks were whispering to themselves over to the side, and Moody was standing in front of the grimy old apartment building watching 12 Grimmauld Place vanish. As soon as he was satisfied, he ushered them to start walking.

“Don’t worry ‘bout the luggage, I’ll take care of it. You lot just get to King’s Cross!”

Mrs. Weasley told them it would take about twenty minutes to walk, then grumbled on about Muggle transportation. Everyone moved at a quick pace, and Nico forced himself into a light jog, seeing as he was a few inches shorter than the rest of the group. He caught up to Will and stuffed his hands in his pockets.

Will raised an eyebrow, but didn’t say anything. “I’m sorry.” Nico murmured, praying that his apology was enough. Of course, it wasn’t. Will continued looking at him, making Nico’s nerve endings heat up. He sighed dramatically, “Fine, I’m sorry I shut you out this morning.” This seemed to satisfy his boyfriend, earning Nico that genuine smile that made his toes curl. 

“You know that being in a relationship means opening up to each other, right?” He asked in a teasing tone, but Nico knew that he was being deadly serious. 

“Y-yes. It’s just going to take some time for me to get used to that.” He replied, eyes cast downwards. Nico knew that Will understood that, and he only ever pushed him when he thought it was important. He was a honest person who actually cared about him, and Nico wasn’t sure if he could ever get used to that, but he wanted to try.

“Last night, I had this dream. It was some kind of nightmare, but for some reason I can’t remember any of it.”

Will tilted his head in confusion, “you mean like you blocked it out or something? Demigods normally remember every part of their dreams.”

Nico shook his head. “No, it’s more like...I don’t know, something, or someone, is running interference. It’s just white noise.” 

Will stopped abruptly, causing Nico to almost trip over his feet. “You said it’s like white noise?” He asked seriously, and Nico nodded.

“Guys, come on!” Percy called out, gesturing for his friends to pick up the pace. Will started moving slowly, then broke into a jog to catch up and Nico fell in step next to him.

“Why? Does that mean something to you?” he asked suspiciously.

Will shook his head, sending his blonde locks flowing from side to side. “I’m not sure. When I am, I’ll let you know.” Seeing the look on Nico’s face he added, “I promise.”

 

XX

 

Harry always felt a little lighter on his feet every time he approached King’s Cross Station. It was magnificent with the monstrous double golden arches and watchful clocktower. It was his gateway to the wizarding world, the only place he had ever felt at home. It hadn’t taken the group very long to get there, but he was quite curious as to what Nico and Will had been talking about the whole way over. They both looked a little shaken up, but he didn’t want to pry.

Mrs. Weasley led them all inside and towards the entrance to Platform 9 ¾, and Harry could feel the jitters rise up in his stomach. When the traffic died down, Moody appeared beside them with their luggage, and everyone took a cart. 

“So, do we just wait for the train here, or…” Percy asked, scratching his head.

Hermione pointed towards the barrier that Ron was about to lean against. “No, Percy, there is a magical wall that allows people from the wizarding world to enter Platform 9 ¾, all you have to do it step through it.”

As soon as Ron touched the barrier, he slid through easily with the rest of his stuff. Will yelped at the sight, making Harry chuckled to himself. He must have looked just as confused as they did the first time he saw the Weasley’s do this. Mrs. Weasley, Fred and George were next. Hermione gestured for the newcomers to try it. 

“If you’re nervous, it’s best to do it at a bit of a run.” 

Annabeth shot wink towards Percy, took control of her cart, and ran barrelling towards the wall. Harry didn’t breathe again until she was safely on the other side of the wall. Percy was next, following his girlfriend’s lead and sped towards the barrier. Hermione took her turn next, then Will.

Nico was the last one, besides Harry, looking a little green. “You okay, Nico?” He asked.

“I’m fine. Traveling through things is my specialty, but I’m just a little nervous for Bianca. He pointed towards the cage with a dark sheet over the top and Harry could hear frightful chirps coming from the owl inside.

Harry went to rest a comforting hand on his shoulder, but felt Nico tense so severely that he dropped it immediately. “Bianca will be fine. I’ll go first with Hedwig, and then you might feel better.”


Nico nodded slowly, keeping an eye on Harry’s snowy owl. He called over his shouldner, “Oh, and when we get to Hogwarts, I’ll take you to the owlery, maybe we can help Bianca over her fear of the light together.” 

Harry watched Nico’s eyes soften in appreciation, but didn’t look back as he slid through the barrier smoothly. Nico followed closely behind him, and immediately checked his pet’s cage to give her a treat.

Everyone was waiting for them by the luggage platform, so he ushered Nico towards his friends.

“Just in time!” Mrs. Weasley clapped, and ushered them towards the train.

The Hogwarts Express was a deep cherry red with soot and steam bellowing from it’s chimneys, and Harry inhaled the familiar smell and felt his spirits soar...He was really going back…

He felt a smile creep across his face as he watched his new friends admiring the train. Annabeth was pointing excitedly next to Hermione, who was happy to spill off the history and ‘fun facts’ about their transportation.

The familiar whistle sounded throughout the platform, and Mrs. Weasley fussed over her sons. “Remember, be careful this year!”

Moody shook Harry’s hand furiously. “Keep your head down and your eyes peeled, and don’t forget, all of you,” He said, turning his fake eyes towards the rest of the group, “careful what you put in writing. If in doubt, don’t put it in a letter at all.”

They all nodded, and gave their final hugs and goodbyes to Mrs. Weasley and Tonks, then scratched Sirius’ flea infested head before boarding the train.

 

XX

 

Annabeth was having the time of her life. First, she got to see London’s King’s Cross-one of the busiest railway stations in all the United Kingdom. She remembered reading about how it was opened in 1852 by the Great Northern Railway, expanded multiple times in the 19th century before it was redeveloped in the 70’s, then again in the 21st century. 

Then, the Hogwarts Express appeared in her life. The magnificent 4-6-0 Steam Engine locomotive that runs exclusively on magic. She was ecstatic when Hermione took her elbow and started giving her a detail history of the machine. Apparently, until 1827, young witches and wizards were on their own when it came to transportation to and from Hogwarts. Some rode broomsticks, which was almost impossible with trunks and pets, others tried carriages and apparating. When a new Minister of Magic suggested a magic powered train, there were riots led by pure-bloods who thought that using muggle transportation was preposterous.

She was sure glad they came around, because she was enjoying the heck out of herself analyzing the bronze rodding course through the train, leading young witches and wizards into plush compartments. Annabeth spotted a plump woman prepping a large trolley towards the end of the train.

“We’ve got important business to attend to mates.” George started, clapping his hands once.

“Can’t sit around all day, now can we?” Fred turned to his brother and the two took off down the hall. She honestly couldn’t understand why Percy couldn’t tell the two apart.

“Shall we go find a compartment then?” Harry asked, casting his eyes around for a free one.

Ron and Hermione exchanged nervous glances, “Actually Harry, we’re supposed to go sit in the prefect compartment…” she told him while fiddling with her thumbs. 

Annabeth caught the hurt look that flashed across Harry’s eyes before he masked it well, “Oh, of course. No problem.”

Ron muttered, “Sorry mate..” before pulling Hermione towards the hallway. He turned around towards the demigods, “You lot have a good ride!” 

Harry scratched the back of his head, and Annabeth could tell that he was uncomfortable. She cleared her throat and suggested, “Why don’t we take that one? It looks like everywhere might be full.” She had been counting everyone mulling around the cabin, and calculated that this particular compartment might be the only one empty enough to hold all of them. 

As they walked towards it, Annabeth noticed that everyone they passed seemed to take a bizarre interest in Harry. Then she remembered-they all either thought he was a nutcase or was terrified that he wasn’t. These people didn’t want to believe that this “Dark Lord” was back. She almost laughed to herself. If only the biggest problem she had all year was trying to protect Harry from a wizard who went over to the dark side.

When they reached the compartment, Harry slid open the glassdoor, and he waved to a tall boy with neat black hair and a round face. “Hi Neville, mind if we sit here?” Neville gave them a look of obvious relief, and gestured them in with one had, keeping a tight grip on a toad in the other.

“This is Trevor!” He held up the toad awkwardly in front of Annabeth’s face, and she tried to keep a polite tone. “Uh..hi Trevor...I’m Annabeth.” She introduced, keeping her hands very much to her side.

The demigods and Harry poured into the compartment and took a seat. Harry and Nico sat next to Neville on one side, Will took the spot next to a girl with white blonde hair who was reading a magazine upside down, and Annabeth and Percy next to him.

Harry introduced the demigods to Neville, who smiled sheepishly but kept his hands on his pet, like he was afraid it would jump away if he loosened his grip even an inch. “Uh..” Neville started, nodding his head towards the girl, “That’s Luna Lovegood. 

The girl slowly lowered her magazine to reveal protuberant pale eyes that rested on each of them. “Nice to meet you all. Especially you.” Annabeth thought she might be talking to Harry, but one look told her that she was wrong. She was flat out staring at Percy with giant, surprised, confused puppy dog eyes. Annabeth had to stop herself from rolling her eyes. She still wasn’t a fan of girls noticing how hot Percy was. He was her Seaweed Brain. 

“Uh..yeah..” Percy said, obviously uncomfortable.

Neville spoke up to break the tension, but only ended up sounding more awkward. “Loony-uh, Luna is in Ravenclaw. One year below us.”

Will was grinning wildly at the girl, enjoying her weirdness. “I know what the four houses are, but what kind of people get put in each of them?”

She smiled politely back at him, not taking her eyes off Percy, and recited, “Members of Ravenclaw are characterized by their wit, learning, and wisdom. Our house colors are blue and bronze.” 

At the mention of his favorite color, Percy perked up. “You guys get to wear blue robes? So awesome!” He nudged Annabeth, like he was pleading for her to get him into this house. She laughed and shook her head, his brain would need to lose all of the Seaweed in it before he was sorted into Ravenclaw. However, she was interested herself. Wit? Check. Learning? Check. Wisdom? She was Wisdom’s daughter for crying out loud, what more could they want?

Harry interrupted her train of thought, “Ron, Hermione, Neville and I are in Gryffindor. We are typically chosen for our bravery, determination, and other things like that….” He dropped off, eyeing Neville carefully, who was trying his very best to feed Trevor a live worm, but kept slapping himself in the face with it at every bump the train had. 

Luna continued for him, albeit from behind her magazine again. “Hufflepuffs are chosen for their loyalty, patience, and hard work.”

“And Slytherin?” Nico asked quietly, causing Neville to jump in surprise and drop his worm onto his lap, as if he forgot the boy was sitting beside him.

Harry wasn't laughing. “There isn’t a dark witch or wizard that didn’t come from Slytherin.” He said, eyes moving towards the quickly passing fields. 

Percy tilted his head, “Wasn’t this Voldemort guy a descendant of the actual Slytherin?” At the mention of The Dark Lord’s name, Neville let out a small yelp, but Harry just nodded solemnly beside him. 

The conversation came to a quick close after that, and the group traveled in silence for a time. The trolley came by, and everyone got different treats and passed them around so they could all try it. When Percy was tossing a chocolate flavored Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean into Harry’s mouth, a knock sounded at the glass door. When he caught sight of who was there, Harry completely missed, the bean catching him in the eye.


“Ow..oh, hi..Cho..” He waved awkwardly to the pretty asian girl with flowing black hair standing in the doorway.

She smiled sweetly at him, “Hi Harry, I just wanted to pop in to say hello...have a good ride.” She gave him one last small smile and closed the door quickly, retreating down the hallway.

Percy slapped him on the knee. “Now who was that, Harry?” Harry immediately cast his eyes downwards and told his new friends about Cho Chang. She dated the boy who was killed by Voldemort last year. 

Somehow, the conversation always ended on a sour tone, so they took turns sleeping and chatting about small things for a long while. Ron and Hermione squeezed in for the last leg of the trip, talking about the new prefects for each house. 

The glass door opened again, and Percy reached for his wand, putting Annabeth and the other demigods on edge. A skinny pale blonde haired boy that looked to be about fifteen sauntered in, sneering towards Harry and Neville before his eyes rested on Percy. 

“You.” He narrowed his eyes. “You were in Borgin and Burkes, I saw you talking to my father.” 

Percy returned the glare, only his was much more menacing. “Well, I’m sure no one has to tell you this, but your father’s an asshole.”

The kid’s eyes widened a fraction before he growled under his breath, “I don’t know who you think you are, but if you’ve associated yourself with these losers,” he nodded his chin towards the trio and Neville, “then you’re going to have a very, very bad year. 

Before Percy could even react, Nico di Angelo was standing face to face with the blonde boy, who tried backing up quickly, but ended up hitting the glass door.

“Is that a threat?” Nico’s voice was soft, but chilling. Only the Son of Hades could make every hair on your body stand straight up, screaming for help. The boy’s face paled dramatically, and couldn’t sputter ‘N-N-o’s’ out fast enough before turning quickly on his heel and disappearing into another compartment.

“Malfoy.” Harry spat out the name like it tasted bad in his mouth. 

Percy stood up and clapped Nico on the back, making him slightly tense. “I could’ve handled that, you know?”

Nico turned around to give him a small smile, and he awkwardly took his seat again. “I know, but friends have each other’s backs, right?” The four demigods gave each other a knowing glance, and nodded.

“You bet,” Annabeth said. The others looked at each other nervously, but Hermione saved the day by alerting everyone that they would be approaching soon, and they needed to change into their robes.

The demigods had the normal black fifth year robes that hung just above their toes, and it made Annabeth feel like she was wearing a giant poncho. She wasn’t much into makeup or hairstyles, but she always kind of wanted to look somewhat pretty for Percy, and she wasn’t sure how she would do that wearing this. Annabeth shouldn’t have worried though, because when she returned to the compartment, his familiar green eyes churned with love and desire, and-almost like he couldn’t help himself, took her face in his hands and kissed her softly.

“You are rocking those robes.” He whispered.

Annabeth’s toes curled at the gesture, so she let herself deepen the kiss, surprising Percy who smiled against her lips. 

Will laughed and tossed an empty box of flavored beans at their heads, interrupting them, “All right you two, get a room!”

The others laughed, and sat back down just as they felt the train slow to a halt. Harry perked up, both hands grabbing the bronze railings above them.


“We’re here!”

 

XX

 

Percy inhaled the sweet smell of pine trees in the frigid evening air. Everyone crowded together while the chaos of people trying to find their place ensued around them. Ron and Hermione excused themselves to perform their prefect duties. A booming voice sounded behind them, and Harry whirled around with a big grin on his face. “Hagrid!”

Percy followed Harry’s eyes upwards, and reached for his wand when a saw a twelve foot behemoth standing in front of him. The Half-Giant, Percy guessed, had a wild, unkept beard and shaggy hair, both of which fell past his neck. He carried a flickering lantern with him, sending dancing shadows across his haggard face.

“‘Arry! Great to see ya!” Hagrid engulfed Harry in a hug, and turned to meet demigods. “Hagrid, this is Percy, Annabeth, Will, and Nico.” They all waved their hello’s, and their names seemed to click with him. 

“Ah! Dumbledore said you lot would be here. Yer supposed to come wit’ me!” He gestured for them to follow, and Percy looked back at Harry.

“You gonna be okay?” He asked seriously, not wanting to leave him. Percy was supposed to be protecting this kid, and he couldn’t do that if he wasn’t with him.

Harry gave him a confused look, “Yeah, I’ll ride on the carriages with Neville and Luna. I’ll see you guys up there.” Percy nodded and watched him get onto the carriage safely before catching up with his friends.

Hagrid led them towards the water, which was pitch black but sparkled with the reflection of the castle lights. Percy looked upwards and immediately reached his arm out to Annabeth in case she fainted.

The castle was the most incredible thing he had ever seen, and he had been to Rome and Greece personally. It was set on the hillside of a valley, the lake running along the south, a mountain range with snowy peaks in the distance, and a large forest reaching into the valley to the west. At least a dozen small towers jutted from the main building, and Percy could almost feel the magic radiating off of it. As they approached the lake, Percy could see small boats designed to carry groups across.

Just before he was about to slide into one behind Annabeth, he felt the temperature drop around him. When he looked around, he saw that everyone was frozen in their place, silence clung to the air around him. Percy grunted in frustration, and spun to see Hecate sitting at the foot of the rickety dock, swinging her feet just above the water. Her two companions were curled up sleeping behind her. 

“Percy Jackson.” She said, and he felt compelled to come to her. Percy gritted his teeth and pushed against the magic, “Hecate.”

She laughed, a dark, hearty laugh. “You resist my magic. Good. Learn to resist.”

He crossed his arms and sighed, “What is that supposed to mean?” The goddess finally turned around, and Percy was surprised to see her looking...ragged. Immortal beings tended to always look fresh and awake, but Hecate looked seriously tired.

“What happened to you?” He asked, not caring how he must have sounded.

Thankfully, she must have been in a good mood or something, because she just laughed at him. “That’s what I like about you Percy, you always say what’s on your mind.” When she dropped the tired smile she was wearing, Hecate’s face aged one hundred years right before his eyes.

“You are always honest with me, Percy Jackson. It is only fair that I return the favor.” She stood up gracefully, and walked to where she was right in front of him, looking him in the eye. “I thought I sent you and your friends here to protect Harry Potter from Lord Voldemort. I was wrong. 

That surprised Percy. Goddesses never admitted that they were wrong. Ever. “What do you mean..?” he asked slowly. 

She sighed, like the energy was slowly being drained from her. “I thought Lord Voldemort was the danger here. But now...now I see that he is just a pawn. A small pawn in a much larger chess match. Nobody could have guessed..” She trailed off, looking out past the castle.

Percy’s mind was reeling. “Wait, just a pawn? Who’s controlling him? What do I need to do?” He spun off a million questions at once, but Hecate only looked at him sadly.

“You survive.” With that, she vanished into the mist.

 

XX

Chapter Text

 

Order of the Olympians

 

Chapter 8

 

“You are always honest with me, Percy Jackson. It is only fair that I return the favor.” She stood up gracefully, and walked to where she was right in front of him, looking him in the eye. “I thought I sent you and your friends here to protect Harry Potter from Lord Voldemort. I was wrong.”

That surprised Percy. Goddesses never admitted that they were wrong. Ever. “What do you mean..?” he asked slowly.

She sighed, like the energy was slowly being drained from her. “I thought Lord Voldemort was the danger here. But now...now I see that he is just a pawn. A small pawn in a much larger chess match. Nobody could have guessed..” She trailed off, looking out past the castle.

Percy’s mind was reeling. “Wait, just a pawn? Who’s controlling him? What do I need to do?” He spun off a million questions at once, but Hecate only looked at him sadly.

“You survive.” With that, she vanished into the mist.

 

XX

 

The world around Percy was in motion again, and he was left staring out over the murky black lake near the edge of the dock. Will, Nico, and Annabeth were sitting in the small boat, waiting for Percy to climb in behind them.

“Wait, Seaweed Brain, you were just right there? Wha-?” When she saw the dark look on Percy’s face, she put the pieces together and mouthed, “Hecate?” He nodded grimly and stepped into the boat. Thankfully, nobody else had noticed his vanishing and reappearing act.

“Later.” Was all he said, not meeting his friends’ eyes, which caused them to exchanged worried glances. Percy didn’t want to ruin their arrival to Hogwarts with the strange conversation with a certain annoying goddess.

He threw his arm around Annabeth, leaned back, placing one hand touching the water, and let himself drink in the scene before him. The growing castle was fantastic, taking his breath away as the lights danced from inside the windows. A slight breeze tousled Percy’s hair. He raised an eyebrow when he felt something move underneath his hand.

A small, translucent creature with a pale green tint appeared, sticking its head above the water. It had sharp teeth, yellowing eyes, and stringy tentacles that acted as hair.

It looked up at Percy with wonder in its eyes, and bowed its head, keeping in line with the boat. “My lord, it is an honor to have you with us. We Selkies have heard of your magnificence even on this side of the world.”

Percy felt his mouth twitch at the side. “Uh..thanks. I’ll come and visit you when we get settled, alright?”

The selkie whirled around in a tight circle, almost like it was celebrating. “My people would be most honored, my lord. We look forward to your visit.” With another bow, the selkie disappeared underneath the murky waters.

Annabeth raised an amused eyebrow, “fan of yours?” He kissed her cheek and turned to see their destination growing close. After another minute or so, they all docked near an old wooden boathouse. A few older witches were scattered along the sides to make sure the first years didn’t fall into the lake as they crawled out of the boats.

When Hagrid stepped onto the dock, Percy had to will the water to stay even as to not capsize the boat. The friendly Half-Giant grunted and held his hand out to help the demigods out and onto the dock. “You lot just follow the first years to the castle. Professor Mcgonagall will be waitin’ fer you at the entrance.”

They thanked him and turned to follow the mob of small eleven year olds, trying not to feel completely out of place. As the first years would pass the demigods, they would stare and point up in wonderment, wondering what a bunch of older kids were doing with them.

Grand oak doors stood before them, and Percy was impressed with their sheer size. They could probably fit four or five Hannibal the Elephant's between them. A wide marble staircase stood towards their right, and another set of wooden doors decorated with intricate designs were directly in front of group.

A single tabby cat blocked their way, swishing its tail back and forth. A first year girl squealed with delight and rushed over to pet it. Before she could get to close, the tabby transformed, morphing into tall, slender woman with long velvet robes and a slanted witch’s hat that fell just above her ancient blue eyes.

A gasp went through the students, and her eyes rested upon the four demigods. She spoke loud and clear, her voice ringing throughout the deadly silent hall.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room.

"The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.

"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."

Percy could feel her last comment directed towards him, and he moved to straighten his attire. The double doors opened, and the first years poured into the Great Hall, a massive room with four long wooden tables sitting underneath thousands of floating candles, illuminating a violet night sky that had a calming effect.

Before the demigods stepped into the Hall, Professor Mcgonagall gracefully cut them off. She leaned in and whispered, “Demigods.” Their eyes widened and instincts took over as they took fighting stances.

“No need to fear, young ones.” She chuckled lightly, clearly delighted. “It has been a long time since any of your kind have come to Hogwarts. The only staff members who are aware of your presence are Professor Dumbledore and myself.”

They relaxed and happily introduced themselves. She gestured inside, “The Sorting Hat will perform its duties for the first years, then Professor Dumbledore will call you up.”

They nodded and made their way towards the group in front. The hair on the back of Percy’s neck tingled as hundreds of eyes watched them go. They passed Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the Gryffindor table on their right, and waved towards their new friends.  A group of students just finished singing the last stanza of the school song, and one older student in decorated robes brought forth a ragged old hat towards a pillow center stage.

Percy figured that this must be the Sorting Hat Professor Mcgonagall mentioned, and wondered how it would decide where to place everybody.

Professor Dumbledore stepped forward to the podium with twinkling eyes. He passed a hand over the crowd, and all chatter fell silent. He then whispered something to the hat, then stepped backwards, gesturing towards Professor Mcgonagall.

The older witch brought out a golden scroll from the inside of her robes, cleared her throat, and began calling names. Percy watched as one by one, the old hat was placed atop the first-years heads, and after a few seconds of silence, a flap would appear just above the bill and shout out a house name. When a new student was added to their house, each table would erupt in cheers, welcoming their new family member. Percy was ecstatic, but also nervous. He didn’t want to be separated from his friends, and he didn't’ want to fail the quest. If he was going to succeed, he needed to be placed in Gryffindor.

After forty-five minutes of sorting, Professor McGonagall was nearing the end of her scroll.

“Zachariah, Daniel.”

A blonde boy moved from behind the demigods with twitching palms and stepped up to the chair and took a seat. Once the Sorting Hat was placed on top of Daniel’s head, Percy could see the flap making small movements, almost like it was muttering to itself. The next second…

“HUFFLEPUFF!”

 

XX

 

Annabeth clapped politely for the Zachariah boy. He looked visibly relieved as soon as the Sorting Hat had made his decision. He bounded happily towards the far right table that was cheering loudly for him.

Her own nerves were tightening into a knot in her stomach. As soon as Professor McGonagall had told them about the Sorting Hat, Annabeth’s mind immediately went back to her troubling conversation with Rachel before they understood the looming quest ahead of them.

“Rachel?” Percy asked, and Annabeth turned to find her frizzy red-headed friend walking towards them. Her eyes smiled at Percy, but immediately found Annabeth, like they were silently willing her to pull her aside. “I thought you had already left for school!” Percy stood up to give her a hug.

She flashed him a goofy grin, “I did, but I heard you and Annabeth were heading out tomorrow for Goode, and I had to made sure I got the chance to say goodbye!” While her voice was strong and steady, Annabeth could see the light circles under her eyes, like she hadn’t been sleeping well. Rachel turned to give all of her friends a hug, and when she found Annabeth, she clung on tightly.

“Need to talk. Bad dreams. You and Percy.”

Annabeth had given her a surprised look, but nodded.

Not too much longer, Rachel had delivered the new prophecy, and Percy stormed off towards the beach.

Annabeth’s heart constricted as she digested everything. “Poseidon's Prize” could only mean Percy...and she must be “Wisdom’s daughter”. All of her and Percy’s plans were ruined in an instant. She understood why he was upset, and so was she. But the most important thing was that they would at least be together. She wasn’t about to let him go again.

She stroked the nape of her neck as she realized what this would do to Percy’s mood. With all of his nightmares from Tartarus, he had been especially frustrated lately, and this definitely wasn’t going to help.  Annabeth had almost forgotten about Rachel’s earlier plea as she thought about the prophecy, until her friend grabbed her by the arm and took off away from the dying campfire.

“Annabeth, this is bad. Really bad.” Rachel looked seriously freaked out, and Annabeth laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“We are going to figure this out, let’s just give Percy some time, okay?” The red-head shook her head furiously.

“No, not that. I mean, yeah, that’s bad too, but I’m talking about my dreams leading up to this.” Her voice was set and determined, and Rachel’s eyebrows were knit together.

“I had no idea what the context was for these dreams I’ve been having, but at least now I know what it has to do with. This quest, this prophecy...I think something really bad is going to happen.”

Annabeth furrowed her brow. “Tell me about your dream, Rachel.”

The red-head bit her lip and swallowed hard. “I don’t exactly know how to describe it. It was a series of dreams. In the first one, you were sitting in a chair, in front of a lot of people with their faces blurred out. Someone was giving you a choice.”

Annabeth tilted her head, “What kind of choice?”

Rachel shook her head, “I’m not sure. You could go one direction, which appealed to you, or you could go another direction, and be with Percy.”

Annabeth crossed her arms and asked, “Why would I want to go somewhere without Percy?”

“I’m not sure.” Rachel answered, shrugging her shoulders. “All I know is that in one dream, you chose the place you wanted to go the most, and, well...you were happy, and you were safe. At least for a little while. I could feel how content you were, until something happened to Percy.”

Annabeth straightened, “What happened to Percy, Rachel?”

Rachel raised up her hands, “Again, I’m not sure. But you couldn’t get to him in time, and...and..I don’t know. Something bad happened to him.”

“But, in my other dream, you chose to stay with him. Whatever happened, you were able to get to him in time. I think you saved his life. ”

“There is one other thing…” Rachel began slowly. “You saved his life, but then someone, something got to you. The dream ended, so I have no idea what happened.”

Annabeth found herself sitting on a stray bench, and rested her face in her hands. “I can’t let anything happen to him.” She looked up to her friend, “I promise I won’t leave him”

Rachel took her hand and pulled Annabeth up. “I know you won’t. You’re his Wise Girl. But take care of yourself, okay?” She shot Annabeth a wink and linked their arms together before steering them back towards the campfire.

Annabeth was brought out of her disturbing memory by the familiar warmth that Professor Dumbledore brought with him as he stepped up to the pedestal.

“Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. I would like to welcome all of our newcomers and returning students. I am honored to announce that Hogwarts will be hosting four foreign exchange students from America for the entire year.” Dumbledore’s twinkling eyes found her own. “They will be sorted into one of the four houses, just like each one of you were. Please, help them make Hogwarts their home away from home.” He lifted his hand, and Professor Mcgonagall returned to her place next to the sorting hat.

 

XX

 

“Will Solace!”

Will stepped back on instinct, and drew his hands into a fist. He was going first? Shouldn’t it be someone like Percy or Annabeth? He wiped the sweat forming at the edge of his brow and shot a look towards Nico, who looked just as surprised as he did.

Nico gave him an encouraging nod, and Will took a deep breath before stepping up towards the seat. He sat down and let Professor Mcgonagall place the dirty hat (that had touched a hundred other students’ heads before his own-a fact he was trying to ignore) on top of his wavy blonde hair. He almost yelped as a small voice spoke into his mind.

Well, well...what do we have here? It’s been many years since I was inside the mind of a demigod. The son of Apollo, the god of the sun and prophecy, among a few others.


Will inwardly flinched as his identity was revealed.

Do not fret young demigod, I will not spill your inner secrets. My only job is to place you into the House where you belong. Let’s see....I see that you care deeply and your loyalty knows no bounds for those around you, especially your family, and wow-you have a LOT of family. Daddy Dearest gets around hmmm?

Will rolled his eyes, willing the Sorting Hat to move on from Apollo’s escapades.

You are calm, and optimistic. And, if i’m not mistaken, a truly gifted healer. You are very brave, fearless in the eyes of danger, so  you would do well in Gryffindor. However, your personality would lead me to believe otherwise….you are kind, and an incredibly hard worker. Your friends and family look up to you as a leader, as someone who is helpful and gives the most valuable advice. But most impressive...you have a relationship with the son of Hades…

He stiffened underneath the hat.

Not that interested in talking about it, hmmm? Well don’t you worry...I think it better be

HUFFLEPUFF!

Will felt his face break out into a smile, and he instantly felt welcomed as the far right table erupted into cheers before him. He shot his friends a wink, letting them know not to be worried, and joined his new family.

 

XX

 

Percy cheered loudly for his friend. He had a feeling that Will would feel right at home in Hufflepuff. As soon as Will had taken his seat at the table, Professor Mcgonagall cleared her throat and called out,

“Percy Jackson!”

His stomach did a small flip when his name was called. Percy clapped his hands together out of habit and found Annabeth’s stormy grey eyes looking back into his. He thought he saw a hint of worry behind them, but he decided to table that for now. He strode towards the hat and took a seat. As soon as Professor Mcgonagall placed the Sorting Hat on top of his head, he heard a small voice murmuring quickly.

I am quite excited, just so you know. There has never been more than one true demigod underneath this roof at one time, much less four! And my my….the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, Earthshaker, Stormbringer..Your father goes by many names. It seems like you do as well...Savior of Olympus, Hero of Olympus...Such powerful blood runs through your veins, and I am impressed to see what all you have used it for.

Percy squirmed in his seat. He was never comfortable with praise.

Your modesty stretches far, young demigod. I see that you are fiercely loyal, in fact it is your fatal flaw. You would protect your loved ones over the rest of the world.You have many qualities of a Hufflepuff. You are also much smarter than you let people believe, aren’t you? Sure, you can fight your way out of most situations, but I can see that you have won most of your battles by outsmarting your opponent. You would succeed in Slytherin, a house of nobility that values the cunning mind.

But more so than that, you are brave. You face your challenges head on, and would risk everything to do what’s right. After quickly sifting through your memories, I shudder at the things you have seen, and all that you have lost.

He cast his eyes downward, and desperately tried to keep the sorting hat out of his darkest thoughts.

Do not try to hide from me, Percy Jackson, and do not try to hide from yourself. Your memories and experiences have made you into the person you are today. I see the anger and resentment you harbor against your gods, and I see that it is changing the way you view life. Do not let the darkness overwhelm you. To succeed in this quest of yours, you will need that marred positivity.

Percy furrowed his brow at that, and questioned the Sorting Hat.

How would you feel if you saw your mortal enemy rise up from the grave, and have nobody believe you? The bitterness and anger from being left behind and written off will overwhelm Mr. Potter, and you will need to be there to shake him from The Dark Lord’s grasp. If you fail, young demigod, I would be remiss to think that you and Ms. Chase would survive long enough to make it to New Rome…

You would do well in each house, young demigod. But for today, it better be…

GRYFFINDOR!

The Gryffindor table’s cheers were deafening, and Percy was elated. He jumped off of the seat and found a spot next to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. He memorized the face of each person who patted him on the back and called out words of welcome. Percy wouldn’t forget who his new family was.

He settled in and craned his neck so that he could see the steps, and smiled largely at Annabeth, who was standing next to Nico, shuffling her feet. He shot her a thumbs-up before Professor Mcgonagall said,

“Annabeth Chase!”

 

XX

 

Annabeth felt her breath catch in her throat. As soon as her new friends on the Hogwarts Express had told her about the qualities of Ravenclaw, she felt instantly at home. She was Wisdom’s daughter, it was only fair that she belong to the house that valued intelligence, a sharp mind, and cleverness. Her heart was drawn there, knowing it’s where she should end up, plus she would be safe.

As she approached the Sorting Hat, her mind thought of a thousand different explanations for Rachel’s warning. Her fatal flaw was pride, and she knew as a Ravenclaw, she would advance quicker than any of the other students, she would learn every spell until it was perfected, and she would succeed until people looked at her as the genius she knew she was. A Hero of Olympus, the Architect of the Gods.

But then there was Percy.

When the Sorting Hat was placed on her head, she wondered if the rag-like hat could actually read her thoughts, or if it was just a trick of the mind.

No trick, daughter of Athena. I have been inside thousands of minds, I have learned students’ deepest desires and their darkest secrets, and you, my dear, are not the exception. I see you hold many qualities of the house’s namesake, Rowena Ravenclaw. Did you know, young demigod, that she obtained a blessing from your mother? It is why you are so drawn to the house, you instinctively know that  you belong there.

So why are you fighting it? Why are you willing me to choose Gryffindor? I see that you are inherently courageous, determined, and brave, so you would do well there. But that’s not the reason, is it? No no...you want to protect a boy. But not just any boy. The Son of Poseidon, one of the most powerful demigods that the world has ever known. You are worried something terrible will happen to him if you choose to follow what your heart is telling you to. However, if you do choose to follow him, something might happen to you as well. You never know, the future is a murky one, young demigod. You could both be fine, or your futures could play out just as you fear they will.

Annabeth dug her nails into the side of the chair. I will not let anything happen to him. Do you hear me?

Ah, stubbornness. It is another quality that has kept you alive all of these years. But this time..It might have the opposite effect..If you’re sure then, better be…

GRYFFINDOR!

 

XX

 

Nico di Angelo leaned forward as he felt the Sorting Hat come to a conclusion about Annabeth. He figured she would be a shoo-in for Ravenclaw, seeing as though she was the smartest person he had ever met. So when the Sorting Hat announced that she would be in Gryffindor, Nico was surprised.

Annabeth looked relieved, as if she had gotten what she wanted. But he caught something else behind her eyes and began growing suspicious. He wondered what could possibly make her want to choose Gryffindor. Nico didn’t think it was to be close to Percy, their relationship was stronger than the space between sitting at two different tables for dinner. Hmmm…

“Nico di Angelo!”

He was thrown out of his train of thought at the mention of his name, and he realized that he was the last of his friends. His mind raced a hundred miles an hour, wondering where this dirty old hat was going to place him. Nico didn’t like the idea of anyone being inside his head, and he had a feeling that the hat didn’t really know what it was getting itself into.

The Great Hall was eerily silent, everyone wondering where the Sorting Hat would place the strange goth-looking kid with the attractive friends. Professor Mcgonagall gave him a small smile before lowering the Sorting Hat onto his messy black hair.

I have been most interested to see what lies in your mind, Son of Hades. Each of your friends has a different view of you, and I have been anxious to see what kind of person you really are.

Nico raised an eyebrow, wondering what each of his friends thought of him.

All good things, all good things. Your sunny significant other is fiercely protective over you, and wishes for your relationship to flourish. I see that you are much more accepting of your feelings than in past months. Good, good. Never be afraid to be yourself, Ghost King.

The daughter of Athena only wishes for  your happiness. She has known you through the toughest times in your life, and harbors great sisterly affection for you. If I were you, I would cling to that friendship. I have a feeling that you both might need each other in the coming months…

Your friend, Son of Poseidon, I can see that you both carry strong feelings for each other. You have moved past your “crush,” as you called it. He accepts you for who you are, but he will never truly forgive himself for taking part in leaving you without a family, at least for a few years. He still holds great guilt inside of him for your sister’s death. Take time to reflect on that fact. Percy Jackson will travel through hell to keep his friends safe, and you, Son of Hades, are a friend.

But none of those things will help me decide which house you belong in, now will it? I see that you are severely unpredictable. As a child of the Big Three, you are dangerous, especially when you cannot control your fury. You might have grown emotionally in the past few months, but that does not erase your past.

I see that you are vengeful to the point of tricking your closest ally into the joining you in the underworld, where he would be imprisoned. You are cunning, and a fantastic secret keeper. You held knowledge of two rival camps, and gained information from both until the time was right.

You also have tremendous willpower to be able to survive the depths of Tartarus on your own without losing your sanity. But what is most interesting to me, Son of Hades, is what happens when you unlock your fury. Does the name Bryce Lawrence ring a bell?

Nico’s breath had become shallow and rapid. He closed his eyes and tried to forget all of the things that caused him so much pain and anguish.

I will tell you the same things I told your friend, Percy Jackson. Your memories and experiences have made you into the person you are today. Use them. You have the potential to be a very powerful wizard, Nico di Angelo. You have a past you have yet to unlock, and Hogwarts might be the key to unlocking it.

Nico flinched. What did this hat know about his past? Sure, it could read his memories, but even Nico didn’t know anything about it.

I would start in the library....better be...

SLYTHERIN!

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 9

 

Nico’s breath had become shallow and rapid. He closed his eyes and tried to forget all of the things that caused him so much pain and anguish.

I will tell you the same things I told your friend, Percy Jackson. Your memories and experiences have made you into the person you are today. Use them. You have the potential to be a very powerful wizard, Nico di Angelo. You have a past you have yet to unlock, and Hogwarts might be the key to unlocking it.

Nico flinched. What did this hat know about his past? Sure, it could read his memories, but even Nico didn’t know anything about it.

I would start in the library....better be...

SLYTHERIN!

 

XX

 

Nico’s head was spinning. His movements towards the cheering table became mechanical, and he didn’t register the slaps on his back, the sly, curious glances in his direction, or even the look of newfound respect plastered on Draco Malfoy’s face. He racked his brain for any hidden memories that the sorting hat could have pulled out to make that comment about his past, but grew frustrated when he couldn’t remember anything.

 Hogwarts might be the key to unlocking it….I would start in the library…

 He made a mental note to find the library the second he had a moment of spare time, but forced himself to be aware of his surroundings when the headmaster began to speak.

 “To our newcomers, “ said Dumbledore in a ringing voice, his arms stretched wide and a beaming smile on his lips,”welcome! To our old hands-welcome back! There is a time for speech making, but this is not it. Tuck in!”

 Nico’s eyes widened a fraction when heaps of food appeared before him at the table. All kinds of meat, salad, vegetables, bread, drinks-too much to keep track of. He glanced around, feeling out of place. Behind him he could see Will laughing with his new Hufflepuff friends, and Percy and Annabeth were chatting with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and a few Gryffindors Nico hadn’t met yet.

 “It’s a lot to take in, huh?” A tall, dark skinned boy with high cheekbones said to him while taking a bite of a chicken leg.

 Nico moved the hair out of his face and grabbed a piece of bread from one of the plates in front of him. “Uh..yeah. You could say that.”

 The dark skinned boy raised his chicken leg in the air, “Well, you got sorted into the best house at Hogwarts, Nico, so you’ve obviously got something going for you. My name’s Blaise. Blaise Zabini.”

 Nico nodded towards Blaise, and took a few bites of his food before he felt some commotion coming from his left. The blonde haired kid, Draco, was coming towards him, followed by two taller muscular boys.

 Draco stopped beside Nico with his arms crossed, tilted his head next to the smaller boys sitting next to him, and they hurriedly rushed to find another spot. Blaise grinned as Draco and his two bodyguards took their places.

 “So, you must not be so bad after all, di Angelo.” He said with a sneer, popping a small keish into his mouth. “I’m going to overlook the incident on the train, just this once.” Draco put his hands on the table and leaned in close.

 “Don’t make me regret it.” He whispered, not breaking eye contact with the demigod. Nico held his breath for three seconds to keep his cool. He wouldn’t make a scene within the first five minutes of being a Slytherin, he needed to make friends here.

 Before he could respond, a first year yelped, causing the boys’ attention to follow the sound. A pale ghost with a gaunt face appeared behind Nico, and for a second he thought he had accidently brought the dead to Hogwarts.

 When Draco straightened with a cool smile playing across his face, Nico realized that the ghost with silver bloodstains, chains, and a powdered wig must belong here. “Ah, The Bloody Baron. Come meet the newest Slytherin.” He said with a wave towards Nico.

 The ghost took a low bow, never taking his swirling black eyes off of Nico’s face. “It is a pleasure having you here, my Lord. Shall you...or your Father...ever need anything...I am at your eternal service.” With that, he dissipated into a puff of smoke, leaving a chilly air surrounding the boys.

 Nico almost chuckled as he turned around to find the shocked stares staring back at him. “You’re father must be something else to earn the Bloody Baron’s respect like that…” The heavy-set boy with a large neck muttered in a sort of awe.

 Draco clapped a hand on Nico’s shoulder. “I think you’re right Crabbe. I think you’d better stick with us. If you know what’s good for you.”

 

XX

 

“Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness, and accountability, intent on preserving what ought to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited..”

 Percy found himself being shaken awake by a dull, half-hearted round of applause for the shrill lady in pink. As soon as she started talking, he felt his eyes glaze over. He looked around and saw that most people had followed his lead, but Hermione was sitting there with a grim look.

 “The Ministry’s interfering at Hogwarts.” The trio exchanged worried glances before Dumbledore dismissed the students. Hermione and Ron stood up to lead the first years out of the Great Hall.

 Percy reached upwards and stretched out his arms, feeling strange missing a few inches. “Follow me, I’ll show you where the Common Room is.” Harry said. Annabeth lightly punched Percy in the belly as he stretched up, and tried to stick with Harry as throngs of students began crowding towards the doors.

 Harry was trying very hard not to notice the stares, whispers, and pointed fingers that were directed his way. Percy felt kind of bad for the guy, and threw his arm around Harry’s shoulder.

 “Dude, how awesome is it that Annabeth and I are in Gryffindor with you guys?” He asked.

 Harry’s smile didn’t reach his eyes. “So...your friend, Nico...he was sorted into Slytherin.” he said slowly, as if waiting for Percy to explain.

 Clearly, Percy didn’t get it. “Yeah, so what?”

 Harry got a little uncomfortable, “Well..it’s sort of known that witches and wizards from Slytherin are more closely associated with Voldemort.”

 At the mention of the Dark Lord’s name, a couple of Second-Years let out a squeal of fear and quickly tried to cover their mouths in embarrassment. Percy narrowed his eyes. “Nico is one of us. He’s not some evil wizard that wants to hurt you Harry.”

 Annabeth nodded her head. “Percy’s right. If Nico got sorted into Slytherin, then there is a good reason for it, but not because he’s evil.”

 Harry just shrugged. “Say what you want, but I saw him getting friendly with Malfoy’s gang. If he starts hanging around those guys, then there’s no hope for him.”

Percy was about to say something else to defend his friend, but Annabeth placed a hand on his arm and shook her head. Now’s not the time.

 When they reached the entrance to the Common Room, Neville presented the password to a painting of a giant lady wearing a pink silk dress, who smiled sweetly at Percy. The painting swung open and they filed into a circular room decorated in red and gold, with a magnificent fireplace adorned with a portrait of a lion. Comfortable looking couches and chairs were scattered around and a bulletin board filled with ads, posters, and various papers was hung on one of the stone walls.

 Percy immediately felt at home, and inhaled the smell of cinnamon, vaguely wondering where it was coming from.

 “The dormitories are just up ahead, our’s at the top of the left staircase, and the girls’ at the top of the right.” Harry nodded towards his new friends.

 Percy took a seat on one of the armchairs of the couches in front of the fireplace. “Thanks man, I think Annabeth and I might hang out for a bit.” He waved towards Harry when he started up the stairs, slid towards the cushions and waited for Annabeth to snuggle underneath his arm.

 She breathed a sigh of content, and twirled a piece of curly blonde hair around her finger. “We made it, Percy.”

 He rested his head on top of hers. “We did. This place is pretty awesome.” An idea popped into his head, and a wide grin crept across his face. “Wanna go exploring tomorrow? Maybe after-hours?” He said with a popped eyebrow.

 She gave him a look and chuckled. “I think if we were going to explore, we should do it this weekend. We have classes tomorrow! Plus, don’t you think Nico and Will want to see the rest of the castle too?”

 Percy rolled his eyes and tilted his head back against the couch. “That’s totally not what I meant, Wise Girl.”

 Annabeth stood up, taking his hand. “I know what you meant Seaweed Brain.” She leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, “I’m going to head to bed. We have Potions and Herbology in the morning. I’ll meet you down here tomorrow.”

 Percy grumbled underneath his breath. “Fine fine, goodnight Wise Girl, I love you.” Annabeth took the stairs two at a time and called out over her shoulder, “Love you too, Seaweed Brain!”

 When Percy reached the dormitory, he heard arguing coming from the other side of the door. He opened it to find Harry nose to nose with an Irish kid with short, cropped brown hair and Ron trying to break the two up.

 “Leave my mother out of this, Potter!” the Irish kid yelled, raising his fist.

 Harry was gritting his teeth, “I’ll have a go at anyone who calls me a liar!”

 Clearly, Ron wasn’t getting anywhere with these two. Percy waltzed right up and put his palms on the boys’ chests and pushed. The irish kid flew backwards onto his bed, and Harry landed up against Ron.

 “Shut up, both of you.” Percy growled.

 The unnamed boy rubbed his chest, his surprise making him momentarily forget about his argument with Harry. “Bollocks, who the hell are you?”

 “I’m Percy Jackson, your new roommate.” Percy offered a hand to help the kid up.

 “I can’t exactly say it’s nice to meet you Percy, I’m Seamus.” He mumbled, shooting daggers at the demigod.

 “Don’t try fighting in here again, because I will end it every time.” He let his wolf stare sweep across the room. “Understand?”

 The frightened boys all just nodded their heads, Neville even whispering, “Yes sir.” Percy turned around on Harry.

 “You okay?” The Boy Who Lived looked more embarrassed than anything. He nodded quietly and scratched the back of his head. “You’ll come in handy in a fight, Jackson.”

 Percy grinned and tossed himself down on the empty bed, first checking to make sure his trunk arrived safely. “Let’s avoid the fighting for now, Potter. But yeah, I’ll always have your back.”

 Ron looked at him curiously, but finished getting ready for bed like the rest of his roommates. He waited until everyone was in bed before turning off the lights, washing a blanket of darkness throughout the room.

 

XX

 

Annabeth awoke to a bushy tail sweeping across her face. She giggled as the ginger-colored cat purred loudly and bobbed its squashed face up and down in her lap.

 “Crookshanks, leave Annabeth alone!” Hermione scolded, sweeping her pet up in both arms.

She looked at Annabeth apologetically. “I’m sorry, my cat doesn’t really have very good manners.”

 “You can say that again...I can’t keep picking orange hairs off of my clothes every day Hermione.” Parvati Patil whined from underneath her covers.

 Annabeth rolled out of bed, her hand immediately going to her nightstand in reach of her wand. Satisfied that her weapon was always in reach, she gave Crookshanks a small pat on the head before taking a quick shower.

 After she was clean, Hermione helped her pick out her “first day of school” robes. They obviously matched the other girls’, but Annabeth was just too excited to start her first class that she didn’t care much what she looked like. She decided to let her curls air-dry, and left them falling across her shoulders.

 “Alright, I think I’m ready!” She said, happily picking up the books she would need for morning classes. Thankfully, the Gryffindors had Potions and Herbology with the Slytherins, which meant they would have class with Nico. She wanted to see how he was getting along with his new house-mates.

 “Great, let’s meet the boys downstairs!” Hermione said, leading the way. Annabeth was excited to get to know Hermione more. They didn’t really have much of a chance to talk once they got back to the dormitory, everyone was really tired. All Annabeth really had time to do before she fell over was introduce herself to the girls, who all seemed pretty nice.

 At the foot of the stairs, they weren’t surprised to be the first ones to the Common Room. Percy tended to have a bad habit of dragging his feet in the morning.

 “They should be down in a few minutes,” Annabeth said. “What can you tell me about our Potions teacher?”

 Hermione gave her a sideways look. “Well...Professor Snape can be a little difficult to warm up to..” Annabeth raised an eyebrow.

 “Okay, he’s impossible to warm up to. He’s the head of the Slytherin house, and hates Harry with a burning passion. He will take away house points from us whenever he gets the chance, so be careful.”

 Annabeth thought on that, and wondered what reason Professor Snape could have for disliking Harry. She would need to pay attention to see if he needed to be listed as a possible enemy. Annabeth didn’t think that she would have much trouble in his class, seeing as how she’d already reviewed and memorized most of the potions in her book.

Finally, Harry, Ron, and Percy came down the stairs. Hermione jumped up and pushed the three boys out the door. “Come on you lot, we are going to be late to class!”

 Ron rolled his eyes, “Oh no..late to my favorite class in the whole wide world, with my favorite professor in the whole wide world! How ever will I go on?” He joked, suddenly becoming very heavy against Hermione’s hands.

 She yelped as his weight fell back on her. “Ronald!” Hermione tried not to smile, and Annabeth noticed Ron enjoying himself.

 “Ugh, it’s too early in the morning for this. Let’s go guys.” Percy grumbled, taking Annabeth’s hand and following the trio down to the Dungeons. They walked along a dimly lit corridor towards a stone archway with two candle holders carrying heatless green flame on either side of the wooden door.

 Ron pushed it open to reveal a large classroom with chipped desks in rows facing a man Annabeth recognized from the Welcome Feast. He was tall, with greasy black hair and a permanent scowl on his face. His dark robes covered every inch of him, giving his pale face a sinking feeling.

 Annabeth found Nico among the students already sitting down, and dragged Percy towards their friend. He looked relieved to see them, but also quickly glanced over at Draco Malfoy, who was sitting on his right.

 She took a seat next to him, giving him a warm smile. “Hi Nico, how was your first night in Slytherin?” She asked, aware of the various sets of eyes that were watching their encounter.

 “It’s been good. I’m a little bummed I’m not with you guys or Will, but I have a feeling Slytherin will be good for me.” He replied, trying to talk softly, but the classroom seemed to have an echoing effect. Malfoy coughed next to him, darting his eyes towards the front.

 Professor Snape was standing there with his arms crossed. “If you are quite finished with your conversation, I would like to begin my class.”

 Annabeth’s ears burned, and she gave him a sheepish smile. She never got in trouble in school, hopefully this teacher wouldn’t have it out for her just because she was in Gryffindor.

 “Now that I have everyone’s attention, I’m sure you are all aware that this is the year you can take your O.W.L.’s, which I expect even the least competent student in here to get at least an “Acceptable” on the composition and use of magical potions exam.

 Now, let’s begin with the Draught of Peace. This potion provides personal comfort, calms anxiety, and soothes agitation for the user. For the love of all that is good, do not try to make this at home. Knowing the skill level of this class, one of you might accidentally create a deadly sleeping draught.

 It is an incredibly difficult potion that requires the ingredients to be added in a very specific order and dosage. The mixture must be stirred exactly the correct amount of times and the heat of the flames must be adjusted just right before the final ingredient can be introduced.”

 Annabeth was vigorously writing down notes, trying her best to follow along. Percy seemed interested as well, but was only jotting down bits and pieces.

 “Now, take out your books and turn to page four-hundred and ten, and find a cauldron. You will be following along in your book to create the potion. Whomever’s Draught of Peace I find most acceptable will receive twenty house points.”

 Annabeth and Percy found a table with Nico, who was followed by Draco. He jutted his chin out towards the two students who followed him around like puppy dogs, Crabbe and Goyle, and they gave him a confused look before finding a table with other students. Harry, Ron and Hermione found a table with other Gryffindors, who were not trying very hard to hide their distaste for the fellow classmates.

 She coughed nervously, but drew her long hair into a ponytail so that she could focus. Draco glanced around the room to make sure he was out of earshot before leaning in towards Percy and Annabeth. “Listen, I think we got off on the wrong foot on the train. Potter and I have a long history, and we obviously don’t get along. But, I have no reason not to like you. Plus Jackson, if you are cousins with Nico like he said, I have a feeling I need to be on your dad’s good side.”

 Annabeth’s eyes widened, and she shot a look at Nico, silently questioning if this random kid found out about their mission. He very subtly shook his head, indicating that they were still safe. She exhaled, and whispered back to Draco. “That wasn’t exactly an apology…”

 Draco’s eyes narrowed. “Listen, that’s the best that I can do.”

 Percy rolled his eyes, “Fine, man. ‘Apology’ accepted. But try to keep it cool with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, they are our friends, and I protect my friends.”

 Draco leaned back, beginning to focus on his work before adding, “I can’t promise that. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”

 With that, the three demigods began working their way through the potion in front of them. Annabeth was pretty confused for a couple of pages before she began to think of it as pretending to be helping out Will or the Apollo kids in the infirmary. Any one of her small campers could be having a hard time coming to grips with this whole demigod business, and they might need some help adjusting.

 After that, she was getting in the groove, the potion in front of her looking as smooth and creamy as the book said it would need to. Annabeth checked on Percy to see how he was doing, and her jaw dropped when she saw that he wasn’t even looking at the instructions as he carefully cut up the ingredients into the perfect dosage, and checked the clock on the wall while adjusting the flames, taking an educated guess as to when to add things.

 Nico was doing pretty good as well, but was not nearly as free-handed as Percy was. Annabeth was afraid that he would accidently brew something that would explode, and inwardly cringed inside as Professor Snape reached their table to review their final product.

 He glanced over the four cauldrons in front of him and stopped to stare at Percy’s. “How did you reach this silver vapor here?” He asked.

 Percy shrugged. “I don’t really remember. A lot of ingredients just felt right. A little bit of powdered moonstone, a little bit of powdered porcupine quills, and a few drops of hellebore.”

 Professor Snape just stared at him, his gaze not giving anything away. He slowly turned towards the rest of the class and announced, “It looks like Mr. Jackson has brewed the perfect Draught of Peace. The rest of you are inadequate. Twenty Points to Gryffindor, class dismissed.” Without even a second glance, he snatched his rope around him and marched to his desk.

 Annabeth and Nico congratulated Percy on a successful first class at Hogwarts, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione came to thank him for earning them house points.

“Blimey, how’d you do it Percy? That’s one of the most difficult potions we are going to learn this year? I don’t think Snape was expecting anyone to even get close.” Ron asked, amazement shining in his eyes.

 “Uh...I’m not sure. I guess Potions is one of my strong suits. Let’s see how Herbology goes.” Annabeth glowed with pride at her boyfriend. Her eyes swept across her friends, and she noticed Draco Malfoy had disappeared.

 

XX

 

Percy groaned. For some reason, he had killed it in Potions. He thought it might have to do him being able to connect with anything that is water based, but Percy wasn’t about to question it. He was beaming after being on the receiving end of one of Annabeth’s “proud Percy moment” smiles.

 However, he quickly learned that he did not have the same affinity for plant life as he did for Potions. His mom had always been the one to do the gardening, and he couldn’t quite hone in on his green thumb. They were learning about a plant called Screechsnap, that moved and made noise, which was more than a little weird to Percy.

 In his opinion, all plants should be very much sound free. Apparently he had added too much dragon manure(uh, gross) onto his tray, and the little devils started squeaking very unpleasantly in irritation.

 Nico, with his stepmother being the goddess of the harvest and all, shined out in this class. When people began covering their ears to avoid hearing Percy’s seedlings lash out, Nico concocted some kind of solution and poured it into a spray bottle, watering them with great care. The next thing Percy knew, both his and Nico’s Screechsnap seedlings were humming with pleasure, which honestly freaked him out more than the squeaking.

 After a morning of surprising highs and embarrassing lows, Percy led his friends towards the Great Hall for lunch. His stomach was growling at him, and he barely waved goodbye to Nico as he found a spot at Gryffindor’s table beside Harry, Ron, and Hermione. A stack of turkey sandwiches with the bread dyed blue appeared in front of him, and he began inhaling them one by one.

 Hermione was reminding her friends that they had Flying class on the Training Grounds and Divination after lunch with the Hufflepuff’s. Percy vaguely wondered if his dear old uncle would shoot him out of the sky whilst on a broom. He sure hoped not.

 He wasn’t paying very close attention as Hermione and Ron began their argument. It wasn’t really surprising or interesting, seeing as though they were going at it most of the time they were together. Percy caught Annabeth’s eyes, which were darting back and forth between Percy and Harry. He followed her train of thought, and noticed Harry’s hands slowly curling into fists.

 Uh oh. Percy knew what that meant, Harry was getting frustrated, and it looked as though his anger might bubble over soon. He quickly remembered something that the Sorting Hat told him...

 The bitterness and anger from being left behind and written off will overwhelm Mr. Potter, and you will need to be there to shake him from the Dark Lord’s grasp.

 “Yo, Harry!” Percy said, slapping a friendly hand on Harry’s shoulder, surprising him. “I hear you’re one of the best flyers in your class. Think you might be able to give me a few tips before our lesson today?”

 Harry’s first had slowly unfolded, and he happily discussed the rules of Quidditch along with the descriptions of each player on the field. Annabeth, Hermione, and Ron all got in on the conversation as well, and soon they were laughing and sharing stories about Harry’s previous years as Seeker.

 Once lunch came to a close, the group made their way to the Training Grounds. Annabeth pulled Percy back a few feet so they were out of earshot of the golden trio.

 “Did you see Harry back there?” She asked.

 Percy nodded. “Yeah, his regular annoyance with his friends’ fighting was about to make him snap. Maybe the Sorting Hat was right, his emotions are really up in the air right now. He seems more susceptible to anger. It looked like it was similar to how I react when Ares is around.”

 Annabeth bit her lip in worry. “I wonder if that means he’s being more easily influenced from...You Know Who.”

 He didn’t answer, hoping that the answer was no. He actually like Harry and his friends. This mission to protect them is starting to turn into something he actually wanted to do. If Harry was being influenced by something dark, like this Voldemort guy, or maybe even some random god, then Percy needed to help him.

 

XX

 

Will had gotten to the training grounds with his new friends, Hannah Abbott and Ernie Macmillan, nice and early after lunch, just in case Percy and Annabeth had decided to stop by. His fingers drummed against his leg, and Will kept glancing sideways from his conversation with the two Hufflepuff Prefects every time someone walked by.

 He was trying to contain himself, but Will was on edge wondering how Nico was doing in Slytherin, and he knew Percy and Annabeth had class with him this morning. Will was disappointed when he and Nico didn’t get sorted into the same house, but was more worried when the people at his new table had begun their whispering as to why Nico was in Slytherin.

 Will was having none of it, of course, but you can’t stop people from talking. Hannah and Ernie had recognized his distress during the Welcome Feast, and helped reassure him that they would stop any gossipping with their newfound power if they came across it. He was lucky to find such nice people so early in the game, although most everyone he had met so far was just as kind.

 Finally, he caught sight of Percy and Annabeth talking with their heads together walking behind Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Will nodded towards the two Prefects, and jogged over towards his friends. Percy gave him a large, genuine smile as he saw him come up, and Annabeth help up a hand for Will to hi-five.

 “Hey guys, how was class this morning?” Will asked, trying to keep it cool.

 Annabeth giggled, “If you mean how was Nico, then he’s good. He was pretty good at Potions, but was awesome in Herbology. I heard Professor Sprout say that she might want to take him under her wing just like she did with Neville.”

 Will’s chest blossomed with warmth. Of course Nico was doing great, his boyfriend was awesome.

 “But…” Percy added, scratching the back of his head. Will’s head snapped towards the son of Poseidon.

“His choice of new friends has people talking. It looks like Malfoy figured out that Nico has some kind of powerful father, so he’s kind of latched on.”

 Will remembered their encounter on the train and narrowed his eyes. If Nico had made friends with a guy like that, then there had to be a good reason, but that didn’t mean that Will had to like it.

 “Don’t worry about it, man. Nico’s a tough kid. Let’s check out what this ‘flying’ class is all about.” Percy offered, leading his friends towards a group of students surrounding a tall woman with spiky grey hair and striking catlike yellow eyes.

 “Good Afternoon Class, I am Madam Hooch, your flying instructor. For those of us who are new with us,” She fixed her eyes on Annabeth, Percy, and Will, “don’t be disappointed when you don’t get it the first time. Excelling on a broomstick takes enormous talent, patience, and a little bit of luck. Only the cream of the crop are even allowed to try out for their House’s Quidditch Team.”

 “Before we attempt to ride, everyone needs a little reminder that a clean broom is a healthy broom. To your stations!” Madam Hooch announced, pointing towards a setup of brooms and polish off to the side.

 Will, Percy, and Annabeth found a space along the worn wooden tables next to the Golden Trio and Will’s new friends. They socialized while applying the polish to each of their brooms, and Will was pleased that everyone seemed to get along just fine. Will wondered if Malfoy and his gang could put aside their attitudes, if they could have an actual conversation like the one him and his friends were having now. Somehow he doubted it.

 “Alright, everyone grab your broom and place it on the ground in front of you.” Madam Hooch waited for her students to follow the instructions. “Now, step to the left of your brooms, hold out your right hand, and say ‘up!’ with some force!”

 Will did as he was told, and was surprised when the broom reacted immediately. He looked around to find Harry having the same amount of luck, or he guessed skill in Harry’s case, that he had. The rest of the students along with Percy and Annabeth were close behind. Will noticed that when Percy’s broom finally reached his hand, a rolling grumble of thunder sounded, despite there not being a cloud in the sky. He took the hint, and immediately let the broom drop to the ground with a frustrated grunt.

 “For those of you who succeeded, go ahead and mount your broom. Let’s see how you much you all remember after a summer away. Push up, and hover.”

 Will pushed, and felt enormous control over his broom. He was ecstatic when it followed his train of thought. He easily hovered in the air, then willed it upwards, rising higher with ease.

 “Ah, Mr. Solace, I see that you have flown before. Please, give the rest of the class a demonstration so that we can see your skill level.” His instructor requested in a clear, strong voice.

 He felt a grin slip across his face, and he willed his broom upwards at a good pace. Will let the warm sun stretch over his skin, and he almost pictured his dad saying something like, “Is that the best you can do, son? Give it a twirl!”

 Will chuckled to himself, and took off at top speed. He felt, rather than saw, all of the potential obstacles in his way. Will made a weaving loop, dipping low to the ground and jetting back up towards the sky. His fellow classmates were cheering for him, and he decided to finish in a very son-of-Apollo way. He gripped the handle of his broom tightly, and tilted towards the side, letting his weight bring the broom into a twirl that made his stomach drop.

 He righted himself and slowed as he approached his classmates. They all hooped and hollered for him, and Percy and Annabeth were the first to greet him with pats on the back and his favorite genuine hugs.

 Madam Hooch gave him a proud smile, “Dare I say it, I think Mr. Solace may be a shoo-in for the open position of the Hufflepuff Keeper. Ernie? Make sure your captain talks to him.”

 Erne and Hannah were beaming with pride, excited that their new friend had such a great opportunity. Will let himself enjoy the moment. He found something that he was especially good at, knowing that it had nothing to do with his lineage. Harry Potter shook Will’s hand, thrilled that he had a new opponent on the Quidditch field.

 “Don’t think that just because you are new here that I’m going to go easy on you, Will. Your seeker still has me to deal with.” He winked, and Will chuckled.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Potter. I hear we have Divination next, let’s go see if I rock that class too.”

 Will pushed himself between Percy and Annabeth and threw his arms around their shoulders. “Guys, we have to come back out here with Nico. I can’t wait to show him!” They all agreed that Will’s boyfriend needed to see him in action and headed off towards the North Tower.

 Will was still high off of excitement as he climbed up the small ladder that led to Professor Trelawney's class. He followed Annabeth and Percy to a three-person rounded table next to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

 Will’s eyes swept across the room, like they always did when he entered a new place, and found it strange that an enormous older man, at least six-foot-five, with a grey beard that could give Dumbledore’s a run for its money was sitting casually in the corner. The man’s eyes met his for half a second before flickering in surprise, like he was curious as to why this blonde haired kid could see him. Will shrugged, and focused on the object in front of him.

 Settled in the center of each group of students was a milky white orb that pulsed with a strange light.

 Oh boy, Will thought, someone is going to be teaching the son of Apollo-the god of prophecies-how to tell the future from looking into a crystal ball…

 A scrawny woman with giant glasses that made her emerald eyes look like the size of peas appeared from behind a curtain. She wore a loose shaw that fell over her tiny frame, and every time she took a step you could hear the chains and beads wrestle together around her neck.

 “Welcome, my dears, to the extraordinary world of Divination, the most difficult of all of the magical arts. I must warn you, unless you have the gift...which I do not suspect any of you do, there will be little that I can teach you. Unless you can open your minds to a world much bigger than yourselves, I believe that you will find it hard to advance and learn about the supernatural…”

 Will almost snorted, giving a knowing look to his demigod friends. They had lived in a ‘world much bigger than themselves’ for years now. Their parents were freaking greek gods, they knew all about the supernatural world. This class was going to be a waste of his time.

 Professor Trelawney must have noticed the three demigods snickering, because she moved at a quicker-than-normal speed, rushing towards their table. “Something funny, is it? You three must be unbelievers, yes..yes I can see it now. You have no insight to the world around you. Do you truly believe that there is not a greater plane of existence out there?”

 She was so worked up that she almost smashed her glasses up on her nose when they started slipping. Percy and Will looked each other in the eye and couldn’t help themselves, they broke out in a fit of laughter. Professor Trelawney of course, didn’t understand that they weren’t laughing because they didn’t believe, it was because they knew exactly what was out there. They had fought it, defeated it, and lived to tell the tale.

 The poor woman reached out to grip Percy’s arm in frustration, but gasped as if all of the air had been sucked out of her the second she touched him. When she spoke, it sounded painful and raspy.

 “A half-blood of the eldest gods-” The demigods froze, fear forming in their eyes, “shall reach sixteen against all odds, And see the world in endless sleep. The hero’s soul, cursed blade shall reap, A single choice shall end his days, Olympus to preserve or raze.”

 The entire class went silent. The demigods were rooted in their seats, unbelieving what they had just heard. Annabeth and Will immediately reached their hands to pry Professor Trelawney’s grip off of Percy’s arm. When they began tugging, her free hand clawed towards her neck, and she continued.

 “Seven half-bloods shall answer the call. To storm or fire, the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, and foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.”

 Percy, Will, and Annabeth had had enough. If this woman, who was obviously a descendant of Apollo or something, continued, she might reveal the prophecy that led the demigods here in the first place. They all shook themselves off of their Professor and shouted at her until she fell out of her trance.

 “My dears, why are you shouting so loud? It does not bode well for those who disturb the peace of the spirits! Back to your seats!” She huffed and returned to trapeing around other students, questioning the “answers to the universe” they might find in their crystal ball.

 The demigods were slow to return to their seats. Every eye was on them, and when they reached the gaze of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, their jaws practically touched the ground.

“Uh, guys? What the bloody hell was that?”

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians 

 

Chapter 10

 

The poor woman reached out to grip Percy's arm in frustration, but gasped as if all of the air had been sucked out of her the second she touched him. When she spoke, it sounded painful and raspy.

  "A half-blood of the eldest gods-" The demigods froze, fear forming in their eyes, "shall reach sixteen against all odds, And see the world in endless sleep. The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap, A single choice shall end his days, Olympus to preserve or raze."

  The entire class went silent. The demigods were rooted in their seats, unbelieving what they had just heard. Annabeth and Will immediately reached their hands to pry Professor Trelawney's grip off of Percy's arm. When they began tugging, her free hand clawed towards her neck, and she continued.

  "Seven half-bloods shall answer the call. To storm or fire, the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, and foes bear arms to the Doors of Death."

  Percy, Will, and Annabeth had had enough. If this woman, who was obviously a descendant of Apollo or something, continued, she might reveal the prophecy that led the demigods here in the first place. They all shook themselves off of their Professor and shouted at her until she fell out of her trance.

  "My dears, why are you shouting so loud? It does not bode well for those who disturb the peace of the spirits! Back to your seats!" She huffed and returned to trapeing around other students, questioning the "answers to the universe" they might find in their crystal ball.

  The demigods were slow to return to their seats. Every eye was on them, and when they reached the gaze of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, their jaws practically touched the ground.

  "Uh, guys? What the bloody hell was that?"

 

XX

 

“Class dismissed.” Professor Flitwick called out, causing a ruckus of students jumping out of their seats to head to the Great Hall for dinner.

 Nico di Angelo packed up slowly, not in any hurry since he didn’t have any plans to attend dinner. After a full day of being around Malfoy and his gang, Nico needed a break. He headed off towards his dimly lit common room, smirking along the way at the fact that his new home was in fact, inside a dungeon.

 He felt oddly at home in the massive room, which lay underneath the Great Lake. The large elaborate windows carved into the stone gave a small glance into the eerie body of water, giving off an underwater shipwreck feel. Nico couldn’t help but smile thinking that Percy would love it in here.

 He dropped his books off on the bed, and brought a treat to his new pet. Her feathers ruffled in excitement as Nico got closer, “Hey B, I’m gonna bring you to the Owlery so you don’t have to be by yourself all day, okay? Don’t worry, the sun just set.” The owl nipped happily as he brought her out of the cage and rested comfortably on Nico’s outstretched arm.

 Nico made his way outside, and as he passed the doors to the Great Hall, Will Solace was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed with an annoyed look on his face.

 “Well finally!” Will tossed his arms up, exasperated.

 “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be inside eating?” Nico asked, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

 “Shouldn’t you?” he challenged.

 Nico rolled his eyes. “I wasn’t hungry. We are still meeting after dinner though, right?” He asked, glancing around nervously.

 “Of course we are still meeting later, I haven’t forgotten. But you didn’t want to talk about what happened?” Will asked, annoyance still on his tongue.

 Nico looked confused, “What happened?”

 Will stared at him, then looked back and forth between him and the owl, who was watching him with unblinking eyes.

 “Let’s walk and talk.” He said, taking Nico’s free arm and pulling him along.

 Nico almost put his free hand in his pocket, but decided to leave it by his side...just in case Will had decided to stop being angry with him and hold his hand.

 They walked through the deserted courtyard and towards the long wooden bridge that led towards the Hogwarts’ Grounds.

 “So what happened?”

 Will rubbed his face, “Percy, Annabeth and I were in Divination, and the professor started freaking out.”

 Nico narrowed his eyes while Bianca chittered her confusion. “What do you mean by ‘freaking out’?”

 The Son of Apollo stopped at the edge of the bridge and leaned against the wooden pillars with his hands in his pockets. Nico tried not to focus on how much he liked Will’s face when it was scrunched up like that.  “I mean she started sprouting off prophecies. Our prophecies.”

 Nico stilled and felt a trickle of fear begin to unfold in his chest. “What did you do? How did she know about them? Is she some sort of Oracle, or one of your siblings? Did the other students notice?”

 Will finally took Nico’s hand and covered his mouth with the other. “Now you can understand why I was pissed you didn’t show up for dinner.”

 “Professor Trelawney seemed to be in some sort of trance when she gave them out, so I don’t know that she had any idea what she was saying. Everyone definitely noticed, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were really freaked out. We tried to play it off like we had no idea, but…” Will shrugged, and began leading them towards the Owlery again.

 Nico was quiet for a few minutes trying to take in this new information. “It’s still a long shot for them to come up with the correct explanation. I wouldn’t worry about them finding out the truth.”

 Will examined his boyfriend and gave him a playful punch in his free arm. “Look at you being all positive. I knew I was having a good effect on you.”

 Nico furrowed his brows. “You are not having a ‘good effect on me,’ I was simply trying to be realistic.”

 The Son of Apollo laughed out loud. “Sure, Nico. Whatever you say” He turned away from Nico and started whistling with his hands in his pockets.

 Nico ground his teeth together, and then smiled darkly as an idea formed in his head. He turned to Bianca and whispered for her to meet him at the front of the Owlery, about two hundred yards from their current position. She gave a happy “hoot” and took off, stretching her wings.

 Will only had a second to look over his shoulder before Nico came up behind him, wrapped an arm around his waist, and brought them both into the shadows.

 When they reappeared in the rendezvous spot, Bianca circled around the two laughing demigods now lying on the grass.

 Will shook off the chills that he felt all the way in his toes and covered his face with one arm. “Ugh Nico, you know I need a heads up when we shadow-travel!”

 The Son of Hades easily stood up and brushed off his black jeans. “Yeah, but where’s the fun in that? Plus, you should be happy I kept us on Hogwarts Grounds, I could have taken you to-I don’t...Australia or something. I would have left you there as giant spider food.”

 Nico helped his boyfriend up, and felt his chest heat up when Will kept hold of his hand. “You forget, I’m not Annabeth, so I would’ve just killed the giant spiders with my new fancy-smancy wand/bow with no problem. They probably would have made me their king.”

 The Son of Hades rolled his eyes-something he did often when he was around Will. “Alright, Sunshine, let’s not go crazy. And let’s be glad there are no giant spiders at Hogwarts that you can overthrow.”

 “Thank goodness for that!” Will brought an arm up for Bianca so she had a perch to rest on as they began climbing the stairs.

 When they reached the top, their eyes widened at the sight of so many owls. Their intelligent eyes followed the two demigods as they did a sweep of the landing, looking for an empty space. Nico found a spot in the corner that seemed untouched, and called WIll over to help him prepare it for Bianca.

 "There we go, looks like our girl will have plenty of shadows in this spot during the day.” Will dusted off his hands on his jeans before remembering something about his least favorite class.

 “Oh...I forgot about this, but there was some guy in Divination when I got there. I don’t remember seeing him after Professor Trelawney said the two prophecies.”

 Nico shrugged, “Maybe he just ducked out or something. Was he a student?”

 “No, he was older. Had a giant beard like Dumbledore. But he gave off a weird energy, it seemed familiar.” Will replied, shaking his head.

 “Let me know if you see him again. Maybe he’s some sort of Professor that likes to sit in on other classes?” The Son of Hades suggested. He gave Bianca one last treat before heading down the twisted staircase with his boyfriend.

 Will gave him a two-fingered salute, “You got it boss.” He checked his watch and tapped it as they began crossing the grounds heading back towards the school. “Looks like dinner will be over soon, we need to meet Annabeth.”

 Nico smirked, “I mean if we are in a hurry….”

 “Wait-no no no-” Will protested wildly before Nico clapped him on the shoulder and let the shadows overtake them.

 

 

From atop of the Astronomy tower a pair of kaleidoscope colored eyes watched the two demigods from behind a powerful telescope. The man chuckled softly to himself, and twisted the edge of his grey beard with one finger.

 "I think it’s time to keep an eye on you demigods…”

 

XX

 

Hermione was finishing her soup at dinner when Annabeth checked the time and stood up, untangling herself from the table.

 “I’m going to go meet Will and Nico at the library, I’ll see you guys later.” She waved goodbye to the group and disappeared behind a throng of students.

 Hermione would be lying to herself if she said that she wasn’t getting suspicious of their new friends. They come from a school in America that she had never heard of, they all gave off some sort of energy that makes her want to turn right around and run the opposite direction, and then Professor Trelawney spouted off some nonsense that seemed to scare them half to death.

 She closed her eyes as she remembered the words that hung heavy in her mind.

 A half-blood of the eldest gods shall reach sixteen against all odds, And see the world in endless sleep. The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap, A single choice shall end his days, Olympus to preserve or raze.

  Seven half-bloods shall answer the call. To storm or fire, the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, and foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

 Hermione furrowed her brow as she thought about how much the words sounded like some sort of prophecy. Maybe Annabeth had the right idea about going to the library tonight, they only had about an hour left before it closed.

 “Hermione?” a voice asked.

 She shook herself out of her thoughts, and looked up to find three pairs of eyes staring at her. “What?”

 Harry looked concerned. “We called your name like, four times. What’s going on in that brain of yours?”

 Hermione looked at them sheepishly. “Just thinking about how Defense Against the Dark Arts will go tomorrow. Professor Umbridge will be an interesting teacher.”

 “Maybe she will bring some sort of monster to class for us to check out, like Lockhart or Lupin did.” Ron suggested.

 Percy raised an eyebrow. “You guys have monsters brought into the classroom? That might save them a trip. They usually have to break in to find me. Then something usually gets set on fire.” He casually went back to eating his dinner while the Golden Trio eyed him warily.

 “Okay….well I for one just hope that she actually teaches us something. Now that You-Know-You is out there, we need to know how to defend ourselves.” Hermione huffed. “I am going to go start on some homework. I will see you lot in the Common Room.” She pushed herself up and headed straight to the library.

 She didn’t have to walk that far since the library was on the first floor, but she still lost her breath everytime she stepped through the giant elaborate doors. The smell of musty old books and the lingering silence that hung in the air was like home to her. Thousands upon thousands of books filled with infinite knowledge were just waiting for her to read.

 Hermione found her way towards the “Myths, Legends, and Folktales” Section. She knew she didn’t have too much time, so she began pulling books off the shelf that had the reference words she was looking for.

 After she had about seven books in her hands, Hermione went off towards her favorite corner of the library, where she often found herself as to not be disturbed by anyone. Before she turned the corner, she heard Nico di Angelo’s gruff voice, and froze in her place.

 “I don’t see anything useful yet…”

 “Nico, we’ve only been looking for thirty minutes. Don’t worry, we will find out what the Sorting Hat meant.” a voice she recognized as Will Solace tried to comfort the boy.

 “Plus, there are thousands of books in here. At least one has to have some sort of information on your family.” Annabeth chimed in.

 Nico sounded exasperated. “But I don’t understand why it would be in here in the first place. My family is from Italy, not the United Kingdom. And they wouldn’t have anything to do with magic.”

 It sounded like someone was drumming their fingers across one of the tables. “So, tell us exactly what the sorting hat said again?” Will asked.

 “It said, ‘You have the potential to be a very powerful wizard, Nico di Angelo. You have a past you have yet to unlock, and Hogwarts might be the key to unlocking it.’ Which doesn’t make any sense. I don’t even know anything about my family, why would this stupid hat know something?” Nico’s voice was beginning to shake with frustration.

 “Chill, Ghost King. We will figure it out, you just need to be patient.” Will’s voice was trying to calm Nico down.

 Ghost King? Hermione thought. She lost control of one of the books in her stack, and cringed as it hit the floor. Oh well, I’m caught, she thought as she swung around the corner, trying to mask her anxiety.

 “Hey guys, funny running into you here.” She readjusted the books in her arms.

 Nico and Will tensed and gripped their wands, but Annabeth didn’t bat an eye, “Hey Hermione, what are you doing here? Getting a head start on homework?”

 Hermione held her breathe. “You bet. Let me know if you guys need any help with yours later.” She offered with a tight smile.

 Annabeth’s stormy grey eyes never left Hermione’s, and Hermione could feel her stomach flip at the tension. “Thanks for the offer. I think we are going to call it a night, I’ll see you upstairs.” An easy smile played across Annabeth’s lips, and she waved her goodbye, Nico and Will following closely behind her.

 When they were out of sight, Hermione’s head dropped towards one of the books and she tried to calm her heart rate down. They definitely knew I was listening to them...way to be sneaky Granger.

 With a frustrated grunt, Hermione began flipping through her books, looking for anything about gods and prophecies.

 Just before the library was about to close, she found what she was looking for. With confusion and possibilities running through her head, she hopped up and checked out “The Library of  Greek Mythology.”

 

XX

 

Annabeth found Percy sprawled in front of the fireplace in the Common Room reading a book on potions. She knelt down next to him and ran her fingers through his messy black hair. Percy’s throat made a rumbling sound, and he flipped himself so his head was in her lap. “How was the library, Wise-Girl?”

 “No luck yet, but we will find something.” She leaned down to kiss him on the forehead, and whispered, “I think Hermione might be a little suspicious though. She was eavesdropping on our conversation.”

 Percy closed his eyes at the contact, and breathed her in. Without opening them, he whispered back, “She can be suspicious all she wants. It’s not going to keep us from protecting her, Ron, and Harry.”

 Annabeth smiled down at her boyfriend, “You’re right. I think we are too worried about this.” She repositioned herself to where her back was against the couch and she brought her knees up to her chest, leaving Percy to fall back into his original position.

 “Read to me, Seaweed Brain.” He shot her a wink that sent a  warm current throughout her body, and started reading his book out loud. As she listened to her boyfriend and watched the tendrils of fire dance along the logs, she was happy that she found Potions interesting. Although, she knew she would listen to Percy talk about just about anything.

 

XX

 

Percy’s eyes fluttered open as light flooded into the dormitory. The boys around him absentmindedly moved around the room, showering, changing, and preparing for the day ahead. He immediately noticed that Harry and Ron were absent from their beds. Percy jumped up, quickly showered and felt the familiar rush of adrenaline course through his body as the water woke him up.

 He came off the last step of the staircase to enter the Common Room to find only Annabeth waiting for him. Percy kissed her forehead and asked, “I thought we were all going to Defense Against the Dark Arts together?”

 Annabeth shrugged, “guess they had a change of plans. Hermione came in late last night and left early this morning.”

 

Percy gave her a mischievous smile, “Then I guess it's just you and me, Wise Girl.”

 She moved her books to one side and roped her free arm through Percy’s. “I guess so, Seaweed Brain.” As they made their way towards the third floor, they talked about home, and decided they should give their friends a call later in the day.

 “I miss my bro Jason!” Percy grumbled, finding an empty seat in the classroom behind Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They nodded their hello’s, and Ron said, “We got some breakfast early this morning. Glad you found the classroom okay.”

 Percy just waved him off, “No problem man, Annabeth never gets lost.”

 A high pitched, “Ah-hem” brought everyone’s attention to the front. Professor Umbridge was in her bright pink ensemble again today, and Percy had the urge to look anywhere else but directly at the woman.

 “Good Morning class!” She stood rooted in her spot, the black velvet bow on top of her head threatening to lean to the side.

 A few people mumbled “Good Morning,” in reply.

  “Tut, tut, “ said Professor Umbridge. “That won’t do, now, will it? I should like you, please, to reply ‘Good Morning, Professor Umbridge.’ One more time, please. Good Morning, class!”

  “Good Morning, Professor Umbridge,” they chanted back at her.

  “There, now,” said Professor Umbridge sweetly. “That wasn’t too difficult, was it? Wands away and quills out, please.”

 The Gryffindors looked at each other strangely at the request, but did as they were told. As the rustle of parchment sounded throughout the class, Professor Umbridge took out her own wand and tapped it against the board.

 As the words: ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts, A Return to Basic Principles’ appeared on the board, Hermione groaned in frustration.

 “I believe you have been very unfortunate in your learnings, children. A new teacher every year, each one providing you with curriculum that was not Ministry-approved. All of this has left you unprepared for your O.W.L’s this year.” She added a disappointed “tisk, tisk” sound, causing Percy’s hand to tighten into a fist.

“You will be pleased to know, however, that these problems are now to be rectified. We will be following a carefully structured, theory-centered, Ministry-approved course of defensive magic this year. Copy down the following, please.”

 With a flick of her wrist, a few lines that seemed exceptionally boring to Percy appeared on the blackboard. Professor Umbridge proved him right as she began a lecture on “Basics for Beginners.” he looked around and noticed the entire class’ attention was on anything and everything else. Ron was twirling his quill in between in fingers, Harry’s eyes were on the window, and Annabeth and Hermione both had their books closed, looking cross.

 Percy raised an eyebrow at Annabeth, and she narrowed her eyes in response. They had a mental conversation that Percy thought went like this:

 What’s going on?

  We aren’t learning anything useful?

  ...so what?

  Percy, they need to know how to defend themselves!

  Ah, now we are on the same page.

 More and more people caught on to Annabeth and Hermione’s silent protest, and Professor Umbridge seemed to be trying hard to ignore the two ladies in front of her.

 Hermione raised her hand, narrowing her eyes at the woman.

 Professor Umbridge let out an annoyingly high pitched sigh-however that was possible-and addressed Hermione. “Do you have a question about the material, Ms.-?”

 “Granger.” she replied, “And no, not about the reading. I’m just curious as to why there isn’t anything in here about using defensive spells.”

 A few members of the class frowned, and flipped through their books to confirm Hermione’s observation.

 Professor Umbridge let out an annoying giggle, “Using spells? Why would you need to use a defensive spell in the classroom, Miss Granger?”

 Annabeth scoffed, “How about for practice? If we are going to be taking these tests at the end of the year, we will need to know the spell.”

 “Students raise their hands when they wish to speak in my class, Ms. -?”

 “Chase,” Annabeth said, and quickly put her hand in the air. Professor Umbridge empty smile grew, and she turned her back on Annabeth.

 Percy grit his teeth, nobody turned their back on his girlfriend. “Isn’t this class called ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts?’ How are we supposed to learn how to defend ourselves if we don’t practice spells?”

 “Hand! Mr.-?”

 “Jackson. Answer the question.”

 Professor Umbridge narrowed her eyes at the boy in front of her, who was sending daggers in her direction. She tugged at the collar of her suit, ignoring the sweat that began to trail down the side of her face in response to his wolf-like stare.

 “I’m afraid you are not a Ministry-trained educational expert, Mr. Jackson. Wizards much older and cleverer than you have devised our new program of study. You will be learning about defensive spells in a secure, risk-free way-

 “How is that going to help anything?” Harry now spoke up. “If we’re going to be attacked it won’t be in a -

 “Students will raise their hand to speak in my class Mr. Potter!” Professor Umbridge’s voice rose a couple of octaves.

 Harry and a dozen other students threw their hands into the air. The woman simply turned her back on all of them again and began her rant. “As long as you have studied the theory hard enough, there is not reason why you should not be able to perform the spells under carefully controlled examination conditions.”

 She turned to face Harry, “and you will not need to use any defense spells in this classroom, because there is nothing trying to attack you.”

 “And what good’s theory going to be in the real world?” Harry spit out, his eyes holding Professor Umbridge’s.

 “What could you possibly think you would need to use these spells on out in the real world Mr. Potter?” His name practically seethed through her teeth, and Percy immediately recognized she was baiting him, goating out the answer she desired.

 “Hmm, let’s think…” said Harry in a mock thoughtful voice, “maybe Lord Voldemort?”

 Throughout the classroom, the students had the same reaction. It was obvious to Percy that these people did not have any experience hearing this baddie’s name spoken out loud. Gasps could be heard throughout, and Neville accidentally slid out of his chair.

 Professor Umbridge’s eyes grew cold, and she offered a dark smile. “Ten points from Gryffindor.”

 As the silence grew, Harry’s temper threatened to boil over, and Percy couldn’t blame him-this woman was dangerous, more dangerous than anyone in the classroom realized.

 Professor Umbridge drew up slowly, “You have been told that a certain Dark Wizard has returned from the dead...this is a lie.”

 “It NOT a LIE!” Harry roared.

 Percy had had enough. He stood up abruptly, drawing all eyes on him. Annabeth’s eyes willed him to sit back down, but he wasn’t about to subject Harry to this anymore. “So, you’re telling me, that you honestly believe that you are safe out there? That if we spent the entire year learning the ‘theory’ of defensive spells, instead of practicing them like we are supposed to, that we can protect ourselves out in the real world?”

 He held up a hand to Professor Umbridge when she tried to butt in, “I’m not finished. You might not believe that Voldemort is back, which I suspect that you really do, but you know what else is out there. We still need to be able to protect ourselves from things like Dementors, Werewolves, Trolls, Lethifolds, Manticores, Chimaera’s...Dark Wizards...Death Eaters...you are leaving these students defenseless to what is to come, and I will hold you personally responsible if anything happens to them.”

 Everyone held their breath as the entire classroom flipped their eyes between Percy and Professor Umbridge. His frustration and power was almost tangible as it flowed off of him. Professor Umbridge seemed to snap herself out of whatever was holding her silent and still as Percy laid into her.

 When she spoke, her voice was shaky and had lost its edge. “I-I don’t know who you t-t-think you are, Mr. Jackson, but I am the authority here. Detention. You too Mr. Potter.” She regained her confidence and was pleased with her decision. “Come to my office at five o’clock for your punishment.”

 Her eyes lingered on Percy and Harry, laced with hate, for another few seconds before she turned to the rest of the class. “Dismissed.”

 Nobody needed to be told twice, every student rushed out of there as fast as they could. Hermione was waiting outside for the two boys with her arms crossed and her foot tapping furiously. Percy almost laughed, but then saw the look on Annabeth’s face behind her and thought better of it.

 “Follow me.” Hermione huffed. Their small group followed her through two corridors and around a few corners. When she was satisfied that they were alone, she turned on her heel. “What were you two thinking!”

 Harry looked taken aback, “She called me a liar Hermione! I was just telling the truth!”

 “Do you really think this is about truth or lies, Harry? I know you didn’t listen to Umbridge’s speech at the feast, but did you listen to me?”

 Percy thought back, “You said the Ministry was interfering at Hogwarts.”

 She nodded, “You both have to be careful around that woman. She will be reporting everything back to the Minister, and she could even come down on Dumbledore for this!”

 Harry paled. “But Dumbledore didn’t do anything! He won’t even speak to me!”

 Annabeth placed a comforting hand on Harry’s arm. “Harry, they probably think that Dumbledore is the one telling you to say these things, to stir up trouble. People are like that-blind, careless, and suspicious. We know the truth, and for now, that might need to be enough.”

 Ron was shaking his head. “We still have a problem, guys. If we won’t be learning anything in class, how are we going to protect ourselves? We know...You-Know-Who..is out there, so we need to learn defensive spells.”

 Percy crossed his arms, twirling his wand between his fingers. “We aren’t going to let anything happen to you. I promise.”

 Annabeth smiled at him, this was her Seaweed Brain. “Of course we won’t, but Percy, they still need to know these things.”

 “I appreciate that you are protective over us, Percy, but it won’t just be us who needs to learn these defensive spells, it’s our whole class. Including you guys.” Hermione gave him a look.

 “Listen, let me think about this. Maybe we can come up with a solution. In the meantime, we have Charms.” Hermione walked away with a hand on her head, muttering softly to herself.

 Percy turned to Harry as Annabeth and Ron began following Hermione. “Listen, man, we both know Umbridge is dangerous, and she is going to be gunning for us now. In class, let’s try to keep a low profile, and not rise to her bait, okay?”

 Harry sighed, and shook Percy’s outstretched hand. “Deal.”

 

XX

 

Hermione was fuming as they entered Professor Flitwick’s classroom and filed into the first row seats on his right. The Head of the Ravenclaw House stood on top of an old wooden table with heavy books stacked high, so that he was above his students’ eye level. He twirled his mustache as he explained the importance of the O.W.L.s. they would be taking at the end of the year.

 “Please remember that these tests will be influential in your years to come. Your futures will be at stake here, students! Take the time to think seriously about what careers you might be interested in. Now, let’s begin the semester with a review of the Summoning Charm. Books out!”

 Hermione took a few deep breaths and tried to put Harry and Percy’s argument with that awful woman out of her mind to focus on the lecture.

 She was unsuccessful, of course. As Professor Flitwick discussed the etymology and correct pronunciation of the charm, she thought back to the effect Percy had on Umbridge. How was he able to shut her up? And why did he feel so protective of people he met only such a short time ago?

Hermione felt the pit in her stomach grow larger as she thought about Harry. He had been through so much, and he had begun to lose his temper now more than ever. Percy seemed to be able to placate him, but she was worried that something might push him over the edge. With all of these people doubting his story, and Dumbledore keeping him at arm’s reach, she was worried about him.

 “Ms. Chase, can you please give the class a description of the Summoning charm please?”

 Hermione was shaken from her thoughts, and turned her attention to the girl next to her. “The Summoning Charm, Accio, is a spell that causes a target at a distance to levitate or fly over to the caster. This spell needs serious thought behind it. Before trying to summon the object, it must be clear in the caster’s mind.”

 “Excellent Ms. Chase, would you please come up to the front to give a demonstration?” Professor Flitwick looked delighted when she stood up in her seat.

 Hermione was interested to see how Annabeth performed the spell, knowing she had never practiced it before. She seemed so confident in herself, something Hermione envied.

 Annabeth stood in front of Professor Flitwick, waiting for further instructions. “My dear, do you see that apple on my desk near the end of the classroom? Please use the Summoning Charm to retrieve it.”

 She gave him a confident smile, and faced her challenge head on. She held an almost hungry look, Hermione thought, as she put her wand in motion and called out “Accio!”

 Hermione’s eyes widened as the apple moved without hesitation towards Annabeth’s outstretched hand. “Wonderful, simply wonderful Ms. Chase! Ten points to Gryffindor.”

 Annabeth came back to her seat with a proud smile, and took a bite of her apple. Hermione leaned over and whispered, “You must be stronger than I thought, Accio is a tough spell to master, especially on your first try.”

 She shrugged, “I guess it’s beginner’s luck.” and turned back to listen to the rest of the lesson.

 Hermione leaned back in her chair, making a mental note to not underestimate her new friends’ abilities.

 

XX

 

After breakfast, Will had taken advantage of his free period to continue searching for any books that might mention the “di Angelo” name, but unfortunately came up empty. He began feeling a little restless and decided to head to History of Magic a little early.

 He was excited about having a class with Nico, but was a little nervous about how the dynamic would be with his new friends. Thankfully Hannah and Ernie would be meeting him here as well, they seemed to make great peacemakers.

 As he paced the first floor corridor that led to the classroom, he caught a glimpse of his professor and froze. Professor Binns was a ghost, looking shrivelled and ancient with thick horn rimmed glasses. Will’s mind fluttered with all of the ways this teacher could expose Nico to the rest of the students.

 When the class he was waiting for finally ended, Will watched the tired looking students file out and found a seat in the back of the room. He began drumming his fingers against the desk waiting for Nico.

 Slowly but surely, students began filling up the classroom around him. A group of Hufflepuff third years walked in and caught sight of Will, giggling wildly to themselves. They moved to take the various seats open next to him, but thankfully Hannah saved the day. She swooped into the chair in front of Will, and without saying a word pointed to the three open desks on the opposite side of the classroom. The girls pouted, shooting daggers towards Hannah.

 Will chuckled, “Thanks Han. I don’t think I could’ve dealt with that all morning long.”

 “Not a problem Will, the effect you have on these girls is hilarious. If only they knew you-” Hannah was cut off as Nico entered the room, followed by Malfoy’s gang.

 Nico looked thoroughly relieved the see Will, and quickly took the desk next to him. Draco, Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle pushed a few students out of their seats so they could sit next to him. Ernie came in behind them and found his seat next to Hannah, biting his tongue at sitting so close to the Slytherins.

 Nico scooted his desk closer to Will’s so that he could lean in and whisper, “Percy and Harry got detention in Defense Against the Dark Arts.”

 Will shook his head. “Already? It’s the second day. What happened?”

 “I guess they got into an argument with Umbridge. People haven’t shut up about it.”

 He sighed, “It sounds like Percy. At least they are in it together.”

 Nico nodded in response, and glanced between Will and Draco with an uncomfortable look on his face.

 Will tried giving him an encouraging smile and spoke up, “Do you want to introduce me to  your friends?”

 Nico paled, and gave Will a hard look. Draco moved from his desk to stand next to Nico, “So you are the last American I have yet to meet. I’m Draco.” He nodded to the group of boys behind him, “That’s Crabbe, Goyle, and Blaise. We’ve been keeping di Angelo company.” He added with a sneer.

 Will did his best to put on a welcoming smile. “Nice to meet you. Nico, this is Hannah and Ernie. They are the Hufflepuff Prefects.”

 Nico waved to them awkwardly, but they only looked at him for half a second before meeting Draco’s eyes. “Abbott, Macmillan.” He nodded.

 “Malfoy,” they spoke in unison. After a few seconds of silence, Will whistled to try and break the tension, and Draco returned to his seat.

 “Nico,” Will caught his boyfriend’s attention, “did you notice who our teacher is?”

 Nico’s eyes widened as he stared at the ghost at the front of the classroom. His eyes met Will’s in a moment of panic, and Will’s heart dropped. “Let’s see how this plays out, okay?”

 They nodded towards each other, and Nico slipped further into his chair, earning a curious glance from Draco.

 Professor Binns began his lecture with a discussion on the upcoming O.W.L.s. without looking out towards the class. His voice had a droning vacuum tone to it, and Will could see the eyes of the students around him drooping within the first thirty seconds.

 He had a feeling he would be feeling the same way if he wasn’t scared out of his mind that Professor Binns would say something about Nico.

 “We will spend our year discussing the history of the Giant Wars that plagued the Wizarding World at the end of the nineteenth century. Now-” when he finally drew his eyes out over the sea of students, Binns froze when he caught sight of Nico.

 He fussed with his transparent tie, and went back to the lesson. “N-n-now if everyone could...please...open their books to page two hundred and thirty four.”

 Will and Nico looked at each other with obvious relief that he didn’t say anything further. Will tried his best to follow along with the reading, but found himself under the same spell as the rest of the class.

 “Class dismissed...except for you, Mr. di Angelo, please.” Professor Binns called out after about an hour and a half.

 Draco stood up from his desk and stretched. “What’s up with that? I saw the look he gave you earlier.”

 Nico shrugged, “My dad, I guess.”

 Draco gave him an impressed once over, “I really gotta meet this father of yours, di Angelo. I think he might get along with mine.”

 “He’s pretty private…” Nico glanced quickly at Will, “I can guarantee neither you nor your father would not want to meet mine.”

 Will stepped in, “I can second that. He’s a little...underwordly. Best to stay away as long as you can.” He laughed inwardly at his little joke.

 Draco narrowed his eyes at the two. “Consider me warned.” He shrugged his bag over his shoulder and motioned for his friends to follow, leaving the two demigods alone.

 Nico punched Will in the arm. “Underwordly? Really?”

 Will chucked, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

 “You were right, of course.” Nico and Will jumped at the voice. Professor Binns had appeared behind them, nervously pulling at his tie again.

 “As much as Lucius Malfoy deserves to visit the Fields of Punishment, I would not wish it upon my worst enemy.” He said with a far off look. “I was given a chance to continue my work here at Hogwarts, with help from the goddess, Hecate, but during my short stay in your father’s kingdom, I heard the screams of those souls…” He trailed off with a shiver.

 “Trust me, I get it.” Nico responded, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “Listen, Professor Binns, we are here...incognito, if you know what I mean.”

 Will rolled his eyes. “What Nico means to say is that nobody except Professors Dumbledore and Mcgonagall knows who we really are, so can you please keep this information a secret?”

 Professor Binns nodded his head, “I will not expose the offspring of the Lord of the Underworld...but..who are you?”

 Nico stifled a laugh. “This is Will, Son of Apollo.” Professor Binns’ eyebrows disappeared under his hair. “A child of the Sun, friends with a child of the Underworld?”

 “Sure, friends, whatever makes you comfortable.” Will dismissed with an eye roll.

 They almost lost it when the friendly ghost fumbled out apologies as he fidgeted with everything he could get his transparent hands on. “I-I-of-course! S-so sor-r-ry!”

 Nico composed himself as much as he could. “It’s fine. But, like I said, please keep this information to yourself. Nobody needs to know we are demigods.”

 They took their leave as Professor Binns sputtered out as many confirmations and apologies as he could. Once outside the classroom, Nico laid back against the stone wall. “That, was close.”

 Will followed suit. “You can say that again. But we have a bigger problem…” Nico stood straight up, “What do you mean?”

 The son of Apollo gave out a dramatic sigh, “We have SO MUCH homework to do!”

 Nico gave a small smile and rolled his eyes, pushing off from the wall and headed towards the Great Hall for lunch.

 Will couldn’t help the flutter in his chest at the knowledge that Nico’s smiles were ninety-percent reserved for him, and him alone.

 

XX

 

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

 

Chapter 11

 

Percy groaned dramatically, and let his head beat against the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. “I don’t remember ever being given this much homework before…”

 Annabeth rubbed her temples. “Percy, if I hear you complain about the amount of homework we have one more time, I’ll gut you.”

 “Like a fish?” He asked with crossed eyes and puckered cheeks. She held his goofy gaze for a split second before bursting out laughing. “Let’s go Seaweed Brain, we only have one more class left today.”

 Hermione gathered the pieces of parchment and multiple books she had scattered about, and ushered Harry and Ron from their sleeping positions. The group of Gryffindors made their way down towards the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

 The air had grown chilly, causing everyone except the two demigods to pull their robes closer to their bodies. Percy barely felt the effects of weather anymore, he chalked it up to his days traveling for all of the quests he was a part of. It wasn’t a long walk, and before he knew it, they were gathered around an elderly witch with hard eyes and a pointed chin. Professor Grubbly Plank stood a few yards out from Hagrid’s hut, waiting for the last few stragglers to join them.

 Percy looked around the crowd, and saw Nico and Will standing together in front of a group of Slytherins who were huddled together, sneaking glances at Harry and then snicking. He tried to ignore them, but Percy could tell Harry was getting a little self conscious.

 “Good Afternoon Class, quite a large one we’ve got today, don’t you say?” Professor Grubbly Plank examined her students, and her eyes narrowed at the group of Slytherins. She gestured to a heap of twigs in front of her, “Can anyone tell me what these creatures are?”

 Percy took a closer look. There were about ten small stick-like figures with long, sharp fingers eating microscopic eggs. Hermione and Annabeth both raised their hands, something Percy didn’t find surprising.

 “Yes, Miss Granger?”

 Hermione recited the textbook that she undoubtedly had memorized. “Those are Bowtruckles. They serve as tree guardians for their homes, which are normally in trees whose wood is of wand quality. Their fingers are adapted for digging out wood lice, but they can also be used as a weapon for anything threatening their home.”

 Professor Grubbly-Plank looked pleased. “Well done. Ten points to Gryffindor. Everyone, i would like for you to split up into groups, each one taking one Bowtruckle. Please complete a full diagram of our little friends here.”

 Hermione beamed, and made her way to the separate tables to save their friends a spot. Percy crouched down next to the group of Bowtruckles, eyeing which one he wanted to study. One small creature stood apart from the rest, not bothering to share his food with the others. Percy chuckled, and picked that one up and set it down on the table closest to Professor Grubbly-Plank.

 Malfoy shoved a few students out of the way so that him and his gang were standing right next to Harry. Nico and Will grimaced and maneuvered their way next to Percy and Annabeth. “I don’t think these things like me…” Nico muttered, snatching his hand away before the Bowtruckle could slash at him again.

 “Awh, come on. They aren’t so bad.” Percy said, offering his creature another woodlice pod. It chittered its thanks, and began powering through its meal.

 “Do you know where Hagrid is?” He overheard Harry asking their teacher. Malfoy began laughing loudly with Crabbe and Goyle, snickering in Harry’s direction. Percy hadn’t really noticed, but apparently the friendly half-giant that had shown them to the castle their first night had gone missing.

 Malfoy put his elbow on the table in front of him. “That oaf is probably messing with things that are too big for him.” He shot Harry a mocking smile that said ‘I know exactly what happened to your dear friend, and I’m not going to tell you.’ Percy hated that look.

 Harry froze, and Percy could see the wheels in his head mulling over the different possible meanings of Malfoy’s comment. He narrowed his eyes, and turned away from the nasty group, grabbing a quill to complete the lesson.

 Malfoy and his friends erupted in laughter, and Will crossed his arms in frustration, staring daggers. “Alright, that’s enough.”

 Of course, they glanced at Will, then at each other, before doubling over. “Look Sunshine, just mind your own business, and everything will be fine.” Malfoy waved Will off and turned around towards his friends, clearly not seeing him as a threat.

 Before Nico could stand up for his boyfriend, Percy took his place next to Will. “You might want to think twice before turning your back on us.” His voice came out low, almost threatening.

 Malfoy let out a fake sigh. “Listen, Jackson. I really don’t have anything against you, so let’s try not to start something you can’t finish, okay?” Percy almost laughed, but held his composure. He could break this undersized, skinny, blonde pansy over one knee. Percy started to counter, but Malfoy let out a piercing scream, stumbling away from the table.

 “What the…” Ron asked, appearing next to the demigods.

 “A-a-a hand! A skeleton hand! It grabbed my ankle!” He spit out, holding back terrified tears.

 This time Percy couldn’t hold back his laugh. He saw Nico’s half-smirk, and beat his hand against the table.

 His two goons were standing beside their leader in utter confusion. They looked at each other with furrowed brows.

 “It’s true! It reached out from the ground and grabbed me!” Malfoy yelled, his voice breaking the more distressed he became.

 Professor Grubbly-Plank grit her teeth. “Enough of this nonsense! Five points from Slytherin. Draco, I suggest you pull yourself together and complete this lesson, or you will start off the year with a failing grade.”

 Malfoy paled, and slunk away slowly, his eyes fixed on the ground looking for any evidence of the attack. He snapped his head towards Nico, willing him to follow his so-called ‘friends.’ Nico winked at Percy and Will, and proudly walked away.

 Harry jutted his chin towards the retreating Slytherins, “What was that about?”

 Percy shook his head, still chuckling. “Nothing, but just remember that Nico is on our side.”

 They completed their diagram of the Bowtruckle, who had clung to Percy as the class went on. It decidedly wrapped itself around his wrist, and had chosen not to let go.

 “It’s so cute!” Annabeth gushed, tickling the creature’s chin with her pinky finger.

 Percy beamed, “Right? I think it likes me.” He turned towards their teacher. “Can I keep him?”

 Professor Grubbly Plank shook her head, “Sorry, dear. These little guys are not meant to be used as pets.”

 Ron sighed in relief. He was looking a little green and stood at least ten feet away from Percy while the Bowtruckle was attached to him.

 Percy reluctantly returned his new friend, and they all turned in their completed work. Will waved goodbye, and took off towards the training grounds to talk with Madam Hooch about receiving extra flying lessons. The Gryffindors decided to return to their Common Room to start on the mountain of homework waiting for them before detention.

 

XX

 

Two hours later, Percy and Harry stood outside of Professor Umbridge’s office on the third floor. Percy rubbed the exhaustion from his eyes and knocked on the door. They had only been able to complete their Potions homework during their free time, and he was not looking forward to starting on everything else after this.

 The door opened on its own, and they found Professor Umbridge sitting at her desk, a nasty vision in pink. Percy looked on in horror as every inch of the walls were covered in pictures of cats-moving pictures of cats. The furniture had been draped with lacy covers, and her desk was decorated with frilly ornamental pieces. Percy shuddered.

 “Good Evening, boys.” her cool voice said, bringing back his attention.

 Harry nodded, “Evening.” She indicated for them both to take a seat at the small desks in front of her. They glanced at each other nervously before sitting down.

 “You both understand why you are here tonight, correct?” She asked, tilting her head in mock authority.

 Neither of them responded, which she took as her cue to fill them in. “You are here tonight because you both have decided to spread horrible, nasty, lies to your fellow classmates. I think you both have trouble controlling your temper, and that that little characteristic needs to be straightened out.”

 Percy let the insult roll off of him, but he saw Harry’s first curl. He smirked when all Harry did was drop his bag down on the floor.

 Professor Umbridge seemed a little disappointed. “You will both be doing a few lines for me. Please use the quills in front of you to write ‘I must not tell lies’ as many times as it takes for the message to sink in.”

 There was a glint in her eye that made Percy’s toes curl. He had seen that look on hundreds of monsters before.

 She turned her back on them and returned to sitting her large butt down in her fluffy desk chair. “You haven’t given us any ink.” Harry said evenly.

 “Oh, these are special quills. You won’t be needing any.” She smiled dangerously at the two boys, and waved for them to begin.

 Percy and Harry exchanged another look, then began their assigned punishment. After thirty seconds or so, Percy’s hand prickled. He was uncomfortable, but continued his lines.

 Harry didn’t handle the pain quite as well as Percy did. He let out a sharp gasp and gripped his hand. Percy’s eyes widened when he saw the words ‘I must not tell lies’ cut deep into his skin. They healed in a few seconds, but the soft redness remained.

 Percy narrowed his eyes at the woman in front of him. “Yes?” she asked sweetly.

 “Nothing,” Harry said immediately, giving Percy a shake of his head, an indication that he didn’t want to cause a scene. Percy returned to his quill, shaking in anger every time he heard Harry grit his teeth in searing pain.

 An hour of her attempted torture passed, and Professor Umbridge eyed the boys happily, drinking hot tea from a frail china-cup. Percy narrowed his eyes. He felt a small pull in his core, and watched with pleasure as the smoking liquid poured down her chin the next time she went to take a sip. She broke her calm composure and stood up furiously patting down her face with a pink towel.

 Professor Umbridge saw Percy smirk. “Out!” She let out in a shrill. “And you both have earned yourselves another detention tomorrow!”

 Harry paled, “How! We didn’t do anything!”

 If looks could kill, Harry would be dead on the spot. “Detention! I want to make sure the message leaves a lasting impression!”

 Percy grabbed Harry’s arm and pulled him out of the office. He didn’t let the boy get two feet ahead before gripping his forearm and looking at the new light scar. “I can’t believe she did that.” Percy said incredulously.

 Harry snatched his hand away. “You can’t tell anyone.”

 “What? Why not?” he asked.

 Harry rubbed his temples, “If we tell someone, then she wins. We can’t give her that satisfaction.”

 Percy looked at his own hand and sighed. “Fine. Are you okay?”

 “I’m fine. You sure seem to be handling it okay.” He eyed the demigod suspiciously. “Did you make her spill that tea on herself back there?”

 Percy shrugged. “When you’ve had as many near-death experiences as I have, you have a higher pain threshold. And so what if I did?”

 Harry wasn’t sure how to respond to that. “I-nevermind. Channeling magic without your wand-or a spell for that matter, is difficult. Especially when you are actually trying to make something happen.”

 “What do you mean, ‘trying to make something happen’?”

 A dark smile stretch across Harry’s face. “One time I blew up my aunt on accident. She was saying some really horrible things about my mum, and I just got angry. She started getting all puffy, and before I knew it, she was drifting off into the sunset like a balloon.”

 Percy laughed, “That’s awesome, bro.” He stopped and looked at Harry seriously, “Hey, are you okay, really?”

 Harry looked down at his shoes. “I’ll be fine. It hurts, but I couldn’t stand it if she knew she was getting to me.”

 Percy nodded in silent acceptance. The two boys returned to the Common Room where they found their friends working on homework by the fireplace. Harry looked at Percy in distress, and then hurried on up to the dormitory for bed.

 “Was detention that bad?” Ron asked, looking after his best friend. Percy made sure his robes covered the fresh scars on his hands.

 “She made us do lines. Plus-she gave us detention again tomorrow.”

 Annabeth narrowed her eyes at him. “What did you do?”

 Percy looked offended. “And what makes you think I did anything?

 “Because I know you, Seaweed Brain.”

 He couldn’t help but laugh. He sat down next to his friends and pulled out some parchment to begin his charms essay. “So what if I doused her with scalding hot tea? That monster deserved it.”

 Hermione looked horrified. “Percy, you didn’t!”

 He waved her off, “Don’t worry, Hermione. She didn’t know it was me.”

 Ron patted Hermione on the back, and winked at Percy. “Brilliant. Just brilliant.”

 

XX

 

“Goyle, shut your fat mouth. I’m not crazy, something really grabbed me yesterday!” Malfoy growled at his minion, throwing a dirty sock at his head.

 Nico tried not looking up from his work, but the boys were getting to be distracting. All he was trying to do was complete some homework before Potions class, but noooo. Draco was in one of his ‘I need attention’ moods.

 The young wizard took a seat across from Nico. “What was with your friends getting on my case yesterday, di Angelo?”

 “Percy warned you. Stop messing with Harry, and there won’t be any trouble.” He responded without even looking up from the textbook.

 Draco scoffed. “Ha! There won’t be any trouble...who does he think he is? I bet he wouldn’t last five seconds in a fight against me. My father’s a Death-Eater, you know?”

 That was news to Nico, he decided to file this new information away for now. “I wouldn’t go around underestimating Percy Jackson if I were you. Will Solace either.”

 “Will Solace.” Draco repeated. “That ball of sunshine needs to mind his own business.”

 Nico slammed his book shut, and gathered up his papers. He wasn’t about to listen to these losers talk about Will.

 When he was about five feet from the door, Draco called out to him. “Hit a nerve, did I?”

 The Son of Hades ignored him with a furrowed brow, and headed off to class alone.

 Nico was relieved when he walked into Potions to find Percy and Annabeth had saved him a seat. They smiled warmly at him, and Nico instantly felt better. These were his friends. Not some future Death Eater who was only nice to him because of his father.

 He noticed Percy sneaking glances at Harry, as if checking to see if he was okay. Harry never looked back at the Son of Poseidon, but he stiffened everytime Percy tugged at the sleeves of his own robes.

 Professor Snape spent the class lecturing about the Draught of Peace. He kept a keen eye on Percy, who soaked up the information in zest. After the two hour lecture was over, Nico waited for Malfoy and his gang to leave the room before packing up his own things.

 “Trouble in paradise?” Percy asked. They were the only students left in the room, Annabeth had gone ahead to Herbology with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

 Nico grimaced. “They are getting on my nerves, and it’s only the third day. Draco wasn’t too fond of yours and Will’s little hero act yesterday.” The two demigods made their way outside towards the greenhouses.

 Percy grinned, “Ruffling people’s feathers is my favorite pastime.” He ran his fingers through his hair and Nico stopped, almost causing some poor second-year to run into them. He pulled Percy off the beaten path, and crossed his arms.

 “What’s on your hand?”

 Percy cursed underneath his breath and rubbed his hand absentmindedly. “Nothing, everything’s fine.” He began turning towards their next class, but Nico stopped him with one look.

“Percy. Hand.”

 He rolled his eyes. “I’m fine, Nico. Umbridge just has an interesting way of doing detention.”

 Nico grit his teeth. “She did this to you?”

 “Yeah, but you can’t tell anyone. I think Harry is really freaked out, and he won’t trust me anymore if I let any of the teachers find out about this.”

 Nico didn’t have any intention of reporting Professor Umbridge to the school. “That’s torture, Percy. She’s not going to get away with this”

 Percy eyed his friend suspiciously, but let the subject drop. They went through Herbology class easily enough, Nico finishing all of his homework before the bell began ringing in the distance.

 He said goodbye to his friends, and decided to spend his lunch mulling over all of the possibilities he could think of for revenge against Professor Umbridge. The entire reason they were at this school was to protect Harry, right? They had physical proof that she was a threat, and that was reason enough for Nico to act.

 During Charms, Draco had seemingly moved on from his teasing earlier in the morning. He sat next to Nico and joked about how short Professor Flitwick was. The Son of Hades decidedly ignored the boy, and tried to complete his classwork without causing any trouble.

 On the way to Defense Against the Dark Arts, Nico fell towards the back of the pack. Malfoy’s gang shoved smaller students out of their way, and filled up the first two rows of the class. Nico’s decided target was sitting happily at her desk, eyeing every student who filed into the room.

 As she began speaking, he listened closely, carefully noting the number of breaths she took per minute, how many times she walked around the room, and which students her eyes lingered on. He filed away every item that could be of use to him later, including the giant skeleton of some magical beast that hung above the students’ heads.

 A plan began formulating in Nico’s brain, and a smile tugged at the corner of his lips. It would take a while, but Nico was patient. Professor Umbridge was a spy sent here from the Ministry of Magic, who held the power to torture students without being punished. He wasn’t about to let that slide.

 If she wanted torture, that’s exactly what she would get.

 

XX

 

On Thursday afternoon Will stood at attention the middle of the quidditch pitch beside two sixth-years, Zacharias Smith and Malcom Preece. The Hufflepuff team captain, Herbert Fleet, looked on at the group of students in narrowed respect.

 “I first want to thank all of you for participating in this year’s tryouts. I want to thank the returning members of the team for electing me as Captain. Last year…” Herbert wiped a single tear that fell down the side of his face. “Last year we lost a good team member, a great captain, and an even better friend.”

 The Son of Apollo shifted his feet nervously. He was the only one trying out that hadn’t known Cedric Diggory personally. Apparently, he was a really well-liked guy.

 Herbert coughed, regaining the confidence in his voice. “This year we are going to be underestimated, the other houses will think we have lost our edge. Let’s show them that they are wrong. I want everyone who’s trying out for Chaser on your broom and up in the middle of the field. Beaters, grab your clubs. Keepers, to the rings. And Seekers...” the only two students trying out for the position looked on anxiously. “...good luck.” He carefully took out a shiny golden ball out of his pocket and watched as the delicate wings unfolded. Herbert released the snitch, and blew his whistle.

 Everyone moved immediately, and Will gripped his new Firebolt. During their first week of class, he had really hit it off with Madam Hooch. She had given him extra flying lessons, and had put in a good word for him to Herbert. Since Will couldn’t leave the school grounds, she had offered to go buy Will a broom of his own if he provided her with the money for it. Thankfully, Hecate hadn’t been exaggerating when she described the endless bag of galleons, knuts, and sickles.

 He pushed off from the ground, and felt the Firebolt respond happily. He flew around the center of the pitch with the other potential Chasers, and let himself get used to the chilly weather that had rolled in.

 Will ran through all of the strategies he had memorized in the book Harry had let him borrow, So, You Think You Know Quidditch? Herbert blew his whistle and called out a few simple drills for warm up. Will kept his mind sharp as he passed around the quaffle, thankful that he had also bought some gloves.

 After about ten minutes, Herbert split them up into two teams. They treated it like a real match, so the threat of competition hung in the air. Before the quaffle was released in the center of the pitch, Will checked the stands. Warmth spread across his chest as he saw his friends sitting with Ernie and Hannah, cheering him on. He couldn’t see perfectly, but he could have sworn Nico shot him a wink.

 The whistle blew, and Will sprung into action. He was the first one to the quaffle, and he gripped it tight as he wove in and out quickly between the pockets of free space along the pitch. One of the opposing Beaters knocked a bludger towards him, but Maxine O’Flaherty saved him just in time. He sped around the Keeper, and easily threw his first goal. Cheers erupted, and Will beamed. Yeah, he thought, I think I’m going to like this.

 

XX

 

Annabeth was furious as she made her way to the Astronomy tower with her friends. “I can’t believe she’s doing this to you both, and I can’t believe you won’t do something about it!”

 Outside, a clear night had fallen over Hogwarts. At the celebratory dinner for Will making the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, Harry had scratched his nose with his scarred hand. Ron noticed it immediately, and drew everyone’s attention to him and Percy. Her dumb Seaweed Brain had tried to play it off, but she could tell he was fuming. That witch had marked her boyfriend. Nico had assured everyone that Umbridge would be taken care of in time, but that didn’t make Annabeth any less angry.

 “I can’t give her the satisfaction, Annabeth. Please understand. This whole thing seems so personal, like she’s daring me to go running to Dumbledore.” Harry pleaded.

 Annabeth’s eyes softened. She understood Harry’s reasons for keeping the whole mess a secret. If a teacher found out, it would hurt his pride, like he couldn’t handle a little pain. It was ridiculous, of course, but she knew better than anyone that he needed to survive this on his own. Percy wouldn’t hear of it, and basically declared that if Harry ever got sent back to detention with that woman that he would be right by his side.

 “Fine.” she finally answered. They climbed the steep steps to the Astronomy classroom in silence, and took their seats around a tall, skinny witch with kind eyes. The room itself had only two solid walls. The others were covered in glass windows, with retractable top halves for easy telescope access.

 “Good Evening, students. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Professor Sinistra.” Her voice rang loud and clear, and Annabeth found herself leaning in to it. Professor Sinistra indicated towards a giant man, about six-foot-four or so, with a long grey beard braided with white. “And this, is Dr. C. he will be here to assist if you so need.”

 Alarm bells began ringing in Annabeth’s head. She was pretty sure Will had mentioned someone that fit this man’s description, but she couldn’t be sure Dr. C was who he meant. As if he could hear her thoughts, the man’s kaleidoscope eyes fixed on her own. Time seemed to slow down, but as quickly as she had noticed it, everything was back to normal. She shook her head in confusion, and tried to focus on what was being said.

 “This year we will be reviewing Jupiter’s many moons, along with something else very exciting! Dr. C, would you care to elaborate?” Professor Sinistra held a wide smile as she looked upon the tall man.

 Dr. C stood up with great elegance. His gaze never left Percy and Annabeth’s as he addressed the class. “I discovered this magnificent constellation around three years ago. As I was the first among my colleagues to see her, I was given the rights to the name. I also decided to give this constellation a story worthy of its place in the sky.”

 Hermione raised her hand, and Dr. C nodded his head towards her, still not breaking eye-contact with the demigods.

 “I haven’t heard of a new constellation being discovered. What is it’s name?”

 He smiled warmly, as if re-living a happy memory. “Her, my dear. What is her name.”

 “Of course, I’m sorry. What is her name, Dr. C?” Hermione asked again, blushing slightly.

 “The Huntress.”

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians 

Chapter 12

 

“This year we will be reviewing Jupiter’s many moons, along with something else very exciting! Dr. C, would you care to elaborate?” Professor Sinistra held a wide smile as she looked upon the tall man.

Dr. C stood up with great elegance. His gaze never left Percy and Annabeth’s as he addressed the class. “I discovered this magnificent constellation around three years ago. As I was the first among my colleagues to see her, I was given the rights to the name. I also decided to give this constellation a story worthy of its place in the sky.”

Hermione raised her hand, and Dr. C nodded his head towards her, still not breaking eye-contact with the demigods.

“I haven’t heard of a new constellation being discovered. What is it’s name?”

He smiled warmly, as if re-living a happy memory. “Her, my dear. What is her name.”

“Of course, I’m sorry. What is her name, Dr. C?” Hermione asked again, blushing slightly.

“The Huntress.”

 

XX

 

Annabeth inhaled tightly while Percy choked on the water he was drinking. “Ah, Mr. Jackson. Once you are able to breathe again, can you please tell the class The Huntress’ name? I believe you are quite familiar with her story, are you not?”

Hermione raised an eyebrow, Percy didn’t seem like the kind of guy who knew too much about recent developments in Astronomy. Annabeth maybe, but Percy? Now way.

“Zoe.” He whispered, the moisture in his eyes prominent from the light of the moon. “Zoe Nightshade. She was the daughter of the titan Atlas, who was the General of Kronos’ army.” 

Okay, so I was wrong, Hermione thought. Not only does Percy know what he’s talking about, but he’s oddly emotional about it.

Dr. C’s eerie smile grew across his bearded face. “Well done, Mr. Jackson. It seems we have a mythology expert in our midst.” Hermione was confused when Percy grit his teeth at the wink their new teacher shot him.

When he mentioned mythology, Hermione leaned in on red alert. This was the topic she had found strangely interesting ever since she met her new friends from America. “Can anyone else tell the class about our dear Zoe?” He asked, his strange eyes scanning the small group of students.

“She...she was the lieutenant for the Hunters of Artemis.” Annabeth said quietly, earning a proud look from Dr. C.

“Artemis? Isn’t she that moon goddess from greek mythology?” Parvati Patil asked.

Dr. C looked slightly frustrated. “Yes, Miss Patil, she is that ‘moon goddess from Greek mythology. Lady Artemis is also the goddess of the Hunt, Childbirth, Chastity, and the Wilderness, and is among one of the most respected of all the greek deities.”

“I would love to hear from our two experts on the subject.” He turned his attention back to Annabeth and Percy. 

Annabeth furrowed her brow in suspicion, but continued. “The Hunters of Artemis are young women who swore their loyalty to the goddess, and decided to reject the company of men for as long as they live. They become immortal, as long as they don’t break their vows or fall in battle.”

“Quite a tempting offer, wouldn’t you say?” He asked knowingly.

Annabeth’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Maybe at one time.” She looked over at Percy, “but not anymore.”

Hermione’s face heat up. She had no desire to dive into her two friends’ relationship. “So, this Huntress is Zoe Nightshade? Can you tell us her story?”

Dr. C got back on track. “Of course, thank you Miss Granger. I’m an old man who’s seen too much and has too many stories in my head. But this one...this is one of my favorites.” He strode over to his chair against the window. Hermione pulled out her notebook and a quill, and everyone else except Percy and Annabeth followed suit.

“As Mr. Jackson pointed out, Zoe Nightshade was the daughter of Atlas. Many lifetimes ago, she and her sisters lived in the Garden of the Hesperides, protecting and caring for Hera’s tree of golden apples.” 

Hermione heard Annabeth scoff in annoyance and wondered what that was about. Dr. C gave her an amused look and continued, “I’m sure you all remember the name of the hero that found himself in the Garden for his quest?”

When nobody answered, Percy grit his teeth and said, “Hercules,” like the name tasted bitter in his mouth. 

“I understand your disdain for the son of Zeus, Mr. Jackson. Hercules was quite the pompous ass.” The entire class laughed at the description. “As part of his Eleventh Labor, Hercules went to the Garden of the Hesperides to steal a golden apple from Hera’s tree. Zoe Nightshade helped the handsome young man in his quest by showing him how to trick her father, and by giving him a special hairpin.”

Hermione wondered why Percy suddenly gripped his wand tightly by his side. They weren’t in any danger here.

“Mr. Jackson, can you tell us why this hairpin was so deadly?” Dr. C asked, his tone suggestive.

“It could transform into a sword made of Celestial Bronze.” He said plainly, still holding onto his wand. Hermione was seriously impressed that he knew so much about the subject.

A new edge could be found in their new teacher’s voice. “And do you happen to remember the name of this magnificent sword?” 

Oh! Hermione almost jumped in her seat as she looked over at Ron and Harry. Surely they remembered that Percy’s wand could turn into a sword. By the look of their wide-eyed gazes, they did.

Percy’s jaw was tight as he leaned back in his chair. “Riptide.”

Dr. C sighed in disappointment. “You really are no fun, Mr. Jackson. Class, Riptide is the English name given to the sword. It’s Greek name is Anaklusmos, please write that down as it will be important later.”

“Anyway, Hercules used Anaklusmos to defeat the hundred-headed dragon, Ladon, protecting the Garden. He successfully stole the golden apple, with Zoe’s help. When her sister’s found out, they weren’t too pleased., and exiled her from her home.”

Hermione shook her head. “I’ve never heard of anyone helping Hercules during this quest. There are hundred of stories about it, but Zoe has never been mentioned. Did you make up the background for the constellation?” 

He narrowed his eyes at her, which made Hermione shift uncomfortably in her chair. “Miss Granger, I simply assigned Zoe’s story to her constellation. Believe what you may, but the stories and myths you all have read and heard about stem from a sliver of truth. Mr. Jackson and Miss Chase know that better than any of you.” She could feel the anger rolling off Percy, like he was getting ready to jump the man. 

“The son of Zeus didn’t give her any credit, ultimately abandoning her. That is the moment when her grudge against male heroes grew, and she pledged her loyalty to Lady Artemis.” Dr. C began pacing the edges of the classroom. “Over two thousand years passed before she met her fate.”

Ron got this faraway look in his eye, the kind he had when he was trying to do math. “Wait, are you saying that she died in our lifetime?”

“Your lifetime,” Dr. C shrugged. “But yes.” 

He made a twisted face as he recounted the ridiculous story, “The Titan ‘King,’ Kronos, began regaining his power. He assigned the General of his Army, Atlas, to kidnap Lady Artemis. Zoe Nightshade was given a doomed quest to save her.”

Hermione was growing frustrated, why was this teacher talking about these things like they were happening in their day and age? None of this mythology lore was real.

Neville raised his hand unsteadily. “You said, ‘doomed quest.’ Did Zoe not save Artemis?”

Dr. C’s eyes softened. “Not on her own, no. She ended up needing the help of a young demigod.”

“Demigod?” Hermione asked, the wheels turning in her head. “Like the child of a god and a human?”

He grinned widely, “Exactly, Miss Granger. The Son of Poseidon, to be exact.”

Percy tensed. “I-He didn’t do anything. Zoe was the brave one.” He formed a first, and let his nails dig into the skin, like he was trying to keep himself calm. Annabeth touched the grey streak in her hair. “Zoe Nightshade tried to protect Artemis when Atlas went after her. She went up against her own father, a monster,” He spat.

Dr C held Percy’s gaze for a few seconds, before turning to the rest of the class. “During their quest, Zoe was poisoned. As she was immortal, this wasn’t a problem until she was thrown aside by the Titan General. Can anyone tell me why?”

Annabeth was shaking. “She fell in battle. The Hunters of Artemis are only immortal until they break their vows or they fall in battle. The physical damage Atlas caused, along with the poison from Ladon, killed her.”

“And so she died a heroic death. Lady Artemis placed her in the sky as a constellation, where her story could be told for thousands of years to come.” Dr. C finished, looking grave as he took back his seat.

 Hermione couldn’t quite understand what Percy and Annabeth’s relationship with Dr. C was. They definitely didn’t know him at the beginning of class, but how did he know they would know all about The Huntress? And why were they so angry? She shivered from the aura they were both giving off. And why did this astronomer insist that the story was true?

Professor Sinistra stood up, clapping. “That was wonderful, thank you Dr. C! We look forward to hearing more about this new constellation. Students, please keep in mind that any and all information shared in class might show up on the exams. Class dismissed.”

Students began filing out the room, but Percy and Annabeth didn’t move from their seats. An idea began forming in her head, and Hermione followed Harry and Ron out, stopping her friends before they shut the door behind them.

“What? I’m exhausted, Hermione. It’s almost midnight.” Harry complained. She shushed them, and pointed towards door.

“Let’s listen!” She whispered, causing her best friends to exchange glances. Before they could protest, they heard Percy’s voice.

“Who are you!” He asked dangerously. Goosebumps appeared along her arms, and she was thankful she was not on the other end of the interrogation.

Dr. C chuckled, “I am a friend, Perseus Jackson.”

“The hell you-” Percy started, but Annabeth cut him off. “Are you a god?” she asked plainly.

 The Golden Trio looked at each other. A god? Ron mouthed.

“Ah, Annabeth Chase. Please, do not think of me so lowly as a mere god. The only thing you need to know for now, is that I will be most helpful in your quest, should you prove yourselves worthy.” 

They were silent for a few seconds before Percy asked, “How would you help us?”

 “You are here to protect the Potter boy from the Dark Wizard, are you not?” Dr. C asked. Harry froze.

“Maybe…” Annabeth answered slowly.

“Think about it, daughter of Athena. Do you really think Hecate can’t handle one measly wizard? Maybe he isn’t the real enemy here.”

Hermione was holding her breath, but she wasn’t sure what she was waiting for.

“Ahh! Where did he go!” Percy growled. It sounded like he had thrown something against the wall.

“Percy, stop! Let’s think about this!” Annabeth ordered.

Hermione grabbed her two friends’ arms and pulled them out of the doorway. She ushered for them to hide, and they all crouched low behind a random corridor.

The Astronomy classroom door flew open, and Percy rushed down the stairs with Annabeth right behind him. “I’m finding Nico and Will, they need to know about this.”

“I’m not disagreeing with you, Seaweed Brain, but let’s think for a second!” She called out after him. The Golden Trio pressed their backs against the wall when Percy turned around.

“Wise Girl, he just confirmed what Hecate was trying to tell me the night we got here. This Voldemort guy is just a puppet! Everyone here is in so much more danger than we thought if the person behind this is from our world.” Percy angrily ran his fingers through his messy hair.

Annabeth took his hand and pulled him close, kissing him square on the mouth. In an instant, the terrifying boy melted into a vulnerable puppy. Hermione watched as he rested his forehead against Annabeth’s. “Seaweed Brain, we’ve survived Tartarus together. We will survive this too, and we will make sure Nico, Will, Hermione, Ron, and Harry do too. They are our friends, and we protect our own.”

Her words looked like they soothed the raging storm inside Percy, and he nodded with his eyes closed. “Let’s go find Will and Nico.”

They took off running down the corridor hand in hand.

 

XX

 

The Golden Trio sat in an empty classroom on the third floor in silence. Harry and Ron were busy sorting through what they had heard while Hermione was skimming the pages of a large book.

“So...do you think they’re crazy?” Ron asked, slightly hopeful.  

Harry grimaced. “I don’t know what to think.” The two boys turned towards the witch, looking towards her for her opinion.

She huffed in exasperation. “I..I...I don’t know. I’ve gotten a weird feeling from all of them since they’ve arrived. Whether it was from their total disconnect to reality...or this..”

Ron scratched the back of his neck. “Let’s say, hypothetically, they aren’t crazy. What do we know?”

Hermione’s eyes glinted in appreciation at Ron, thankful for not having to be the one to bring up the possibility.

“They said they were here to protect me. Some...quest of sorts?” Harry started, a million questions rummaging around in his head. “They also thought Dr. C was a god? And he called Annabeth the daughter of Athena?”

Pages began flying as Hermione tore through her book like she was searching for a particular page. Once she found what she was looking for, she hesitantly began reading. 

“Athena is the Olympian goddess of wisdom, battle strategy, and weaving, among others. It is said that she was born from the head of Lord Zeus fully dressed in war armor. Her children possess exceptional skill in warfare, along with a specialization for strategy and intellectual pursuits. Taking from their mother, they are masters in hand to hand combat.”

 Ron chewed on his bottom lip. “Do you think it’s really possible? That Annabeth’s mom is a goddess?”

 “If it is, then that must mean that Percy, Will, and Nico are demigod children as well.” Hermione responded as logically as she could. It was taking everything she had to detach herself from the possibility that this was all very real.

Harry’s eyes widened. “Dr. C’s story about The Huntress! He said that a son of Poseidon came to help Zoe to save Artemis.”

The boys returned their gazes to Hermione, who flipped back through her book. “Poseidon, one of the most powerful of all of the Olympian gods, is the god of the sea, storms, droughts, earthquakes, and horses. His children possess great control over their father’s domain, as well as his subjects. These powerful demigods can generate forces of nature such as storms, and hurricanes.” 

They fell silent for a few moments. “Are we really considering this?” She asked in a whisper.

Harry stood up shakily. “If it is real, then Percy thinks we are all in trouble. He said that Voldemort is only a pawn, like our lives are a chess match or something.”

Hermione winced when Harry spoke the Dark Lord’s name, but nodded. “He said that Hecate tried to warn him. If he’s not actually crazy, Hecate is the goddess of magic and witchcraft, so she might know what she’s talking about.”

“You don’t think..” Ron started. His eyes getting that faraway look in them.

His two friends stared at him. “We don’t think what?”

He hesitated. “You said Hecate was the goddess of magic. If this is all real, would she have anything to do with our magic? Like, where did the first wizard, or witch come from?”

Harry groaned and waved off Ron, “I absolutely do not want to go down that rabbit hole, especially not tonight.”

Hermione nodded, failing to stifle a yawn. “Let’s agree to confront them about this over the weekend. We need you both focused for Quidditch tryouts tomorrow.”

Her two friends mumbled their agreement, and headed back to the Common Room to get some rest, if that was possible after what they had learned.

When Harry and Ron stumbled into the dormitory, they were thankful to find Percy’s bed empty.

 

XX

 

Percy Jackson had decided to forgo the dormitory tonight. After discussing ‘Dr. C’ with his friends, he needed some time to think. And so here he was, lying with his back on the cool grass, and his feet sloshing along the Black Lake. 

It was well past three in the morning, but Percy knew there was no hope of him sleeping tonight. His new friends, the Selkies, had tried to help him out with a slow and high pitched serenade, but it's a wonder how that hadn’t helped him sleep…

He knit his eyebrows together as he forced himself to look up at the stars. Percy held a great deal of guilt within himself, and Zoe’s death had always threatened to consume him. Whoever this “Dr. C” guy was, he knew all about their quest to rescue Artemis. Percy was only there because he wanted to save Annabeth, but during that trip, two of his friends had died. That was his fault.

No. No, he couldn’t think about that right now. Nico was his friend, and he had forgiven him. But had Percy forgiven himself? Fat chance. It was Percy’s fault that Bianca had died. Nico was alone in this world, until he brought Hazel back from the Underworld, and it was Percy’s fault. He groaned loudly, knowing that nobody could hear him. Whoever this “Dr. C” was, he really succeeded in bringing up some of the memories Percy had tried very hard to lock away. 

Looking up at the painfully beautiful night sky, he easily found Zoe’s constellation. Ever since that night, Percy had been able to pick out the sixteen stars that made her up, along with the four next to it that represented her quiver. He squeezed his eyes shut as another painful memory surfaced.


One of his and Annabeth’s time in Tartarus. They were so close, so incredibly close, to going home. But then...then the monster himself tried to stop them. Their two allies in the pit had showed up to save them. Damasen was fighting off his own father while Percy and Annabeth were trying to figure out a way to take the Doors of Death back up to their world, back to their friends who desperately needed them.

“Bob, don’t!” Percy said, his eyes pleading. “He’ll destroy you permanently. No coming back. No regeneration.”  

Bob shrugged. “Who knows what will be? You must go now. Tartarus is right about one thing. We cannot defeat him. We can only buy you time.”

The Doors tried to close on Annabeth’s foot.

“Twelve minutes,” said the Titan. “I can give you that.”

“Percy…hold the Doors.” Annabeth jumped and threw her arms around the Titan’s neck. She kissed his cheek, her eyes so full of tears, she couldn’t see straight. Bob’s stubbly face smelled of cleaning supplies—fresh lemony furniture polish and Murphy Oil wood soap.

“Monsters are eternal,” she told him, trying to keep herself from sobbing. “We will remember you and Damasen as heroes, as the best Titan and the best giant. We’ll tell our children. We’ll keep the story alive. Someday, you will regenerate.”

Bob ruffled her hair. Smile lines crinkled around his eyes. “That is good. Until then, my friends, tell the sun and the stars hello for me. And be strong. This may not be the last sacrifice you must make to stop Gaea.”

He pushed her away gently. “No more time. Go.”

Percy fought to blink away the tears that threatened to fall. As he stared up at The Huntress, his brain made the impossible connection, and he choked when he realized it. Zoe was the daughter of Atlas. Atlas was the son of Iapetus. Iapetus was Bob-his Bob. The bravest titan he had ever known, and Percy now understood that Bob was Zoe’s grandfather.

His eyes dried in an instant. Instead of the crushing weight that had begun to consume him, a light, feathery feeling filled his entire being. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, and Percy laughed-actually laughed out loud. He flung his arms out onto the grass beside him, and addressed the stars. “Bob says hello.”

 

XX

 

Friday passed by painfully slow. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were thankful that Percy and Annabeth had spent most of the day with their heads together whispering, effectively saving the Golden Trio from awkward encounters. The two potential demigods were in a sullen mood, which seemed to reflect the weather that rolled in over the castle.

When Harry and Ron stepped onto the Quidditch pitch with their brooms in hand, heavy grey thunderclouds hung above them, threatening to unleash their contents. Angelina blew her whistle to begin the tryouts, rushing everyone along before the storm forced them inside.

Two hours later, the two boys met Hermione in the Great Hall soaking wet and exhausted, but positively glowing after showing great skill on the pitch. Harry was proud of his best friend, who had successfully made Keeper, even though secretly he knew that two of the other kids trying out might have been slightly better. That didn’t matter though, as Ron would put a lot of time into training, and the team knew they could count on him to show up.

Hermione celebrated with her best friends, and after each of them had a long shower, they met up in the Common Room to discuss their plans for the weekend. Harry and Ron had Quidditch practice and all three of them needed to get ahead on their homework. They all agreed it would be a good time for Harry to update Sirius on what was going on as well.

It was decided that tomorrow morning would be the best time to confront their friends about what they had seen. Nerves wracked the Golden Trio as they tried to think of all of the possible explanations Percy and Annabeth might have, and how they hoped that they were really just crazy, and that gods didn’t really exist. 

They avoided everyone for the rest of the night by heading to bed early, trying to calm their nervous hearts and busy minds.

 

XX

 

He didn’t know if it was the events of the past couple days or what, but Harry had awoken at the smallest shuffle near the bed next to him. He waited thirty seconds before daring to open his eyes.

Percy Jackson was not in his bed. Harry slowly sat up, and his eyes found the small amount of light that protruded from the closed bathroom door. A small pit began forming in Harry’s stomach, and he followed his instincts to the door, putting one ear to it.

He heard the shower running, and the muffle of voices. Voices? Harry thought. He looked around the room to check if any of the other beds were empty. No..all of his friends were sleeping soundly. 

“Percy?” A rough, deep voice asked, like it had just woken up. 

“Jason!” Percy whispered back.

Instantly, the voice was on alert. “Is everything okay, bro? Why are you calling so early?”

“Listen, bro.” Harry shook his head at the impossible bro-mance these two must have. “I need you to talk to Reyna and Chiron for me. There is someone here that goes by ‘Dr. C,’ and he knows all about who we are, and what we are doing here.” 

“Who is he? One of the gods?” The voice named Jason asked.

“I don’t think so, but I’m honestly not sure.” Percy answered. “But he confirmed what Hecate said, that this Voldemort guy is just a pawn, and that there is something bigger going on here. He said he could help us, but I don’t know.”

There was a few seconds of silence before the deep voice answered. “I’ll talk to them, and see if they have heard anything. Is Nico okay? You know that’s going to be the first thing that Reyna asks, and I’m going to need to be prepared with an answer.”

Who is Reyna? Harry thought to himself. Must be Nico’s girlfriend or something. 

Percy chuckled, “Nico’s fine. I’m not going to let anything happen to him.”

“Good. Now go back to bed, Jackson. I’ll send you an Iris-Message when I know something.”

Iris-message? Before he could ponder what that meant, Harry heard the shower turn off. In an instant he was back in his bed, pretending to be asleep. With his eyes closed, he listened for Percy to climb back into his own bed and waited to hear his soft snores before letting himself relax.

 

XX

 

When Harry awoke the next morning to the light shining through their windows, he was surprised to see Percy still sleeping soundly in his bed. Over the past week, he had always been the first one to the bathroom, effectively letting the other boys know it was time to wake up.

Harry and Ron had just finished getting dressed, trying to shake off their nerves of this morning’s future conversation, when Percy sat up in his bed. The dark haired boy drew off his covers, and stood up slowly, rubbing his eyes. He didn’t notice that everyone in the room was frozen in their place, watching him with fearful eyes.

 

XX

 

The room had gone silent, and Percy visibly tensed. He slowly drew his hands from his face to find four wide-eyed gazes piercing him from every corner of the room.

“What?” He asked, looking down. Percy cursed, he wasn’t wearing a shirt. He was so stupid! He had been so careful to wake up before anyone else could see the scars that decorated his body, but these late nights had messed with his sleep schedule.

“Blimey, Harry, what happened to you?” Dean Thomas asked, not taking his eyes off Percy’s form.

Percy quickly threw on the shirt that lay at the foot of his bed. These guys didn’t need to know the countless monsters, gods, and titans he had fought. “Nothing.” He murmured, and pushed past Harry and Ron into the bathroom. 

He scolded himself for the mistake as he let the hot water brush over his body. As refreshing and restorative water was to him, it could never take away the scars that made up who he was. Percy sort of liked the battle-scars, but then again, he had always been surrounded by people at Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter who shared them. At Hogwarts, these guys weren’t from his world. They didn’t know the horrors of war, they didn’t know that marks told stories.

When Percy retired from the bathroom, he was surprised to find a very fidgety Harry and Ron waiting for him. “What’s up, guys?” he asked, trying not to sound suspicious.

“Uh..Hermione wanted to meet us all in one of the empty third-floor classrooms.” Ron sputtered, causing Percy to raise an eyebrow.

“What about?”

The two boys exchanged nervous glances.

“You’ll find out. Come on” Harry waved, darting from the room. Ron scrambled after him, and Percy narrowed his eyes before following. The Common Room was littered with lazy students either doing homework or chatting about their exciting first week back at Hogwarts.

The two boys didn’t say another word as they led Percy down the ever-changing stairs, and through the door frame of their desired location.

Percy’s eyes widened as he saw the room’s occupants. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were huddled together near the door, as if trying to agree upon a plan of action. Will and Nico were sitting on top of two desks behind Annabeth, who was waiting very un-patiently with her arms crossed. She met Percy’s eyes, and a silent conversation slipped between them.

Do you know what this is about?

She shook her head. No, do you?

No. Let’s find out.

 

“Alright, so it looks like you have everyone here...what did you want to discuss?” Annabeth asked the Golden Trio slowly, daring them to begin.

Hermione and Ron bit their lips and looked up towards Harry, seemingly pleading for him to take over. He held their gaze with a hard look of his own and sighed. Harry’s eyes swept across the four demigods, as if he was trying to analyze them.

“We know who you are, and why you’re here.”

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 13

 

Percy’s eyes widened as he saw the room’s occupants. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were huddled together near the door, as if trying to agree upon a plan of action. Will and Nico were sitting on top of two desks behind Annabeth, who was waiting very un-patiently with her arms crossed. She met Percy’s eyes, and a silent conversation slipped between them.

Do you know what this is about?

She shook her head. No, do you?

No. Let’s find out.

“Alright, so it looks like you have everyone here...what did you want to discuss?” Annabeth asked the Golden Trio slowly, daring them to begin.

Hermione and Ron bit their lips and looked up towards Harry, seemingly pleading for him to take over. He held their gaze with a hard look of his own and sighed. Harry’s eyes swept across the four demigods, as if he was trying to analyze them.

“We know who you are, and why you’re here.”

 

XX

 

Annabeth wasn’t completely caught off guard when Harry said, “We know who you are, and why you’re here.” but she was pleased when her friends didn’t so much as flinch at the accusation.

She stayed rooted in her seat, “You mean you know that we are from a wizarding school in America, and we are here as part of an exchange program?”

Harry narrowed his eyes at her. “No...I mean that you four are demigods, and that you are here to protect me for some reason.”

“Where did you get that crazy idea?” Percy asked innocently with a playful smirk on his face.

Hermione stepped up next to Harry and began fidgeting with her fingers. “We heard you in the Astronomy tower talking to Dr. C.”

Annabeth grit her teeth. She should have made sure nobody was listening, but her and Percy were a bit preoccupied.

“Of course, I’m still hoping that you guys are crazy, and that gods and stuff aren’t real.” Ron said with raised eyebrows.

Out of everyone, she didn’t expect Nico to speak up. “So what if it is true?” He asked.

The three accusers didn’t seem to known how to answer that. Hermione opened her mouth like she wanted to say something, but furrowed her brow and closed it again. Harry’s face was thoughtful. “Then we want to know what we are up against.”

Annabeth stood up from her seat, and paced so she was facing her fellow demigods. Resolve passed through them, and she turned towards Percy.

He nodded, and set his jaw. “Ask away. I’m sure you have questions.”

Hermione’s eyes widened in excitement. “Which mythology stories are true? Greek gods, Roman gods, Egyptian gods?”

“All of them.” He said simply, not bothering to explain.

Annabeth rolled her eyes, “What Percy means is that ‘mythological figures’ gain their power through worship and widespread beliefs. The Greek gods were our parents’ original forms. They moved and changed with the flow of power. When Rome defeated Greece, the gods’ personalities and attributes became fiercer, more warlike. With Western expansion, Olympus changed and moved with it. It currently resides above the Empire State Building.”

The Golden Trio was silent as they took in this information, so she continued. “With other religions and holders of power, such as the Egyptians, they have their own gods. We recently met two people who lived in that world, but that’s not important now.

We come from a place called Camp-Half Blood, one of the only safe places for people like us. The only other one I know of is Camp Jupiter, where their parent’s are the Roman Aspects of the gods.”

Hermione seemed to snap out of her trance. “So, it’s true then. Your parents are actual gods?” She asked in reverence.

Nico grimaced. “Unfortunately.”

Ron cocked his head. “We think we know that Annabeth’s mom is Athena, and Percy’s dad is Poseidon, but what about you guys?”

Will clapped a hand on Nico’s shoulder. “My dad’s Apollo, god of the sun. Nico’s dad is Hades, god of the Underworld.”

Harry shivered. “The Underworld? No wonder you got sorted into Slytherin.”

Nico’s eyes darkened. “I’ve done nothing but help you Harry Potter. Don’t make me regret it.”

Percy stepped in between them. “Harry, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. Nico is on our side, and he always will be. Don’t associate him with all of the dark wizards who have come out of Slytherin.”

Harry seemed to consider this for a moment before conceding. “You’re right, I’m sorry.” Nico nodded his acceptance, and Hermione chimed in.

“So last week in Divination, Professor Trelawney did actually give a prophecy?”

Percy took a seat, suddenly looking very tired. “Yeah, the first one was about me when I turned sixteen. The second one happened just a few months ago.”

Ron held up his hands in confusion. “Sixteen? I thought you guys were fifth years like us?”

“Nico and I are fifteen, but Percy and Annabeth are both seventeen. Hecate, the one who sent us here, made them look a little younger so nobody could tell.” Will answered with smile.

“That explains the eyes then….” Hermione murmured, then spoke up when all six pairs of eyes turned to stare at her.

“When I look into your eyes..I don’t know. You don’t look fifteen years old. To be honest, you don’t even look seventeen. You look like you’ve gone through so much...which it sounds like you have.

Percy moved to hold Annabeth’s hand. “We’ve been through a lot. This past year has been rough on all of us.” He looked up at the Son of Hades. “Nico, Annabeth, and I were all stuck in Tartarus at different points in time. It was…” He trailed off.

“Unexplainable.” Nico finished, sinking deeper into his chair. Will kept a comforting hand on his boyfriend’s arm.

After a few moments of sad silence, Harry asked, “So what exactly are you guys doing here?”

Annabeth played with the curls from her ponytail. “Harry was right. We were sent here on a quest to protect him from Voldemort. But that just got a lot more complicated.”

“The puppeteer.” Ron remembered. “In the Astronomy classroom, Dr. C said that You-Know-Who is just a puppet.”

Percy nodded grimly. “We need to find out who is behind this movement if we have any hope of stopping-” He was cut off by a piercing cry that reverberated off every wall of the castle.

“What the?” Will started, taking his place beside the other three demigods, who were all poised for defense.

The agonizing scream sounded again, and everyone in the room had to cover their ears.

Harry grit his teeth and called out, “It sounds like the mermaid song that was in the Golden Egg from the tournament!”

Percy was out the door in an instant, following the sound. His friends fell in step behind him, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione had no choice but to sprint to catch up.

Everyone that he passed in the hallways were clutching their ears in pain. A few people were writhing on the ground, crying out for the sound to stop. He pushed open the doors and sprinted towards the Black Lake. His gut told him something horrible was happening, and when he was about a hundreds yards out, he was proven right.

In the clear light of day, two massive skeleton looking creatures covered in shredded black cloaks were hovering above the lake. They seemed to be caught in a battle with something below the surface. Sharp spears were flung towards the creatures along with rocks, pebbles-anything that might have rested on the bottom of the lake.

On the bank, three hellhounds were viciously wrestling with Percy’s new Selkie friends and a powerful looking phoenix. The defenders were desperately trying to push the beasts into the lake where the Selkies might have the advantage. Without a second thought, Percy, Annabeth, Will, and Nico whispered each of their commands, and their wands stretched out into their fierce weapons.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione watched in horror as Percy dove straight into the lake. The water slowly began to churn directly below where the dementors hovered, still catching the onslaught of various weapons. In a few seconds, a powerful twister of water tunneled it’s way upwards, and Percy’s face, wrought with concentration, appeared at the top. In the middle of the small hurricane, Percy slashed out at the monsters with Riptide.

While Percy was fighting the dementors, Annabeth and Nico rushed towards the Hellhounds. Annabeth tucked and rolled with her drakon-bone sword when the one on the far left forgot about its current enemy and pounced after her. She ignored the painfully hot breath that singed her sleeve, and sidestepped the Hellhound’s claws. Annabeth twisted to the left, and thrust her sword into the beast’s neck, and with a satisfied crunch, the Hellhound dissolved into dusty yellow powder.

Nico called out to the incredibly large shadowy mastiffs, and drew their attention away from the brave Selkies and the phoenix. He threw out his hands, commanding them to return back to the Underworld. When they just kept advancing with froth dripping from their mouths, Nico groaned and spun his stygian iron sword in his hand, leaping over one in a somersault. He slashed the blade at the Hellhound’s legs, and the beast howled in pain. Nico didn’t waste any time, and drove the sword into the Hellound’s side, and the beast erupted into a cloud of dust.

As the last Hellhound pounced at him, a golden arrow embedded itself into the beast’s heart and exploded, dissolving the monster before it could tear Nico to shreds. His eyes shot up to see Will wink at him about twenty yards away before sprinting towards the edge of the bank. Will notched his arrow towards the monsters battling with a manic looking Percy, and let it fly.

The second Percy was within spitting distance of the creatures in front of him, a rush of anger, pain, resentment, and depression hit him. He choked on the agony that tore through his soul. It was like all of the happy memories that kept him going, kept him from becoming dark, were gone-stolen from him. He figured that’s what these things did, stole happiness.

Someone with only darkness left inside of them couldn’t possibly have anything to fight for-to live for, right?

Wrong.

That was their mistake.

With a cry of pure anguish, Percy took hold of the pull he felt deep in his gut, and raised his sword. A column of crystallized black lake water sharpened into rods of ice, and surrounded him. With a single thrust, he twisted Riptide into the creature’s rib cage and the shards embedded themselves into every available space of the beast’s body. He half expected the thing to explode into a cloud of yellow dust, but it gurgled in writhing pain, and fell towards the lake. The second it hit the water, it disintegrated into a loose, shattered, shadow.

When Percy turned his attention to the second beast, Will’s arrow implanted itself right into the creature’s brain-if it even had one- and Percy didn’t hesitate to bring an incredible wave of unforgiving water tumbling down on top of it. Once he was free of the creature’s hold, Percy felt instantly lighter.

The feelings of misery and out of control fury were replaced by the memory of his and Annabeth’s underwater kiss, of falling asleep together in the stables of the Argo II, of the day his mom called to tell him he was going to be a big brother, and of a bright and marvelous campfire rising ten feet in the sky as he and his best friends sung along to the beat of the music

“Percy!” A distressed voice brought him back to reality. Annabeth.

He let go of the pull he felt in his stomach, and slowly lowered himself down to the lake’s bank. Percy shook off the water that barely clung to his clothes and sunk to his knees in exhaustion. Annabeth and Nico were sorely out of breath, while Will was attending to the injured Selkies. Harry, Ron, and Hermione rushed towards them in disbelief.

“Is everyone okay?” Percy asked, accepting his girlfriend’s hand up.

She nodded and asked, “What the heck happened up there?”

“I-I don’t know. It was like every good feeling, every happy memory I ever had was taken away from me.” He answered, hating how his voice cracked with emotion.

Harry gaped at him. “Those were dementors! They are guardians of Azakan, I was attacked by two over the summer. I thought the only way to fight one was using the Patronus Charm.”

“And what the heck were those giant dog..THINGS!” Ron blurted, clearly freaking out.

“Hellhounds,” Nico answered darkly, shaking off the yellow monster dust. “They are supposed to only be under my father’s control, but something must be wrong.”

Will walked over with a small, scaly creature in his arms. “Perc, I think this one wants to talk to you.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione immediately stepped back in disgust, but Percy ignored them.

“My Lord, we wish to thank you for coming to our aid.” the creature hissed in appreciation.

Percy smiled, “Thank you for fighting along our side. Can you tell us what happened?”

The Selkie nodded. “The monsters appeared near our waters, towards the edge of the Forbidden Forest. They sought to kill you and your friends, my Lord.” Percy raised his eyebrows. “But we Lake dwellers couldn’t let that happened, so we entrusted the mermaids to ring out a battle cry to warn you, and we held them off as long as we could.”

“You fought honorably, thank you. My father will be hearing of your bravery.” Percy bowed towards his new friend, who beamed in delight. He motioned to Will that he was ready to be returned to the Black Lake, and the Son of Apollo obliged. Percy translated the conversation to his friends.

A group of disoriented students began trickling onto the castle grounds, looking on with interest as Professor Dumbledore and Professor Mcgonagall hurried towards the lake.

Harry flinched as Dumbledore flew past him, putting his hand on Percy’s slumped shoulders. “I believe we have much to discuss in my office. Fawkes, thank you for flying ahead.” He said quietly to his Phoenix and motioned for Percy and his friends to follow. Professor Mcgonagall gave them a grim look, and shooed Harry, Ron, and Hermione towards the demigods’ retreating backs. “This is a conversation for all of you.”

 

XX

 

 

Annabeth decided that Professor Dumbledore’s office was her favorite room in the castle so far. It had a magnificently large entranceway with paintings of who she assumed were previous headmasters covering every available wall space. This led to three bewitching stone arches that gave off a tunneling effect. Behind his mahogany desk were two large walls of books, all of which caught her eye.

The spriteful old man rested in his comfortable looking chair, looking gravely at the students while Professor Mcgonagall stood to his right with crossed arms.

“Would you care to tell us what happened?” He asked softly.

Percy had deep circles under his eyes, but he stepped forward. “The castle was attacked by Dementors and Hellhounds. The Selkies said they were coming after us, so I apologize. We knew monsters would be attracted to us, we shouldn’t have put your students in danger.”

Dumbledore held Percy’s stare for a few moments before cocking his head. “Percy Jackson, you and your friends came here to protect my school. That’s exactly what you did, is it not?” Before the Son of Poseidon could protest, Dumbledore continued. “I believe those nasty creatures would have attacked either way, so I thank you for your bravery.”

“What I don’t understand is why the Hellhounds were here in the first place, much less coming after us. My father wouldn’t have sent them.” Nico said gruffly.

Annabeth chewed on the inside of her cheek. “What if he’s losing his control on the hellhounds?” She asked.

Nico shook his head. “Only something with an enormous amount of power could cause that. My father has a tight leash on his beasts.”

Harry spoke for the first time since Dumbledore had arrived. “So, this isn’t really Voldemort behind this?”

The old man didn’t make eye contact with him, which made Annabeth feel guilty. “I’m afraid not. I’m pleased that the demigods no longer have to hide their true selves from you three, but proceed with caution. It would not do well for other students to know about their true identities.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked at their new friends with resolve. Harry held out his hand to Percy, “You came here to protect me, and I have a feeling that your job just got a whole lot harder. Thank you. We will keep your secret, but we would like to know how we can help.”

“I have an idea I’d like to discuss with Hermione, if that’s okay with you.” Annabeth asked the bright young witch. She lit up with anticipation, and the two girls left the room with their heads together.

 

XX

 

The rest of the students murmured their goodbyes to Professors Dumbledore and Mcgonagall and started down the spiral staircase.

Nico began breaking off from the group once they reached the hallway. “I’m going to go check on Bianca in the Owlery, I’ll catch up with you guys later.”

“Oh! I need to send my letter to Sirius, do you uh..mind if I come with you?” Harry asked a bit nervously.

Nico raised an eyebrow but motioned for Harry to follow. The two boys made their way across the castle grounds a little on edge. “So..how do you know that the Hellhounds won’t come back?”

“I don’t. I’ll just be ready if they do.” he said plainly.

Harry moved in front of the Son of Hades to stop him. “Listen, I’m sorry about how I’ve treated you this week. I admit I hold a huge grudge against anybody in Slytherin, but you’re not like the rest of them.”

Nico’s eyes softened, “Don’t worry about it, man. I would suggest trying not to judge a book by its cover, or house in this case, though. There are a few Slytherins I’ve met who haven’t been awful.”

Harry shrugged. “I can definitely try. I’m glad you forgive me though, your girlfriend sounds like she would be pretty terrifying.”

Nico choked. After a few seconds of beating his chest to stop his coughing attack, he looked up at the boy in bewilderment. “My girlfriend?”

The Boy Who Lived’s eyes widened in concern. “Uh, yeah. I heard Percy talking to a kid named Jason. He said that Reyna will want to know how you are. From the sound of things he seemed pretty scared of her.

Harry’s eyes bulged out of his head when the Son of Hades laughed. Actually laughed. He had to hold his stomach when he doubled over. Nico wiped at the edges of his eyes, “Reyna’s not my girlfriend. Besides my sister, Hazel, she knows more about me than almost anybody.”

Harry nodded and continued up the steps of the owlery. “Besides, it’s Will you would have to worry about.” Nico said nonchalantly.

“Why would I need to worry about-”  His voice cut off as he put two and two together. “Ahhhhhh.”

Nico turned on him with an amused look, “You cool with that?”

Harry sputtered, “Y-y-yeah, of course I am! I just didn’t know!”

As they rounded the final corner, Harry bumped into a pretty asian girl, and his already red cheeks grew ten degrees hotter.

“Cho!”

She looked just as flustered as Harry, Nico observed.

“Oh...hi,” she said breathlessly. “I only remembered five minutes ago, it’s my mum’s birthday.” She looked between the two boys and held out her hand.

“I’m Cho Chang.” She smiled nervously.

Nico returned the small smile and shook her hand. “Nico di Angelo.”

Cho looked back at Harry, “I never thought I’d see you hanging around with a Slytherin,” before hurriedly adding, “not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’ve see you hanging around with Will Solace. He’s really nice.”

Nico couldn’t help but laugh again, something he decided he should really do more of.

“Nico’s not like Malfoy and his gang. He’s cool.” Harry said, earning an an appreciative look from the Son of Hades.

“Well...I’ll see you later Harry. Bye Nico.” She waved shyly and hurried down the steps.

Harry stared after her for a few seconds before his new friend coughed next to him. “I..uh...yeah.” he said dumbly.

Nico gave him a knowing look but looked around for Bianca. His owl was safely tucked away in the shadows.

“Why doesn’t she come out and meet Hedwig?” Harry suggested.

The son of Hades chewed on his cheek decisively before bringing a treat out from his pocket. “She doesn’t really like the sunlight, but it might be good for her to have a friend.”

Bianca gave a small chirp, and ruffled her silky black feathers. She eyed the treat suspiciously, and questioned Nico. He got a little closer and whispered, “It’s okay, B. I just want you to meet a new friend, then you can come right back here.” He took a deep breath before adding, “trust me.”

Her intelligent eyes locked onto his, and she took small steps towards the demigod. Nico held out his hand for her, and felt the corner of his mouth twitch as she landed on him. Pride burst through his chest, and he turned towards Harry and Hedwig. The snowy owl chirped softly in greeting, seemingly knowing how timid the smaller owl was.

After a few minutes of coaxing, Bianca brought her head out of her wing, and started conversing with Hedwig.

Harry and Nico grinned at each other. “Look at that, she’s made a new friend. It’s a great first step.”

The son of hades couldn’t help but see the parallels. “I think so too.”

“So, where did you get the name Bianca?” Harry asked.

Nico cast his eyes down, and his owl seemed to notice his change in attitude. She chirped, asking to be returned to the shadows. He obliged, and motioned for Harry to start down the steps.

Harry tied his letter to Hedwig’s leg, and ushered for her to take off. He caught up with Nico, apologizing. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was a sore subject for you.”

The boy in question stuffed his hands in his pockets. If Bianca could take a step to be friends with Hedwig, Nico could at least try to do the same with Harry.

“No, it’s okay. She was my sister.”

Harry was quiet for a moment before asking, “was? You only mentioned Hazel before.”

Nico nodded. “I only found Hazel last year. Percy told me that you learned about The Huntress in Astronomy class.” He took a deep breath, struggling to control his emotions. “Bianca joined the Hunters of Artemis with Zoe, and she was chosen for the quest to save the goddess. I was eleven when she died.”

“I’m sorry. I know this isn't worth much, but I understand what it’s like.” Harry offered, knowing it wasn’t enough.

As they approached the courtyard, Nico took a seat by the edge of the fountain and looked up at the sun. “This will come as a surprise to you, but Bianca and I were born in the nineteen thirties, we came to America after the war. At the time, The Big Three gods weren’t supposed to have any demigod children, they said we were too powerful. Zeus killed my mom, and Bianca was the only family I had left.”

Harry was silent, soaking in the information. “When Percy found us and brought us to Camp Half-Blood, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. My favorite game, brought to life. After Bianca died on that quest, I realized how wrong i was. This life is dangerous, and I’ve lost too many friends because of it.”

The young wizard began running his own recent experiences through his mind, causing his stomach to churn dangerously.

“Things got better though.” Nico said, his gaze drifting back to the boy. “I’ve found some good friends, who like me for me. They’ve been helping me be a little bit more open with people.”

Harry gave him a grateful smile. “I understand what you mean. Ron and Hermione are the only reason I haven’t gone crazy yet. I didn’t even know magic existed until my eleventh birthday. While it seemed great at first, every year has brought its own threats. Now...Voldemort is back, and I have this feeling that I’ll have to be the one to face him.”

The two boys sat in silence on the courtyard fountain for a few minutes before Harry said, “Thanks for sharing about your sister, Nico. I’m glad we got to talk.”

The corner of Nico’s mouth twitched, and he shook Harry’s hand. “Me too.”

The bell from the clocktower sounded, and Harry jumped up from his spot, groaning. “Oh no! I’ve got Quidditch practice. I’ll see you later!” Nico only had time to give him a short wave before the young wizard was racing off towards the Quidditch pitch.

 

XX

 

After practice, Harry and Ron found Hermione, Percy, and Annabeth relaxing in the Common Room. After quick showers, the two boys joined their friends to finish some homework, then stayed up for hours talking about the demigods’ lives. When midnight rolled around, they were the only students left in the common room.

“So you really met Dedalus? The Dedalus? I’ve always been fascinated in the stories about him!” Hermione admired. She was laying on her stomach with her elbows resting on the floor.

Annabeth grinned, and ran upstairs to the dormitory to pull out her laptop. Hermione squealed, and the two girls scrolled through the various projects while the boys talked about their different battles.

“Blimey...you’ve gotta teach me swordfighting!” Ron said, taking his wand and slashing it around.

Percy laughed and stood up to join him. “Here, try holding Riptide, but don’t hurt yourself.”

Ron took the blade in his hand and almost immediately dropped it from the unexpected weight. “Bloody hell, you must be stronger than you look!”

“Wait, Riptide? Like the sword from Dr. C’s story about Zoe?” Harry asked.

Percy beamed, “The very same. She belongs to me now. Back home, Riptide is transformed into a pen instead of a wand.”

Harry and Ron looked at the demigod with stars in their eyes. “That’s awesome!”

Hermione yelped in surprise, turning everyone’s attention on her. “In the fire! It almost looked like…”

“Sirius!” Harry whispered excitedly. He fell to his knees in front of the dying flames.

Annabeth and Percy looked on with interest as a face began forming within the roasted logs and dying embers.

“Harry, I’m glad I reached you.” Sirius said gruffly.

“Sirius, this is a big risk!” Hermione warned, earning a nasty look from Ron and Harry.

Yes, yes. But it’s the only way I could come up with of answering Harry’s letting without resorting to a code-and codes are breakable. Hi Percy. Annabeth. How’s your scar, Harry?”

His hand immediately went to his forehead, “It’s alright. It aches all the time now though. It hurt when Umbridge touched me.”

The face in the fire grumbled. “Well, now he’s back it’s bound to hurt more often, but I highly doubt that she would have any connection to the Death Eaters. More than likely, You-Know-Who was probably experiencing a strong emotion at the time.”

The five friends thought on that for a moment when Sirius asked, “What are the broad’s lessons like?”

Hermione snorted, “They are the worst. She’s not letting us use magic at all!”

“Ah, well, that figures,” the face in the flames said. “Our information from inside the Ministry is that Fudge doesn’t want you trained in combat.”

“Trained in combat?” repeated Harry incredulously. “What does he think we’re doing here, forming some sort of wizard army?”

Annabeth moved forward, “Uh..Harry? That’s probably exactly what he thinks we’re doing.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard…” Ron said.

The daughter of Athena brought a fist to her chin, deep in thought.

“I can hear Kreacher coming down the stairs,” Sirius said, “I’ll write to tell you a time I can make it back into the fire, then, shall I?”

They murmured their goodbyes, and with a tiny pop, the face morphed back into a flickering flame.

 

XX

 

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 14

The five friends thought on that for a moment when Sirius asked, “What are the broad’s lessons like?”

Hermione snorted, “They are the worst. She’s not letting us use magic at all!”

“Ah, well, that figures,” the face in the flames said. “Our information from inside the Ministry is that Fudge doesn’t want you trained in combat.”

“Trained in combat?” repeated Harry incredulously. “What does he think we’re doing here, forming some sort of wizard army?”

Annabeth moved forward, “Uh..Harry? That’s probably exactly what he thinks we’re doing.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard…” Ron said.

The daughter of Athena brought a fist to her chin, deep in thought.

“I can hear Kreacher coming down the stairs,” Sirius said, “I’ll write to tell you a time I can make it back into the fire, then, shall I?”

They murmured their goodbyes, and with a tiny pop, the face morphed back into a flickering flame.

XX

During breakfast the next morning Ron and Harry continued their constant questioning of Percy and Annabeth’s lives.While the Son of Poseidon was amused, Annabeth moved over next to Hermione, who had just received the wizard newspaper, the Daily Prophet, from an owl.

“Wow, I still can’t believe that you fought Ares! The actual god of war! And you survived!” Ron exclaimed, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Psh, from what he said, Ares is a weakling compared to the Titan Kronos! And he beat him too!” Harry interjected.

Percy held up his hands so that his new friends would stop talking. “First of all, let’s not go around calling the god of war weak….And Kronos was only defeated because Luke sacrificed himself.”

“This is rubbish!” Hermione practically yelled, grabbing everyone’s attention. She flung down the newspaper and began reading out loud.
“Ministry seeks education reform. Dolores Umbridge appointed first-ever ‘High Inquisitor’. In a surprise move last night the Ministry of Magic passed new legislation giving itself an unprecedented level of control at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

When she was met with confused gazes, she sighed and summarized. “Basically, that foul woman now has the authority to ‘inspect’ Hogwarts Professors. If the Ministry has given her this kind of power, who knows what they will give her next!”

Annabeth grimaced. “That means that she will probably be in a few of our classes.” She turned to Harry and Percy, giving them a dangerous stare. “You two need to be careful. I’m sure she’s going to try and get under your skin, don’t take the bait.”

The two boys exchanged glances and nodded.

Thankfully, Professor Umbridge was absent from Potions. At the end of the lesson concerning the Properties of Moonstone, Professor Snape handed back their graded papers.

“The grades represented on this assignment reflect what you would have received had you turned this work in for your O.W.L” Snape said with a cruel, yet bored expression. “Most of you would have failed, and I expect to see a great deal more effort for the following weeks’ essays.”

Percy looked down at his paper and was thrilled to see an “A” written in the corner. He had no idea if grades were any different in the wizarding world, but it was the top grade in his book.

Annabeth looked thoroughly confused at the “E” written on hers, until Hermione grinned widely and showed her matching grade.

Ron groaned. “A P? I don’t want to have to retake this course…”

“Okay, you guys have to explain this grading system to me.” Nico groaned, holding up his “P.”

Hermione wrote out a few letters on piece of paper and slid it over to the demigods.

“Passing grades are O for Outstanding, E for Exceeds Expectations, and A for Acceptable.” Annabeth and Percy smiled at each other. “Failing grades are P for Poor, D for Dreadful, and T for Troll…”

Nico dropped his head on his open textbook. “Essays have never been my strong suit.” Percy placed a hand on his shoulder and nodded his head. “I’m with you, bro.”

Ron shrugged, “At least a Poor is better than Dreadful.”

Harry started having a small coughing fit, and Hermione looked at him in concern before he waved her off. “Er, I’m fine. Let’s just get out of here.” He stuffed his paper into his bag and stood up abruptly to make his way out the door without waiting for his friends.

The three demigods looked at each other in confusion. “Alright...Herbology it is then.”

Once they found their spots in the Greenhouse, they handed in their initial reports on Screechsnaps, hoping that Professor Sprout was more amicable on grading than Snape was.

Percy fought hard to pay attention to the lesson on the positive effects of the little devils on different types of plant life. He tried to follow along with Nico and Annabeth’s notes, but he couldn’t seem to find anything in particular that interested him.

After their hour and a half lesson, the students broke for lunch. Harry and Ron decided to eat with Will so they could all discuss upcoming Quidditch practice.

“Are you sure you don’t want any extra lessons from us, Percy?” Harry asked.

Annabeth shot him a warning look. “I don’t think that’s a great idea.” He answered. “Zeus has made it abundantly clear that I am not welcome in his domain.” The two boys’ eyes widened in fear, and they grimaced at him before leaving to find Will.

“It would be really cool though…” Percy mumbled, and Annabeth kissed him on the cheek.

Unfortunately, the Gryffindors did not have the same amount of luck as they did earlier that morning. When they climbed the rickety wooden ladder to the Divination tower, Professor Umbridge was sitting close to the front with her ankles crossed and hands folded neatly in her lap.

Will, Annabeth, and Percy found a table across the room from their least favorite Professor, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed suit.

Professor Trelawney appeared from behind her curtain, and her eyes narrowed when they found the lady in pink.

“Good Morning, I trust you received my note?” Umbridge asked sweetly.

Professor Trelawney nodded and began passing out thick books to each table. “We will begin studying prophetic dreams today. Please take out your dream journals and attempt to interpret your tables’ visions with the aid of the Oracle.”

Percy grumbled as he took out journal. He had no desire to discuss his memories of Tartarus, which always seemed to find their way into his dreams. “Will, let’s start with you.”

The Son of Apollo looked a little nervous. “Uh...sure. The last two nights I’ve had this dream where students have been falling unconscious.”

Annabeth and Percy immediately moved their attention from Umbridge to their friend. “Like, here in Hogwarts?” he asked.

Will nodded. “Yeah, I saw this dark cloud move around the castle, and when a student was alone, it basically attacked them. I don’t remember the students waking up.”

Percy could see the wheels turning in Annabeth’s head. “I haven’t heard of anything like that happening yet, so let’s just stay on the lookout.”

The three demigods were searching their copy of the Dream Oracle for a explanation to write down for class when Professor Umbridge interrupted Professor Trelawney, who was in the middle of a conversation with Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown.

“Excuse me.” The skinny woman turned to face Professor Umbridge and pulled her decorated shaw tighter around her thin frame. “You’ve been in this post how long, exactly?”

“Nearly six-teen years,” Professor Trelawney replied with a scowl.

The entire class quieted down to listen in. Professor Umbridge held a small smirk and began jotting a few notes down on her clipboard. “And you a great-great-great-granddaughter of the celebrated Seer Cassandra Trelawney?”

Professor Trelawney paused for a second, probably making sure her tone was respectable. “Yes.”

Another note on the clipboard.

“Hmmm, I see. Well, if you could just predict something for me, then?” she feigned nonchalance.

Professor Trelawney’s mouth opened as if she was going to say something, but closed it quickly. The shaw was drawn in tighter.

“I don’t understand.” She finally said, her voice shaking.

A wide smile grew across Professor Umbridge’s face. “I’d like you to make a prediction for me.”

Professor Trelawney looked as if she had been slapped. “The Inner Eye does not See upon command!”

Umbridge feigned disappointment, and began making a few more notes on her clipboard.

“W-wait!” Professor Trelawney spit out as Professor Umbridge let out a “tisk tisk.” “You...you are in grave danger! Something dark….”

Professor Umbridge raised an eyebrow and the corner of her mouth twitched. “I think I have exactly what I need. Thank you.” Her strained giggle was torture to Percy’s ears, and he couldn’t help but feel bad for their Divination Professor. From her past performance, she had to be a descendant of a child of Apollo, it wasn’t her fault that she straight up looked like a fake.

The rest of class was severely awkward. Umbridge climbed down the wooden ladder, and Professor Trelawney passed the time by reading from random students’ dream journal in a shaky voice. She was definitely taking out her frustrations from the Inquisitor on the people around her, and Percy forgot his feeling of guilt.

After class, Will left with Harry and Ron to head to the training grounds for some extra Flying lessons with Madam Hooch while Percy and Annabeth decided to spend some time in the library before they all met up later that night.

As they rounded the corner, Annabeth put an arm out across Percy’s chest and backed him up. He narrowed his eyes and looked at her in confusion. “What? What did you see?”

She brought her voice down to a whisper. “A dark cloud, just like Will described in his dream. Look.” She said, pointing around the corner.

The corridor was deserted except for a lone third-year Ravenclaw girl who was sitting quietly on a bench reading. Percy’s breath caught when he saw what Annabeth was pointing to. Seeping out of the dark stone walls was indeed a cloud of swirling black smoke. It seemed almost corporeal the way it moved and slid towards the girl.

Percy dropped his books and ran to the young Ravenclaw’s side. He leveled his voice so she wouldn’t be scared. “Hey there, I don’t think we’ve met yet. I’m Percy.” He said with an outstretched hand.

The girl looked startled, but stared back at him with curious brown eyes. She began playing with the ends of her hair and blushed. “I’m Sarah.”

Percy’s eyes flickered to the approaching dark cloud. “Hi Sarah. My girlfriend and I are new here, and we were wondering if you could show us where the library is?”

Sarah looked a little disappointed, but nodded. Annabeth jogged over to them and wrapped her arm through Sarah’s. “That would be awesome. We are in a little bit of a rush though!.”

Percy waited until Annabeth had pulled the Ravenclaw girl out of sight before taking out his wand and turning towards the dark cloud. “Anaklusmos,” he whispered, and watched his wand transform into a three-foot long celestial bronze blade.

The dense smoke lapped against the bench where Sarah had been, and seemed to realize its target was missing. It swelled in size, and seemed to absorb the shadows from every corner.

Percy grit his teeth and slashed out at the cloud. While he didn’t actually feel Riptide hit anything solid, a sharp hiss rang through his ears. Whatever this thing was, it didn’t like celestial bronze. A dark tendril whipped out towards Percy, and he quickly rolled out of the way. He brought his sword into a large arch towards the cloud, and it shrank away in fright.

The smoke swirled around, as if growing more and more impatient by the second. Percy took two advancing steps with Riptide at the ready when the cloud seemed to think retreating was its best option. The darkness flew towards a crack in the wall and trickled in until it disappeared completely.

As Percy stood there in confusion, trying to wrap his head around what just happened, Annabeth rushed around the corner. “Where did it go?” She asked on high alert.

The son of Poseidon shrugged. “I don’t know. It sort of freaked out and went back into the wall.”

Annabeth was silent as she examined the stone. “Did you fight it?”

Percy nodded. “It didn’t like celestial bronze.”

“At least we know one of its weaknesses.” She said.

“But what was it?” he asked.

Annabeth bit her bottom lip. “I’m not sure. But whatever it was had something to do with Will’s dreams. We need to let the others know.”

They jogged back towards the corridor where they came from and made their way towards Flying class. As they approached the training grounds, Will was maneuvering his broom back towards Madam Hooch.

“Well done, Mr. Solace. I believe you will give the Gryffindors a run for their money at practice tomorrow.” She praised.

Will grinned widely at her and hopped off his broom. After catching Percy and Annabeth’s concerned looks across the way, he excused himself and made his way towards them.

Ron and Harry were finishing up polishing their brooms when they noticed the three demigods with their heads together and cut in.

“What’s going on?” Ron asked nervously.

Their friends exchanged glances. “Something happened. We need to find Nico and Hermione.”

XX

Once they had gathered the remaining members of the group, the demigods and golden trio closed the door of the third floor empty classroom for privacy.

“So..now can you tell us what’s going on?” Harry asked, a little frustrated.

Percy looked to Will, motioning for him to start. The son of Apollo sighed and crossed his arms. “I started having these dreams about a dark cloud attacking students here at Hogwarts.”

Ron raised an eyebrow. “Okay...so?”

The corner of Will’s mouth twitched. “Demigod dreams aren’t like human dreams. Ours are a little more...prophetic, I guess? We have insight to what’s actually happening, like a window to what’s going on around us while we are sleeping.”

“It has to do with the connection to our parents. Demigods are wired for battle. Our bodies are always working in overdrive to protect us, which is why our dreams are so vivid, and usually very accurate.” Annabeth continued.

Hermione nodded, seemingly engrossed in the conversation. “So does that mean this dark cloud is actually real?”

“Yes. After class today we saw it try to attack a girl near the library, but it ran away before it could do any damage.” Percy confirmed grimly.

Nico narrowed his eyes. “It sounds like something that would come out of the Underworld. Maybe more than just the hellhounds have escaped my father’s domain.”

The group fell silent as they thought about the implications. As Percy was about to venture a guess, an unnerving scream reverberated off the walls.

“Ugh, not again!” Ron moaned and followed his friends towards the sound.

Percy led them near the empty Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. A first year Hufflepuff was lying on the ground with her head lulled back in unconsciousness.

“Look!” Hermione gasped. The dense cloud of swirling smoke was retreating from the young girl’s head towards the stone. Percy called out Riptide and rushed towards it.

“Seaweed Brain, stop!” Annabeth whispered harshly. He whipped around in confusion before hearing the scuttle of footsteps coming their way. He hastily transformed Riptide back into a wand and put it away.

Will dropped to his knees to check the young girl’s pulse, exhaling when he felt the weak pounding.

“She’s alive.” He said grimly, making eye contact with Percy, Annabeth, and Nico. A small crowd had begun to form around the group. Will grit his teeth and told a third-year to go get Madam Pomfrey.

Will wrapped his arms around the young girl’s shoulders and knees and lifted her up easily. “I’m going to take her to the hospital wing. I’ll meet you guys at the library later.”

Nico went with his boyfriend, glaring at anyone who was in their way. The power they felt rolling off of him was more than enough to create a large path for the demigods.

Percy growled at the crowd of whispering students. “Show’s over. Leave!” With the son of Hades’ glare and the son of Poseidon’s command, nobody needed to be told twice. Even Professor Umbridge, who had stepped out of her office to see what the commotion was about, closed her door quickly.

“She’s a teacher! She should have done something!” Hermione said breathlessly.

Annabeth shook her head, “She wouldn’t have been able to do anything, Hermione. Whatever that is, I don’t think it comes from your world.”

“What, like the hellhounds?” Ron asked, his voice shaking.

Percy motioned for them to return to the classroom. When they filed in, he shut the door behind him. “Yeah, Nico was right. That thing looks like it belongs in the Underworld.”

“Annabeth, maybe…?” Hermione asked, looking at her blonde friend nervously.

She nodded her head. “We have something we would like to run past you all.”

Harry and Ron took a seat, while Percy leaned against one of the desks. “Shoot.”

Annabeth gave Hermione an encouraging smile.

“Okay..Er..um..I was thinking...Er, I mean..we were thinking…” Hermione started. “That we should..um..really learn how to defend ourselves.”

Percy raised an eyebrow. “I couldn’t agree with you more. Tell us your plan.”

The young witch nodded at his approval and gained some confidence. “That hag, Umbridge, isn’t teaching us anything useful. With You-Know-Who and all of these new monsters from your world out there, all of us, including our classmates, need to be learning defensive spells.”

Annabeth cut in, “Not just spells, but they need to know how to fight if their wand is out of reach, too.”

Hermione thanked the daughter of Athena with her eyes. “And who better to teach us than you guys?”

Percy grinned widely. “I love it. Harry can teach us how to duel using magic, and we can all teach you how to fight without it.”

Harry’s eyes widened and he stood up shaking his head. “Woah, I don’t like this. I am in no position to be teaching anyone anything!”

“Blimey, Harry, you are the one who fought You-Know-Who! Multiple times! There’s no one better!” Ron said with exasperation.

The Boy Who Lived grit his teeth in frustration. “That was all mostly luck. Everything I’ve ever done has been mostly luck, or I’ve had help!”

Percy moved in front of Harry and placed his hands on his shoulders. “Bro, take a deep breath. Nobody is asking you to decide right now. Take some time to think about it.I think it’s a great idea, but you this is your choice.”

Harry looked down, but gave a small nod, letting the anger dissipate. “Okay.”

The son of Poseidon slapped the younger boy on the back. “Great, let’s head to the library.”

Ron jumped up to follow Percy. “Why do you guys spend so much time there?”

Annabeth fell in step next to him. “Remember when we all got sorted into our houses? The Sorting Hat dropped a hint about Nico’s family. It said we should be looking in the library.”

As they settled into the back corner with a stack of books, Hermione pondered what she overheard in the library last week. “Maybe someone in Nico’s family line went to school here or something.”

Percy shrugged. “No idea. But he doesn’t know hardly anything about his family, so this is a top priority. If we have a chance to help our friend learn about his past, then we are going to take it.”

Thirty minutes later a haggard looking Will and Nico slumped into the chairs next to them. The son of Apollo had dark circles under his eyes. “Two more students were brought to the hospital wing while we were there. Whatever this thing is, it moves fast.”

“They are almost acting like they are in a coma..” Nico trailed off, thinking hard.

Percy slid two books towards his friends. “We will figure this thing out, I promise. We will find a way to stop whatever that dark cloud is. But for now, let’s keep looking for any information on Nico’s family.”

Everyone nodded and returned grimly back to their books. Silence swept across the library, and Percy prayed to his dad that they would be able to figure out what the heck was going on at Hogwarts.

XX

Unfortunately, the next few weeks proved to be just as daunting as the last.

Ten more students were admitted into the hospital wing showing the same comatose symptoms as the first girl with no signs of recovery. Professor Umbridge had wormed her way into all of their classrooms to “observe and review” all of the Hogwarts Professors. She pushed Harry to his limit in Defense Against the Dark Arts, effectively earning him a week’s worth of detention, along with Percy, who had defended him.

As they stepped out of Professor Umbridge’s office on Wednesday night, Percy rubbed his aching hand. He had a pretty high pain tolerance, but these nightly scarrings were beginning to take their toll. He couldn’t even imagine how Harry was feeling. Before he could ask, Harry stopped and slumped his back against the wall.

“I’ll do it.” He said quietly.

Percy dropped next to him. “You’ll do what?”

Harry looked up at him from behind his glasses. “I’ll help you guys teach the other students how to defend themselves.”

The son of Poseidon grinned widely, finally happy to hear some good news. “What helped you decide?”

“Everything, I guess.” he sighed. “All of those students in the hospital wing, the constant threats, the fact that I hate Umbridge..”

“You aren’t alone there, buddy. I hate her too.” Percy agreed.

Harry gave him a weak smile. “Yeah. But there’s something else. You know how Will said that he had been having those dreams about the dark cloud? And then it started attacking people in real life?”

The son of Poseidon nodded his head slowly, not liking where this was going. “I’ve kind of been having similar dreams. But instead of being here at Hogwarts, I’m watching..someplace else. I don’t exactly know where, but it’s always the same place. Dark, clean, empty. It’s like someone is searching for something.”

“Hmmm. If you see anything else in the dreams that might give you a clue to what you’re looking at, lemme know. Maybe you should talk to Professor Dumbledore about this too.” Percy suggested.

Harry immediately tensed. “N-no. He’s much too busy to be worrying about me.” He stood up and brushed himself off, heading towards the Common Room.

Percy followed quickly. “I’m sure that’s not true. But if you really want to keep this between us, I will.”

Harry nodded silently. “On a more positive note, think about how happy Hermione will be that you agreed to move forward with her plan.” Percy smiled, clapping the young wizard on the shoulder.

As anticipated, Hermione was over the moon. She immediately set out to spread the word, letting everyone who seemed interested know that they would be meeting at the Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade over the weekend. Of course, she didn’t tell Harry how many people would be attending, which was probably the right call.

As they neared the weekend, Harry seemed to get more and more nervous. He spent most of his free time with his nose crammed in a textbook so that he could finish all of his homework before the meeting. “I just don’t want to be distracted.” Was all he said when Hermione commented on his newfound work ethic.

Their weekend trip to the small Wizarding village finally arrived, and Percy had grown just as nervous as Harry. He bounced on the balls of his feet as he and the other demigods handed Professor McGonagall their permission slips all signed by Chiron, which just so happened to show up on each of their beds the night before.

“Very good, Mr. Jackson. You may accompany the rest of your friends to Hogsmeade. Do try to stay out of trouble.” She said with a wink. Percy had grown to like McGonagall very much over the past few weeks. The first time Professor Umbridge had showed up to observe Transfiguration, McGonagall shut her down almost immediately.

He caught up with his friends and slung an arm around Annabeth. She smiled up at him and wrapped a hand around his waist and reached up for a quick kiss. Oh yeah, he was definitely going to like these weekend trips.
“What if nobody comes? What if it’s literally just the seven of us?” Harry groaned as they walked through the cute village. When the group tried to calm his concerns, he just waved them off. “Where are we going anyway?”

Hermione pointed to a doorway tucked away from the rest. “The Hog’s Head. I wanted to meet somewhere non-conspicuous.”

As Ron complained about the health code issues with their destination, Percy noticed that Nico and Will were no longer with them. He looked around and saw the two demigods stopped in front of an old, broken down building. “Hey guys, hold up.” He called to the others.

The group backtracked to Will and Nico. “What’s going on, guys?” Percy asked. Will shrugged and motioned towards the son of Hades, who was transfixed on the cracked doorway.

“I’ve seen this place before.” Nico said quietly, tilting his head.

Will looked confused, “What, like in a dream?”

“I..I don’t remember. Every time I try to think back to it, all I hear is white noise, like I did back in Grimmauld Place.” He gritted his teeth in frustration and placed a hand on his temple.

“Let’s check it out then.” Percy offered, but Hermione stopped him.

“We can do that after our meeting. We are almost late.” She rushed them all into the dirty bar and closed the door behind them.

A six-foot tall man with a bandage wrapped around his head raised an eyebrow at them, but said nothing. They pushed two small tables together and each took a seat.

After thirty seconds of impatient fingers drumming across the table, Harry stood up and groaned. “I told you nobody would come, Hermione. Let’s just go.”

Before he could move away from them, the door burst open, letting in a rush of chilly air. Everyone’s eyes’ widened as twenty-five or so students filed into the Hog’s Head rapidly.

Percy laughed at Harry’s surprised, then angry look he shot Hermione. “It looks like people really are interested, huh Harry?” That look was then turned on him, who it had no effect on. Percy recognized about fifteen or so people from Gryffindor, the rest must have been from other houses.

Once the crowd of people had a round of Butterbeers, which were much too sweet for his taste, he made eye contact with his friends, silently asking if they were ready. Everyone nodded at him, and he stood up on the table, grabbing the room’s attention.

“Thank you all for coming. For those who don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson.” He called out, only to be greeted with flirty whistles from a group of girls in the back. Percy coughed and continued. “These two lovely ladies right here had the idea that everyone should learn how to defend yourselves, especially since we aren’t actually learning anything in class.”

A murmur of agreement passed through the crowd. “Harry here has agreed to teach everyone some advanced spells that he has learned over the years that will help you should you ever find yourself in a fight for your life.”

“What kind of fight?” Dean Thomas asked.

Before anyone could answer him, A scrawny, pudgy faced boy called out with a sneer from the left side of the room. “How do we know that he knows anything?”

Ron jumped up immediately to defend his best friend. “Because he’s actually used these spells in battle, you idiot.”

Hermione placed a hand on Ron’s arm to calm him down. “He really has. We know that he’s a great wizard because...well because...he’s fought L-Lord Voldemort. He’s really back.”

Percy rolled his eyes at the almost immediate reaction. A few people shrieked at the name, while others spilled their Butterbeer all over the floor, earning a hateful glare from the bartender.

“Says him.” The boy Percy now recognized as Zacharias Smith shot back.

It was Harry’s turn to speak. He stood up, and all eyes fixated on him. “Yeah, says me. I saw him with my own eyes, I watched him rise out of that bloody cauldron and murder Cedric Diggory.” Percy noticed Harry’s eyes softened when they made eye contact with Cho Chang. “But I don't want to talk about that. If that’s what you want to hear, you might as well clear out.”

Thankfully, nobody moved. Luna Lovegood raised her hand with a dreamy look across her face. Harry nodded towards her. “Is it true that you can produce a Patronus?”

A murmur ran across the crowd. Harry opened his mouth before closing it quickly. “Yeah, it is.”

“A corporeal Patronus?”

Hermione stood up next to him, “He can. I’ve seen it.”

“Blimey, Harry!” said Lee, looking deeply impressed. “I never knew that!”

“And did you kill a basilisk with that sword in Dumbledore’s office?” A young Ravenclaw boy demanded. “That’s what one of the portraits on the wall told me when I was in there last year….”

Harry looked slightly uncomfortable. “Uh..yeah.”

A few other of Harry’s accomplishments were thrown out, and Percy had to admit that he was impressed. Harry would make a pretty decent demigod, although Percy had no idea who his parent would be. Harry reminded him of Jason, so maybe Zeus? But the boy also cared deeply for his friends, so maybe Aphrodite?

“Look,” Harry began, shaking Percy out of his downward spiral. “I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to be modest or anything, but...I had a lot of help with all that stuff…”

A rumble of objections passed through the crowd and Harry looked to Percy for help. He was more than happy to oblige. The son of Poseidon stood up again and let his wolf stare set in. Within seconds, the entire bar was silent again.

“That’s better. Moving on..the point is, are we agreed that we want to take lessons from Harry?”

He was met with general agreement. “We also want you all to learn how to defend yourselves without a wand, too. You never know when the situation may arise where you find yourself without it.”

“What, like wrestling?” Fred asked before he was tackled by his twin. The two scrambled on the ground before Percy gave a warning cough.

“More like hand-to-hand combat. My friends and I are experts on the subject.” He said with a wry smile.

Hermione stepped next to Percy. “We will find a night during the week that works with everyone’s schedules.”

“Hang on,” Angelina cut in, “we need to make sure this doesn’t clash with anyone’s Quidditch practice.”

All of the players murmured their agreement. “Right, we will find a night that suits everyone. Once we find a place and a time, we will send word.”

She rummaged around through her bag and brought out a piece of parchment. “I’ll need everyone’s names so that I know who to contact-and don’t worry, I’ll keep it in a safe place.”

Annabeth stepped up first, “Let me be the first to sign.” She said with a wink. Once she was done, she handed the quill to Will, Nico, and then Percy, who handed it to Cho Chang. She chewed on the inside of her cheek as she made eye contact with Harry.

Once everyone signed, they all clapped Harry on the back and wished him a good weekend. The bar cleared out in about twenty minutes, and Percy’s group of friends sat back in their chairs. “I think that went well!”

Harry looked appeased, “Surprisingly, so did I.”

Hermione smiled contently, “Well, at least one good thing came out of this.”

Annabeth shot her a wry smile, “And what would that be?”

“Cho just couldn’t keep her eyes off Harry, could she?”

Everyone laughed at the heat rising from Harry’s cheeks. Ah, young love. Percy thought as he took his girlfriend’s hand.

Nico stood up, interrupting everyone’s good time. “Sorry, guys. But I really need to check out that building back there.”

Percy, Annabeth, and Will all joined him. “Why don’t you three go back to the castle, we will let you know if we find anything?” Annabeth suggested.

Nobody seemed to have any objections, so the demigods bid their friends farewell and returned to the broken down building.

Nico stood in front of the cracked wooden door again, transfixed. “The sign hanging there says ‘Inn.’”

Percy shrugged, “Maybe it used to be one. I wonder what happened to it.” They moved closer, and pushed the door open, cringing at the loud screech of the rusted hinges.

“Watch your step.” Will called out, stepping over a shattered glass table. As they fanned out, Percy watched Nico.

The son of Hades almost immediately went for a small table in the middle of the room. A lone candle that was seemingly untouched grabbed his attention. “What’s up Nico?

He didn’t look up. “This just seems so familiar…” Nico said, rubbing his temple again. “I...I think we need to light it.”

Annabeth looked at him strangely, but pulled a lighter out of her pocket. “If you say so….”

She flicked her thumb across the small wheel, and a bright flicker of flame appeared. She lit the candle, and a bright light swept across the room. The demigods shielded their eyes until the light dimmed again.

“What the heck…” Will started, looking around the newly illuminated room.

Annabeth gasped, and drew everyone’s attention to the wall. The wooden wall with multiple rips and tears through it was now covered in glowing words. The flame must have had some kind of effect on the lettering.

They took a few steps forward, and Will read the newfound writing on the wall outloud.

“Born of Chaos, Darkness reigns
All Hail the King of Shadows
Adorned with Agony and Sorrows
His Power bleeds through the Veins
Of which Smoke and Obscurity feigns
He who Bathes in Throws
Of Sweet, sweet Death, each soon Knows
Eyes then Close, and Tighten the Chains

Entrapped below while History Reveals
War rages Eternal, and Light Dims
The King slumbers Below in the Deep
Despair hissing at Father Time’s heels
Encounter the Soot, and Fall to his Whims
Beware, the Son of Chaos escapes his Enslaved sleep

The demigods let the sonnet soak in, before Will sank to his knees. His friends rushed to his side, concern evident on their faces.

“Will, what’s wrong?” Nico asked worriedly.

The son of Apollo shook his head. “The..the poem. I’ve read it before. My..father. He gave me a book last year with this poem in it.”

Percy’s jaw tightened. This couldn’t possibly be a good sign.

“The poem is titled…”

His friends moved in closer.

“The poem is titled Erebus.”

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 15

Annabeth gasped, and drew everyone’s attention to the wall. The wooden wall with multiple rips and tears through it was now covered in glowing words. The flame must have had some kind of effect on the lettering.

They took a few steps forward, and Will read the newfound writing on the wall outloud.

“Born of Chaos, Darkness reigns
All Hail the King of Shadows
Adorned with Agony and Sorrows
His Power bleeds through the Veins
Of which Smoke and Obscurity feigns
He who Bathes in Throws
Of Sweet, sweet Death, each soon Knows
Eyes then Close, and Tighten the Chains

Entrapped below while History Reveals
War rages Eternal, and Light Dims
The King slumbers Below in the Deep
Despair hissing at Father Time’s heels
Encounter the Soot, and Fall to his Whims
Beware, the Son of Chaos escapes his Enslaved sleep

The demigods let the sonnet soak in, before Will sank to his knees. His friends rushed to his side, concern evident on their faces.

“Will, what’s wrong?” Nico asked worriedly.

The son of Apollo shook his head. “The..the poem. I’ve read it before. My..father. He gave me a book last year with this poem in it.”

Percy’s jaw tightened. This couldn’t possibly be a good sign.

“The poem is titled…”

His friends moved in closer.

“The poem is titled Erebus.”

XX

A dark pit formed in Percy’s stomach. “Erebus?” He repeated.

Will nodded numbly.

“Like the personification of darkness, Erebus? The region where the dead pass directly after dying, before they get to the underworld?” Annabeth asked, her voice rising a few octaves with every question.

Nico groaned loudly. “Are you kidding me? A freaking primordial deity? Again? Can’t we catch a break?”

Percy had to admit that he shared Nico’s sentiments.

“First, Kronos decides to climb his ass out of Tartarus, and then the actual goddess of the Earth is this close to waking up and destroying the entire planet!” The Son of Hades threw his hands up in the air angrily. “And now, the personification of darkness, the only being that has power over my father, is out and about controlling wizards and dark smokey clouds!”

Percy almost laughed at how ridiculous all of that sounded. “How in the world are we supposed to stop Erebus? It took two armies to stop Gaia last time, now it's just the four of us.”

Will had pulled himself up, and was trying to comfort a raging Nico. “What about that Dr. C guy? He sounded like he was trying to warn us?”

“He’s probably in on it.” Nico grumbled with his arms crossed. “How are we supposed to trust anyone with this..this..this deity running around!”

“Alright, all of you need to calm down, now.” Annabeth said, taking charge. “I don’t think Dr. C is Erebus. He wanted to help us stop it, so I’m not saying we should trust him, but we shouldn’t burn any bridges. Especially not when we are in this deep of a mess.”

Percy nodded. “Annabeth’s right. I think we need to get back to the castle and get a good night’s rest, then we can call home and see what the others think.”

When the demigods stepped outside, the sun was peeking just below the horizon, leaving a dying glow illuminating Hogsmeade.

“You guys go on ahead, I need to blow off some steam.” Nico said, taking a few steps back towards the shadows.

Percy looked at him nervously, “Uh, what kind of steam?”

The ghostly smile that appeared at Nico’s lips sent tingles down his spine. “Just my new favorite pastime.” Without another word, the Son of Hades dissipated into the shadows.

XX

When Annabeth and Percy slipped through the Fat Lady painting to the Gryffindor Common Room, they weren’t very happy to find the Golden Trio laughing around the fireplace waiting for them.

“What’s up with you guys?” Ron asked, tossing a chocolate frog at Percy.

Hermione laughed and put away the textbook that she wasn’t really paying attention to. “Yeah, you guys look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.”

The two demigods exchanged uneasy glances, and the cheerful mood dropped quickly. “Uh, I guess we have something to tell you guys…” Percy started.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat with their jaws to the floor as they finished listening to their friends describe their latest enemy.

“You’ve got to be joking, right?” Ron finally asked, burying his head into the couch.

Annabeth grimaced. “Unfortunately not. It all fits, the white noise, the dark clouds putting students into coma’s, the warnings from Hecate and Dr. C…”

“If this primordial deity is as powerful as you say it is, why hasn’t it destroyed half of the school yet? Or the planet, for that matter.” Hermione asked with her eyes gazing into the dying embers of the fire.

Percy propped himself up, “Well, when we face Gaia, she was still sleeping, so she didn’t have her full powers at her disposal. We think that maybe Erebus is in the same boat. He’s waking up, and that’s why he’s brought this Voldemort guy back, and has only been able to overtake one student at a time.”

“Listen, we aren’t stupid.” Annabeth exhaled in exhaustion. “We know we can’t face Erebus on our own. We are going to call our friends tomorrow and ask for help. For now, I would really like to get some sleep.”

Percy rose to his feet and held a hand out for his girlfriend. He nodded to the Golden Trio before heading up to bed and finding solace in a dreamless sleep.

XX

On Sunday morning, Ron and Hermione snuck Harry and the four demigods into the Prefect’s bathroom on the fifth floor. Once everyone was inside, the young witch brought out her wand and recited, “Colloportus!” Every lock on the door sprang closed with a satisfying “click.”

“There, now we won’t be disturbed.” She explained. Percy shrugged and brought his hand towards the large bronze pipes that sat at the head of the enormous tub. He latched onto the pull his gut and willed the water to spray out. The light shining through the stained glass windows danced colorfully along the hose, and a rainbow took shape. Their friends oohed and ahhed at the sight.

Annabeth pulled out a Golden Drachma and closed her eyes. “Oh Iris, goddess of the Rainbow, please accept my offering.”

Hermione gasped as a mist appeared in the window, showing an elfish-looking boy with curly brunette hair and mechanical grease covering his face.

“Leo!” Annabeth called with a grin.

The boy in the mist jumped in surprise, dropping whatever he had been carrying in his hands. “Annabeth, don’t scare me like that!” He peered around, checking out the audience. “Are those the wizards? Are they cooler than Lou Ellen? Can they turn water into some punched out go-go juice?”

Percy stepped forward so that he was front and center. “Leo, focus. I need you to get Chiron and the others.”

Leo’s faced dropped a little, “That doesn’t sound good…give me a sec!”

After a few minutes of watching Leo dart around the camp and run into various people, a crowd of campers gathered around the mist.

“Who are all of these people?” Harry leaned over to ask Will.

The Son of Apollo grinned at him, “These are our friends. The guy with the beard is Chiron, our Activities Director. Let’s see...there’s Piper, Jason, Leo, Calypso, Clarisse, Chris...and then all of my brothers and sisters! Hey guys!” Will waved excitedly towards the crowd and Harry took a small step away from him.

“Percy!” Chiron called out, silencing the growing voices around him. “I assume that since you are contacting us with an audience that your three charges have found out your little secret?”

Percy looked to his new friends with a playful smirk. “I guess you could say that. Guys, this is Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They are students here at Hogwarts.”

A murmur of excitedness floated throughout the crowd. “But, we’ve got some bad news, Chiron.”

The old centaur looked as if he had aged ten years when Percy said that. “I was afraid of that…”

Nico pushed himself to the front. “We aren’t gonna sugarcoat this for you guys, so here’s the deal. Erebus is waking up, and we need to figure out how to stop him.”

A much more fearful murmur sounded, but Chiron held up a hand to stop it immediately. “Have you consulted with your Father about this?”

Nico grimaced. “Kind of. I tried getting ahold of him last night, but there was a really bad connection. He seemed to have his hands full.”

Chiron nodded grimly. “That very well may be the case. If Erebus truly is waking, I would assume that the entire Underworld is in disarray. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that I have an answer for you all. Until this moment, I didn’t think it was possible for him to stir from his slumber, but the war with Gaia must have done more damage than we first thought.”

Percy frowned at Annabeth. “So as of right now, we are screwed?”

“Well...it wouldn’t put it like that…” Chiron started, but Leo annoyingly interrupted. “Yup, completely and totally screwed. I didn’t die sending Gaia into fiery little pieces for another primordial deity to rise up and smite us all!”

Calypso put a soft hand on Leo’s arm, warning him that his ears had caught on fire. “Percy, I will do some research and ask the gods for guidance, and you do the same. I will send you an Iris Message if I find anything.”

The Son of Poseidon bit the bottom of his lip in disappointment. “Thanks Chiron. Jason, can you reach out to Reyna, Hazel, and Frank too? I think we will need all hands on deck for this one.”

“You got it bro.” Jason have him a half-hearted smile, and Harry recognized his voice from the conversation he eavesdropped on a few weeks earlier.

Percy waved his hand through the mist and stopped the flow of water. He sat down at the edge of the tub, exhausted. “That didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.”

Nico crossed his arms, “You can say that again. What are we supposed to do?”

Hermione and Annabeth exchanged glances. “Well, we do exactly what Chiron said. We do some research.”

Since it was such a beautiful day outside, the group of friends decided to take their homework and research underneath a shaded tree near the Black Lake. Annabeth, Will, and Hermione had their nose stuck in textbooks while Ron, Harry, and Nico tried to catch up on some homework they never got around to finishing.

Percy, on the other hand, wasn’t about to waste a perfectly beautiful day on studying. He was a little sick of all of these death omens hanging around his head, and he sure as hell didn’t have any interest in doing homework. When Percy kicked off his shoes and peeled off his shirt, he ignored the protests from his new friends.

“Percy, nobody goes swimming in the Black Lake! There are things in there that can kill you!” Hermione said angrily.

He just shot her a sly grin. “Hermione, you do know that I’m the Son of the Sea God? There isn’t anything in these waters that can hurt me.”

Annabeth rolled her eyes and continued reading. Hermione, Ron, and Harry all stared after Percy as he dove straight into the lake and didn’t surface again.

“Do you think he drowned?” Ron asked a little fearfully.

Will chuckled, “Well, Percy can breathe underwater, so he can’t drown. I’ve also heard from the grapevine that he also insists that his breakfast can’t either.”

Annabeth couldn’t resist a smile, and she shot the confused-looking Ron a wink.

About two hours later, a harsh wind had settled around Hogwarts. Ron began pacing the edges of the lake, “How do we let him know that we want to head back?”

Nico picked up a small rock and felt its smooth surface between his fingers. “Like this.” He skipped the rock perfectly along the rough waves of the lake and waited.

“I don’t understand.” Harry said, tilting his head. Not five seconds later, the rock peeked out from the surface of the water and skipped back towards the bank.

Percy’s head appeared, and his friends waved him back in. Of course, he was perfectly dry, much to the amazement of Hermione.

“That was a blast, you guys should really try it sometime! I met a few Grindylows, hung out with my Selkie friends, and even found the giant squid! He likes to be called ‘Sir Richard Hamilton the VI’ for some reason…”

Harry, Ron, and Will sprinted off towards the Quidditch pitch for practice while the rest of the group decided to grab a snack from the Great Hall. As they turned down the corridor, a group of students were crowded around one of the stone walls where Filch was struggling against a ladder.

“What’s going on?” Nico asked a third-year Slytherin that was near the back of the crowd. The boy regarded him with amusement and pointed up at the hanging frame. “Professor Umbridge has been appointed as High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, basically giving her power from the Ministry to do whatever she pleases.” He said with a cruel sneer.

The demigods froze at the name, and turned to face each other. “You’ve got to be kidding me…”

Hermione looked back and forth between Nico, Percy, and Annabeth. “What?”

Nico chewed on the inside of his cheek. “In the prophecy that sent us here, the last lines were ‘The Inquisitor's soul the Iron Blade shall reap, Lest the Ghost King’s Revenge runs deep…’”

“Ghost King?” Hermione asked.

The son of Hades sheepishly raised a hand. “That would be me.”

“Wait, so you’re meant to..to what? Kill that hag?” Hermione asked in exasperation.

Nico threw up his hands in defense, “I have no idea!”

Annabeth put a hand on Hermione’s arm. “Prophecies never turn out the way they seem. That line could mean anything.”

Even though he knew he couldn’t be sure what the prophecy meant, the pit in Percy’s stomach grew. Sure, everyone hated that Umbridge woman, but the thought of Nico killing her didn’t sit right with him. He wasn’t sure she deserved to get her soul reaped by Nico’s Stygian blade-at least, not yet.

XX

Over the next two weeks, the weather seemed to grow colder and more harsh with each passing day. The demigods spent most of their time in the library looking up anything that might be able to help them against Erebus, but were coming up with nothing. They hoped to see Dr. C in one of their classes again, but Professor Sinistra explained that her colleague was traveling, spreading the word about the newly discovered Constellation.

The only comic relief they got was seeing Umbridge’s diminishing composure in Defense Against the Dark Arts. When she would enter the classroom, Umbridge would hurriedly try to pat down the frantic stray hairs underneath her torn hat, or frantically cover up the small holes in her attire. Her eyes would wonder nervously along the floor below her, and she would jump at each any sound.

Percy found immense joy at watching as the results of Nico’s slow torture begin to show itself to them. One day he couldn’t control himself and raised his hand. Umbridge narrowed her eyes at him. “What is it, Mr. Jackson?” She asked with absolutely no interest whatsoever.

“I’m just concerned, Professor.” He said in the sweetest voice he could muster. “You don’t look like you’ve been sleeping well.”

Umbridge fumed in her seat. “That will be ten points from Gryffindor.”

Hermione’s jaw dropped. “Why?”

“Because he insulted the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, that’s why! Now if you would like to keep the remainder of your house points, I suggest you all continue reading!”

Percy shrugged, but laughed silently with his friends, enjoying watching the slow progression of Professor Umbridge’s demise.

 

XX

Annabeth struggled to keep her eyes open during History of Magic, which was very unlike her. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy learning about the Giant Wars, they were really quite interesting, but there was just something about Professor Binns’ voice that lulled her to sleep.

She looked around the check on her friends, who of course, were all either completely asleep or gazing effortlessly out the windows. Even Hermione seemed to have a hard time focusing. Annabeth turned her attention back to the ghost, she was the daughter of Athena, for gods’ sake, she should be able to pay attention in an academic class!

Within ten minutes, her plan was slowly failing. She was about to give in to her body’s wishes when she heard a sound at one of the windows. A snowy owl was pecking loudly, and Annabeth could instantly tell something was wrong. She turned to Harry, whispering his name harshly.

The young wizard gave her a confused look before following the direction of her finger. His eyes’ widened and he moved slowly across the room, trying not the interrupt their Professor. Harry opened the window slightly and brought Hedwig in from the cold. He went to pet her and instantly froze when she gave a chirp of pain.

Annabeth flew out of her chair towards the pair and examined the bird. Hedwig’s beautiful feathers were ruffled violently, and she was limping on one leg. Harry looked to be in shock, “She’s hurt!”

“Her leg’s broken.” Annabeth confirmed. “We need to get out of here.” She grabbed Harry’s arm and motioned for Will to follow them.

“Professor, Harry isn’t feeling well at all, Will and I are going to take him to the hospital wing.”

The ghost looked a little startled at the interruption, but squinted his eyes and waved them off. Percy and Nico asked if they needed backup, but she waved them off. Owls were Athena’s thing, she could handle this.

She brought them to their usual empty third floor classroom and shut the door. “Will, Hedwig is hurt. She’s got a fractured Tarsus and her primaries are cut up pretty badly.”

Will narrowed his eyes and examined the bird. “Harry, do you know what she was doing when she got hurt?”

Harry shook his head, trying to clear his head. “I had her deliver a message to Sirius a couple of days ago, but I haven’t seen her since.”

Will slowly untied the letter that hung from Hedwig’s foot and handed it to Harry.

“Same time. Same Place.” He read aloud.

Annabeth grimaced. “It looks like someone tried to read your letter. Hedwig is pretty distinguishable, someone probably knew that she was your owl.”

Harry looked furious. “They hurt Hedwig! How can someone think to do that?”

“I’d assume it was probably because of your letters back and forth between you and your godfather.” Annabeth guessed. “For now, maybe you should keep from communicating that way. And don’t worry, Will will fix your owl right up.”

Hedwig’s feathers ruffled anxiously, and Annabeth bent over so that she was eye level with her. She offered soothing comfort, and distracted the owl while Will worked his magic.

After about ten minutes, Will cracked his knuckles and stretched out. “She’s as good as new!” He announced.

Harry sighed with obvious relief. “Wow, thank you. You both were amazing. How did you do that?”

Annabeth shrugged. “Will is an Apollo kid, it’s sort of in his blood to be pretty handy when it comes to healing.”

Will smiled at the praise. “And the owl is Athena’s sacred animal. I would imagine that Annabeth has a special connection with Hedwig because of that, which is how she was able to keep her so calm.”

Harry nodded, and thanked the two demigods again. “I’m going to bring her back to the Owlery, I want to make sure she gets there safe.”

“Want one of us to come with you?” Annabeth offered.

“No, I’ll be okay. I would like a little time with Hedwig, give her some support, you know?” Harry said.

He waved goodbye to his friends and took off towards the Castle Grounds.

XX
The rest of the week was littered with furious Professors. Apparently, none of them appreciated the results of Umbridge’s inspection. None so more than Professor Trelawney, Will observed. That woman was a straight up nightmare in class. She spent the entire time mumbling under her breath, and if a student raised their hand to ask a question, she would snap at them.

“Am I SO incompetent that you have to question every direction I give, Miss Patil?”

Will almost felt bad for her, but then his patience slowly spiraled with each harsh word that came from her mouth. He had hoped that his other classes would be more enjoyable, but alas, the Hag in Pink-or so he liked to call her-seemed to have gotten to everyone. Professor Snape sneered more than usual and assigned them an extra essay, while Professor Sprout micro-managed their lesson and practice with a new vigor.

Madam Hooch was his last hope. As he walked up to the darkening Training Grounds, he saw the Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor Quidditch Captains all gathered around their coach with their hands in the air. So much for that theory.

“Madam Hooch, she won’t let us play! She’s stopped us from trying to reform the team!” Angelina complained with fury in her voice. “We have our match against Slytherin coming up, we have to practice!”

The yellow-eyed witch held up a hand to stop her. “You need to take this up with your Head of House. All of you! Now go!” The three captains murmured their complaints a little more, and stormed off towards the castle.

Madam Hooch sighed when Will replaced them, pinching the bridge of her nose with two fingers. “Mr. Solace, I apologize, but today is not a good day for extra lessons. That woman has banned any sort of organized group, including Quidditch teams, and that is not sitting well with the students, if you didn’t happen to overhear. On top of that, the weather has become a mess. I suggest you hunker down in your Common Room and call it a night.”

Will opened and closed his mouth without saying a word. He trudged back to where he came from and went to find his friends.

Everyone was scattered around one of the long tables in the great Hall reading a variety of books about ancient Greek Mythology, hoping to catch a break on information about their enemy. He took a seat next to Nico and smiled weakly at his boyfriend.

“What’s wrong?” The son of Hades asked.

Will shrugged. “It’s like every Professor in this school is pissed at the Hag in Pink, and is taking it out on us.”

“Here, here!” Ron raised a glass of Pumpkin Juice towards Will. “I’ve all got three times the amount of homework than normal!” The rest of his friends murmured their agreement to that and sank their noses deeper into their books.

Will had just flipped open to the first page of his own when he heard giggles sounding behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see the same group of girls that liked to follow him around sitting at the next table over.

Nico scoffed, and smirked at him. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth and he whispered, “Not jealous, are you Neeks?”

His boyfriend’s eyes darkened and he glared at Will. “I am not jealous.”

Will held his palms up in defense. “Sure, whatever you say.”

Percy and Annabeth exchanged knowing smiles and shook their heads. After a few minutes of silence, the giggles sounded again, only closer. Will sighed when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

He turned around, fully aware that all of his friends had their eyes glued to the scene in front of them. “Can I help you?” He asked the girl. She was admittedly pretty, with a blonde pixie-cut and bright green eyes.

“H-Hi-! You’re Will, right?” she asked nervously.

Will gave her a polite smile and nodded. He winced as she let out a high pitch squeal. “I-I’m so sorry about that. I-I’ve just seen you around, and y-you are really good on a broom. I’m Emily.”

He turned around to his friends to find all of them laughing silently in amusement, well everyone except Nico. He had his dark gaze fixed on Emily, who was too engrossed in Will to even notice.

“Uh, It’s nice to meet you, Emily.” He said, trying to return back to his book, but the girl kept standing there.

“WouldyouwanttogotoHogsmeadewithmenextweekend?” She sputtered out.

Will blinked at her. “What?”

Emily took a deep breath and grinned widely at him. “Would you want to go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend? I’d love to buy you a Butterbeer.”

His stomach dropped. He hated hurting people’s feelings.

“Uh..I’m sorry, Emily, I am already going with my friends here next weekend.” He motioned to the squirming demigods and wizards behind him.

Her pretty face fell. “Oh, okay. Maybe the weekend after? She added hopefully.

I need to make this painfully obvious for her, Will thought. He looked at his raging boyfriend and smiled at him. Nico’s eyebrows furrowed and he tilted his head in confusion.

Well, now’s a good of place as any. He threw an arm around Nico’s shoulders affectionately, causing the Son of Hades’ cheeks to flush. “I’m actually going to be pretty busy then too. My boyfriend and I have a lot of places around Hogwarts to explore.”

Epic silence sounded throughout the scattered Great Hall, and Emily’s eyes widened in understanding. She tossed her gaze back and forth between Will and Nico before squealing in embarrassment. “Oh! I didn’t know, I’m so sorry!” she stammered.

Will laughed comfortably, “Don’t worry about it.” He ignored the stares from around the room and returned to his book. Will checked on Nico from the corner of his eye, and he was pleased to see that the embarrassed heat was leaving his cheeks, and a ghost of a smile was playing on his lips.

There, now it was out in the open. He liked it better that way.

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 16

Since Quidditch practice was on hold until Professor Umbridge gave the Houses permission to reform their teams, the demigods and their friends were settled into the comfortable leather chairs in their corner of the library.

Madam Pince sauntered over to the group with a scowl on her face, “The library closes in five minutes, please ensure you have returned every book to its proper place before leaving.” She looked over at the disappointed looks on everyone’s faces and her curiosity got the best of her, “You seven have been in here practically every other night, and you barely work on homework in here. What could you possibly be looking for?”

Annabeth sighed and closed her book. “We are looking for some kind of connection to Nico’s family. The sorting hat gave him a clue that he might be able to learn something about the di Angelo’s if we checked here.” The others followed suit, marking their pages with a piece of string Hermione had provided.

“The di Angelo’s you say?” Madam Pince mulled, “I might be able to help if I had a little bit of time. Why don’t you come back next week, and I will see what I can find.”

The group perked up dramatically, “Wow, thank you!” Hermione grinned at the librarian. The group of students all murmured their thanks as well and returned the books to the proper shelves. “I don’t know why we didn’t think to ask Madam Pince for help before.” She whispered to Annabeth as they left the library.

“I just didn’t think anyone from your world would have any idea about the di Angelo family, I really hope she can help us.” Annabeth responded, smiling as Percy took her hand. He tugged her a little further back from the rest of their friends and lowered his voice.

“Let’s go explore a little bit, just the two of us.”

She couldn’t help the smile that settled on her face as she thought about finally spending some alone time with her boyfriend. Annabeth told the others to go on without them, and she let Percy drag her around the corner.

“Seaweed Brain, slow down!” She laughed. “We aren’t in any rush!”

Percy seemed to think about that for a second before shaking his head and giving her that goofy grin that she loved so much. He leaned her up against the stone wall and rested both hands on her cheeks, “You might not be, but who knows who’s going to come along? We only have a little bit of time before we’re caught.”

She shook her head at his logic, but closed the distance between them. Annabeth drank in the feeling of Percy’s lips on hers, and the butterflies in her stomach caught into a flurry when he nipped at her bottom lip. Percy’s hands lowered to her waist, snaking around to pull her closer. Annabeth ran her fingers through his hair for a few seconds before she deepened the kiss and tightened her hold around his neck.

She broke the kiss and rested her forehead against Percy’s and laughed at their haggard breath. His smile was contagious as he placed quick, sweet kisses all around her face, and she pushed him back in laughter. “Seaweed Brain!”

Percy sighed contently and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Let’s go check out the castle.” They wondered along random corridors and ascended various staircases, not having any particular destination in mind. Annabeth chattered away, explaining the different forms of architecture the founders of Hogwarts used to build the castle. Percy steered them away from the moving paintings as often as he could, and before they knew it, they were wandering around the seventh floor.

He wasn’t quite ready to return to the Common Room, so Percy kept walking around the many corridors to admire the elaborate hanging tapestries. As they approached the famous “Barnabas the Barmy,” a sharp hiss pulled both of the demigods from their thoughts. Annabeth and Percy immediately pulled out their wands, sweeping their eyes around them to find the threat.

“You didn’t think you could hide forever, did you?” A feminine voice hissed from the shadows. Percy and Annabeth took a step back when three Empousai revealed themselves from the shadows. Their flaming hair, ghostly pale skin, and interesting choice of prosthetic legs were all too familiar, and the demigods whispered to their wands, causing them to stretch out into the deadly swords.

“How did you get into the castle?” Annabeth demanded, matching Percy’s athletic stance.

The obvious leader laughed heartily, which came out like an harsh wheeze. “For a school of witchcraft, these fools are easily tricked by a simple manipulation of the mist. We have been searching for you, Percy Jackson. You and the others defeated the Earth Mother, we are here to avenge her.” The Empousai let their fangs drop and they leaped towards the demigods with a shriek.

Annabeth ducked and rolled out of the way, keeping her blade close. One of the monsters broke from her sisters and slashed out at Annabeth, who sidestepped just in time. The Empousai dug her shoulder into the demigod’s gut, slamming her against the wall. Annabeth grunted and dropped to the floor, sweeping her drakon sword across the monster’s prosthetic and donkey legs. The Empousai cried out in pain and moved to sink her fangs into Annabeth. The daughter of Athena swung her sword around and implanted it into monster’s heart, causing the Empousai to dissolve into a cloud of golden dust.

She wiped the sweat that had beat down the side of her face before scrambling to her feet to find Percy finishing off the other two Empousai. He had trapped them together against the wall and drove Riptide through each monster’s heart in a blink of an eye. Percy shook off the gold dust that had covered his clothes and reached out to Annabeth’s hand. “You okay?”

Annabeth took a deep breath and nodded her head. “It’s not a good sign that monsters are getting through the castle’s defenses. We need to talk to Dumbledore.”

Percy grit his teeth and slammed his fist against the wall. “This is why these students need to learn how to defend themselves! What if we weren’t the first people that the Empousai had come across? What if next time it’s Ron? Or Hermione?”

“I know what you mean.” Annabeth answered gravely. “There has to be a place somewhere in this castle that is secluded enough for us to practice with them.”

The two demigods jumped when a slight breeze blew the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy upwards, revealing a hidden door. Annabeth and Percy exchanged a glance before raising their weapons. She sent him a series of hand signals and Percy nodded in response. He raised Riptide and slowly turned the doorknob before barging in with Annabeth’s back pressed against his. They circled the room with their blades at the ready.

It was empty.

Well, not quite empty. It was a large space that could hold at least fifty people. There were bookshelves in the corner that seemed to contain directions on dueling spells. Large dummies stood in a line across the far wall, and about thirty-five cushions were stacked against the wall next to the door.

Percy lowered Riptide and a large grin slowly slipped across his face. “This is exactly what we’ve been looking for!”

Annabeth shook her head in disbelief but matched his smile. “We have to tell the others!” The two demigods memorized the pathway to the room and sprinted back to the Gryffindor Common room, ecstatic to tell their friends what they found.

XX

In the Great Hall for breakfast Friday morning Hermione was head over heels about the demigods’ late night discovery. “Harry, this is the Room of Requirement that Dumbledore told you about the night of the Yule Ball! It’s perfect!”

Harry grinned at his friends, “Great, then let’s spread the word to meet there tonight at eight o’clock.” Hermione squealed and gave one more grateful look to Percy and Annabeth before heading off to find the other members.

The group happily continued finishing their breakfast as the heavy rain beat against the windows. The dark thunderclouds had rolled in early that morning, and gave no indication of calming down anytime soon. Angelina came up to them with a bright smile stretched across her face. “I’ve got permission!” she said. “To re-form the Quidditch team!”

“Excellent!” Ron and Harry responded together.

“I want everyone on the pitch at seven a.m. tomorrow morning. I was going to hold it tonight, but it seems that we already have plans.” She shot the boys a wink and ran off to tell the rest of the team.

XX

Getting through classes that day was agony. Percy had a hard time focusing on any lessons that were presented and he forgot to even write down the homework. Thank goodness Hermione and Annabeth were always paying attention or Percy would be in serious trouble.

Instead of actual school work, Percy constantly ran through how tonight’s meeting might go, and what the first thing he would teach the witches and wizards. Hand to Hand combat was important, and Annabeth was a fantastic teacher. Swordplay was his and Nico’s strongsuit, and Will could handle a bow and arrow really well. It would depend on the weapon someone kept, but he knew they would mainly be using their wands for defense.

Seven forty-five rolled around and he found himself standing outside of the Room of Requirement with his friends. Harry folded up his handy-dandy Marauder’s map that told him where everyone was in the castle. Apparently Nico had been borrowing it for the past few weeks to keep an eye on Umbridge.

The room seemed to be even bigger than the night before, and the group fanned out to examine everything they had to work with. Within the next fifteen minutes, every member of their secret organization had arrived. Everyone except Percy, Annabeth, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were seated on the cushions, looking up to the Boy Who Lived expectantly.

“Well,” said Harry, slightly nervously. “This is the place we’ve found for practices, and you’ve-er-obviously found it okay-”

“It’s fantastic!” Cho exclaimed. Several people murmured their agreement and gave him encouraging nods.

“Percy and I have been talking about what things we are going to start off teaching you-what Hermione?” Harry nodded to his friend who was waving her hand around.

“I think we ought to have a name,” she said brightly. “It would promote a feeling of team spirit and unity, don’t you think?”

“Can we be the Anti-Umbridge League?” Angelina asked hopefully.

“Or the Ministry of Magic Are Morons Group?” suggested Fred.

Annabeth laughed and shook her head, “Maybe we should have a name that didn’t tell everyone what we are up to so it’s okay to refer to it outside of meetings.”

There was a murmur of chatter across the group before Cho piped up, “The Defense Association? We could call it the D.A. for short, so nobody knows what we’re talking about?

“Yeah, the D.A’s good,” Ginny mulled it over. “Only let’s make it stand for Dumbledore's Army because that’s the Ministry’s worst fear, isn’t it?”

Everyone laughed and heads nodded in agreement. “All in favor of the D.A?” Hermione called out, kneeling up on her cushion. “That’s a majority-motion passed!”

Her and Annabeth pinned the piece of paper with all of their names on it on the wall and wrote DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY across the top in large letters.

Once everyone had calmed down, Percy cleared his throat to let Harry continue. “Right, shall we get practicing then? I was thinking for the first half, we can practice Expelliarmus, you know, the Disarming Charm. I know it’s pretty basic, but after that Percy and show us a few of his moves.”

“Oh please,” the annoying kid from the Hog’s Head, Zacharias Smith, groaned and rolled his eyes. “I don’t think Expelliarmus is exactly going to help us against You-Know-Who, do you?”

Percy glared at him, and the kid shut up. “I’ve used it against him,” Harry said quietly. “It saved my life last June.”

The rest of the room had grown very quiet. “Okay then, I reckon we should all divide into pairs and practice.”

Percy was happy to see that everyone followed Harry’s instructions immediately. They got to their feet and divided up, with Percy and Annabeth standing across from each other with their wands out.

Harry called out a few simple tips and let everyone begin practicing. The room was suddenly full of shouts of “Expelliarmus!” Percy’s wand flew out of his hand towards a pile of other disarmed weapons. He shot Annabeth a look that told her she wasn’t getting another easy shot like that.

Percy simply closed his eyes and held out his hand, willing for his wand to find its way back to him. He was delighted when it listened, and he ignored the stares and questions he received. The demigods continued to spar while Harry went around the room giving small corrections here and there for the next half hour, helping the young witches and wizards improve on the spell.

Suddenly he blew a whistle to get everyone’s attention. “That was good, I’m definitely seeing some improvement. Now it’s Percy’s turn.”

The demigod moved to replace Harry and nodded at everyone. His aura of power seemed to seep through the crowd, causing them to take a nervous step back. “So we’ve been working on Expelliarmus. If you are in a real battle and someone disarms you, you need to figure out a way to fight back. Annabeth, can you please come up here for a second?”

The daughter of Athena stepped across the room like they planned. “When your wand is out of reach, you need to find another way to beat your opponent. If you’re quick enough, you will be able to reach them in enough time to disarm them as well. Observe.”

Percy let Annabeth disarm him, and without hesitating, raced across the room, expertly dodging the various offensive spells she sent after him. Within a few seconds, he rolled over his shoulder and kicked the wand out of Annabeth’s hand. He held up a palm for her to pause.

“See, it’s possible to fight without your wand. What I want to work on is some simple hand to hand combat once you and your opponent no longer have magic to fight with.”

He directed them to break up into their partners again and showed them two simple offensive and defensive moves. Percy, Annabeth, Will, and Nico moved around the room to show them examples and help them with their stances.

After another thirty minutes had passed, Hermione motioned to the clock on the wall. Percy cleared his throat again and everyone huddled in front of him and Harry. “Well, that was pretty good,” said Harry, “but we’ve overrun, we’d better leave it here. Same time, same place next week?”

“Sonner!” Dean Thomas exclaimed eagerly and many people nodded in agreement.

Angelina, however, said quickly, “The Quidditch season’s about to start, we need team practices too!”

They agreed on once a week until they could find more time for additional meetings. Everyone filed out of the room in threes and fours as Harry checked the Marauder’s Map to make sure all of the teachers had left the seventh floor.

The Gryffindors waved goodbye to Will and Nico and settled into the Common Room. They received many handshakes, slaps on the backs, and various “thank-you’s” from their fellow classmates until it was just Percy, Annabeth, Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

“That was really, really, good you two!” Hermione beamed. Ron nodded his head enthusiastically. “Yeah, it was!” The groups laughed and reviewed everyone’s performance and discussed different things to work on in the following meetings before they all headed up to bed.

Percy let his friends go on without him, and he held Annabeth’s waist gently as he kissed her goodnight. He placed his forehead against hers and inhaled her scent. “I’m glad you chose Gryffindor, Wise-Girl.”

Annabeth smiled softly at him and nodded her head. “Me too, Seaweed Brain. I love you.”

“Love you too.” Percy gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before heading on up to his dormitory.

Neither of them noticed the dark cloud of smoke that began seeping its way towards the stairs.

Annabeth’s dream was strange. For once, she wasn’t haunted by the horrible memories of Tartarus. This time, she was out walking along the crisp white snow-covered ground of Hogsmeade with Percy at her side. He was drinking a cup of hot chocolate, and looked up at her with a nose full of whip cream.

She laughed sweetly, and kissed the topping off of her boyfriend’s nose. She moved to take his free hand in hers when a figure moved in her peripheral vision. “Seaweed Brain, look!” Percy followed her pointed finger to the decrepit inn where the demigods had found out about Erebus.

Annabeth pulled him alongside her and ducked behind one of the broken windows. She watched as a familiar man moved around the empty space, kicking rotted boards and shattered wood furniture from his path. “It’s Dr. C!” She whispered, wondering what he was doing here.

Dr. C twirled his long white beard in one hand, and snapped his fingers with the other. A single candle appeared in the middle of the lone table. Annabeth inhaled sharply as she realized that it was the same candle that she had lit to expose the poem on the wall. The mysterious man moved across the room towards the partially demolished wall and brought out a plain paintbrush.

She cocked her head in confusion when he began painting the words of the poem. They appeared for a few seconds before fading completely into the wood. Once he was finished, the enormous man took a step back and examined his work. With a satisfied sigh, he turned directly in Annabeth’s direction. She held her breath and ducked behind a corner, hoping that he didn’t see her. She searched for Percy, but he seemed to have disappeared.

“You don’t have to hide from me, Annabeth Chase.” Dr. C’s clear voice rang out. She cursed to herself before slowly rising from her spot. “I am not here to hurt you.”

She reached for her wand and jutted her chin out towards the wall. “Then why did you write the poem? Are you Erebus?”

Dr. C’s eyes flashed with amusement. “My dear girl, I would have expected you to thank me. After all, I did warn you who your true enemy was.”

Annabeth narrowed her eyes and didn’t let her weapon drop. “So you aren’t Erebus?”

“Of course not! I don’t want that monster waking anymore than you do.” His expression seemed to darken, and the air around Annabeth seemed to sizzle. “If Erebus awakens fully, then he’s going to be coming after the one who trapped in in the Underworld….Me. I’m far too busy to deal with a bratty child who couldn’t handle his punishment.”

Annabeth looked around to see if Percy had returned to her. “You’re the one who trapped Erebus? How? Is there a way that we can put him back to sleep? And did you just call the personification of Darkness a bratty child?”

Dr. C chuckled, “You ask so many questions, daughter of Athena. You and your friends will need to prove yourselves before I will help you.”

She took a deep breath, trying to keep her cool. “What can we do to prove ourselves?”

A twinkle in his eye caused the scene around Annabeth to warp. “You will find out….in time.” He laughed, as if he had just made the funniest joke in the world and righted the world with a flick of his wrist.

“I think it’s time you woke up Miss Chase, I believe your ‘Seaweed Brain’ is in dire need of your assistance.”

XX

A scream tore through Annabeth’s dream like serrated knife. At the sound of Percy’s pain, Annabeth’s pulse quickened and her blood ran cold. She grabbed the wand she always kept at her side and flew out of bed towards the boy’s dormitory. The scream sounded again, filled with incredible pain and desperation. Annabeth called out to her boyfriend, letting him know that she was coming.

She took the stairs three at a time and whispered ‘nostos’ to her wand, watching it expand into her drakon bone sword. Annabeth didn’t even think about knocking on the boys’ door, instead she rammed her shoulder against the wood, breaking it clean off. Harry and Ron were standing over Percy’s bed with horror-stricken looks on their faces. The rest of Percy’s roommates were plastered against the furthest wall looking absolutley petrified.

Her eyes settled on the love of her life, who was writhing in his bed from pain. Sweat pooled at his sides, the veins popped out along his muscles...and a dark cloud of swirling black smoke hung completely over Percy’s head.

Annabeth cried out in fury, and scrambled over to the bed, forcing Harry and Ron out of the way. She examined the height and depth of the smoke before raising her blade. Annabeth took a deep breath to focus, trying to block out Percy’s screams. Frantic tears threatened to fall from her eyes as she slashed her blade into a calculated arc, bringing it just above Percy’s nose. The cloud of darkness let out a pained hiss and lessened its grip on Percy. She swung horizontally again, hoping to bring it as much pain as she possibly could for hurting her Seaweed Brain. As she brought her shoulder in to slash out one more time, the cloud of smoke seemed to have had enough. It squirmed and flung itself to the corner of the stone walls, seeping back into the darkness.

She flung herself onto Percy’s bed and gathered him into her arms. “Seaweed Brain! Wake up! Wake up!” Annabeth pleaded as the floodgate of emotions broke. She couldn’t hold back the salty tears as she held Percy’s head in her hands.

He wasn’t waking up.

Annabeth snapped her head up at the stunned boys in the room. “Well? What are you doing just standing there! Go get help!” She practically screeched. “Ron, go get Will! Dean, go get Madam Pomfrey, Harry, go get Dumbledore,Neville, go get Nico!” They all scrambled from the room at a dead sprint, not bothering to put on their robes to cover their pajamas.

She kissed the sides of Percy’s face as her breathing slowed, and she kept two fingers on the side of his neck to check for a pulse. After a few horrifying seconds, she finally felt a weak thump thump. Annabeth choked back a sob of relief and pressed her forehead against Percy’s. “I’m here, Seaweed Brain. I’m here.”

A rush of commotion interrupted her whispers, and suddenly Will and Nico were at her sides. Nico gently pulled Annabeth from the bed as the healers got to work on examining their patient. Dumbledore appeared in the doorway looking extremely grim and nodded towards Annabeth. As she thought about what had just happened, her knees buckled. Before she reached the floor, Nico wrapped tentative arms around her for comfort. She buried her head into his chest, ignoring his stiff posture.

After twenty minutes of pure chaos, Will placed a gentle hand on Annabeth’s shoulder. She looked up at him through misty eyes. “Percy’s going to be okay. He will probably be asleep for a while, but he’s going to be okay. Once he wakes up, we can figure out exactly what happened.”

She nodded her thanks and returned her eyes to Percy. Will sunk down the floor next to her and his boyfriend. “His heartbeat was dangerously slow, Annabeth. If you hadn’t gotten here when you did, I don’t know if he would have made it.”

Annabeth shuddered in relief, and thanked every god and goddess that she could think of that Rachel Elizabeth Dare was her friend. If she had been sorted into Ravenclaw, the house of wisdom, intelligence, and wit, the house that was founded by a witch that had received a blessing from her own mother, then Percy Jackson would be dead.

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians 

Chapter 17

 

After twenty minutes of pure chaos, Will placed a gentle hand on Annabeth’s shoulder. She looked up at him through misty eyes. “Percy’s going to be okay. He will probably be asleep for a while, but he’s going to be okay. Once he wakes up, we can figure out exactly what happened.”

She nodded her thanks and returned her eyes to Percy. Will sunk down the floor next to her and his boyfriend. “His heartbeat was dangerously slow, Annabeth. If you hadn’t gotten here when you did, I don’t know if he would have made it.”

Annabeth shuddered in relief, and thanked every god and goddess that she could think of that Rachel Elizabeth Dare was her friend. If she had been sorted into Ravenclaw, the house of wisdom, intelligence, and wit, the house that was founded by a witch that had received a blessing from her own mother, then Percy Jackson would be dead.

 

XX

 

Harry pushed his glasses up onto his head before rubbing his eyes thoroughly. It had been a long weekend, and he wasn’t looking forward to leaving the hospital wing to go to classes tomorrow. He looked down at the unconscious demigod before him and silently pleaded for Percy to wake up.

Since the attack, neither Harry or Annabeth had left his side. He examined the daughter of Athena with a heavy heart, trying to hold back the weight of his guilt. Percy had come to Hogwarts to protect Harry...and this happened. He was attacked because he was trying to help Harry.

Annabeth was holding Percy’s right hand and staring thoughtfully at her boyfriend. She had dark bags underneath her eyes, and her curly blonde hair was stretched into a high, wild ponytail. She turned to Harry, catching him off guard. “I think we need to try the water again.” Annabeth suggested, pushing up from her chair. Harry agreed.

Since Percy was the son of Poseidon and drew strength from water, the demigods and the golden trio had tried placing him in the prefect’s bathtub about three times a day, hoping that the water would rejuvenate him enough to wake up.

“I’ll grab the others.” Harry took off to the Great Hall where he knew he would find his friends.

Will and Nico perked up at his appearance. “How’s he doing?” Nico asked.

Harry grimaced, “Still unconscious. Annabeth suggested we try the water again.” His friends nodded, and Will and Ron followed him back to the hospital wing to haul Percy to the fifth floor while Nico and Hermione went to start filling the bathtub.

After about thirty minutes, Will and Annabeth had their arms wrapped around Percy and settled him into the water. The son of Apollo encouraged his friends, letting them know that he could tell these “dunk sessions,” as they liked to call it, were helping tremendously. Harry chewed on the inside of his cheek and didn’t respond.

He turned when he felt a hand lightly touch his shoulder. Hermione gave him a wavering smile, “I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not your fault.”

Harry’s eyes darkened, and he turned back towards Percy. “How do you know that? He wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for me. None of this would have happened.”

Nico moved from his position lurking in the corner. “I think you are overestimating yourself, Potter.” Hermione glared at the son of Hades incredulously. “What? Don’t look at me like that. A prophecy sent us here, one that Percy was chosen specifically to lead. This isn’t just about protecting you anymore, Harry. Another primordial deity is waking, and if we can’t work together to stop it, then who knows what will happen? How many people will die?”

He moved to sit next to Harry, his eyes facing the son of Poseidon. “You can’t feel guilty for bringing us here. If we hadn’t of come, think of all of the students who would be left unprotected? At least now we have some knowledge of what’s going on. Percy isn’t going to let you put this on yourself, if anything, he’s going to be pumped that Erebus attacked him and not anyone else, that’s just the kind of guy he is.”

Nico’s face grew determined as he talked about his friend. “Percy is going to be fine, and then he’s going to find a way to stop Erebus.” He moved to meet Harry’s eyes, “I promise.”

At that moment, Percy Jackson gasped for air and opened his eyes.

 

XX

 

The Gryffindors waved goodbye to Will and Nico and settled into the Common Room. They received many handshakes, slaps on the backs, and various “thank-you’s” from their fellow classmates until it was just Percy, Annabeth, Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

“That was really, really, good you two!” Hermione beamed. Ron nodded his head enthusiastically. “Yeah, it was!” The groups laughed and reviewed everyone’s performance and discussed different things to work on in the following meetings before they all headed up to bed.

Percy let his friends go on without him, and he held Annabeth’s waist gently as he kissed her goodnight. He placed his forehead against hers and inhaled her scent. “I’m glad you chose Gryffindor, Wise-Girl.”

Annabeth smiled softly at him and nodded her head. “Me too, Seaweed Brain. I love you.”

“Love you too.” Percy gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before heading on up to his dormitory.

After an incredibly long and exhausting week, Percy passed out seconds after his head hit the pillow. At first, his dreams were surprisingly pleasant. Him and Annabeth were playing Gobstones out in the clocktower courtyard with their friends gathered around cheering them on in teams. Harry and Nico stood behind him while Ron, Will, and Hermione stood behind Annabeth. After a few rounds, more people started to surround them, and Percy was filled with an incredible amount of joy to see that his friends from Camp Half Blood and Camp Jupiter had arrived.

Reyna, Jason, Piper, Hazel, Frank, Leo, and Calypso had all joined in on the festivities. They seemed to be getting along great with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, which should been strange since none of them had ever met the wizards in person, but he shrugged it off. Why question a good thing, right?

Of course, Percy had been haunted enough to know that all good things must come to an end, especially in dreams. After Annabeth made her final play, the sky darkened and the air around them thickened into a haze. Percy squeezed his eyes shut to shake off the memories of Tartarus. When he opened them again, he wasn’t surprised to see that he was now sitting in the barren crater that had pools of bubbling black liquid scattered around. Percy scrambled upwards, reaching for Riptide.

When his bronze sword was raised, he stepped lightly around the blisters that created new monsters, scanning the crater for his friends. A rush of black smoke exploded directly in front of his face, and Percy placed his mouth to the crook of his elbow and coughed relentlessly. When he finally pulled himself together, he looked up to find a monster from his past reforming from the smoke.

Percy had faced a lot of dangerous creatures, bloodthirsty monsters, and even egotistical gods, but there was one that he always pushed back to the furthest corners of his mind. After he had found his family at Camp Half Blood and his mom found happiness with Paul Blofis, this monster never needed to be thought about again, so he thrust every memory with him in it into a box and locked them away.

Why his brain had chosen today to unlock that box, he had no idea. All Percy knew was that he felt like he was eleven years old again, and the face of Gabe Ugliano was sneering down at him. Before Percy found out who his father was, he had been stuck in an endless cycle of constant verbal and physical abuse of which he was powerless to overcome.

He would do poorly in school due to his Dyslexia and ADHD and the principal would call his home. Percy would then go back to their small apartment to a caring mother who tried to tell him it would “all make sense someday,” and then he would be confronted with an angry drunk who thought Percy was the scum of the Earth.

Percy knew it was outrageous to be afraid of this ridiculous little man who had nothing to show for his life except grease-stained wife-beater tank tops and a large beer gut, but Gabe Ugliano had been his greatest enemy until Ms. Dodds decided to attack him at the museum, which set him on the road he was on now. With a cry of fear and fury, Percy wielded Riptide into an powerful arc, slicing it straight through the monster’s neck.

Unfortunately, the blade passed right through Gabe, like it did if it ever came into contact with humans. Percy blanched and scrambled backwards as the monster’s blazing red eyes flared and his decrepit yellowing teeth pushed upwards into a smile. Fangs dropped down and the monster licked his lips. “This is MY house! YOU respect MY rules!”

In the blink of an eye, Gabe thrust his hand straight into Percy’s chest and gripped his beating heart. Every nerve ending went up in flames, and Percy screamed in agony. His sword dropped to the ground, and he held onto Gabe’s arm, desperately trying to free himself from the monster’s grasp. Gabe’s gruesome smile widened, and he squeezed Percy’s heart a little tighter.

After everything Percy had been through, his pain tolerance was through the roof. The feeling of his greatest enemy holding onto his life line, though, was incomprehensible. Surrounding flames had grown too close for comfort, and beads of sweat were traveling down the side of his face. Percy choked on the putrid air of Tartarus swirling from Gabe’s disgusting mouth, and he struggled to breath with the invasion in his chest.

“You are NOTHING!” The monster screamed at him, and Percy cringed at the memory. “YOU will NEVER amount to ANYTHING!” Gabe released his grip on Percy’s beating heart and threw him easily to the ground. He stood over his stepson menacingly and licked his lips again. “When I’m finished with  you, I’m going to find that stupid bitch and show her how a REAL man takes control.”

Hearing the way Gabe talked about Percy’s mother finally caused him to snap out of his torment. He rose shakily from the ground and set his jaw definitively. “You will never lay a hand on my mother again.”

The monster threw his head back and laughed, causing multiple blisters along the crater to bubble up around him. “Oh yeah? And who are YOU to stop me?”

Percy remembered who he was, and stretched to his true height. Every battle scar, every ounce of muscle he had gained, and every memory of victory was returned to him. “I am the son of Poseidon, the god of the Sea. Stormbringer, Earthshaker. Prepare to die...again.”

He cut off the hateful laugh that had escaped Gabe’s throat with a flick of his hand. Percy concentrated hard and felt the rush of blood trickling through his enemy’s filthy veins, and gripped it tight. The pull of his stomach was familiar, and Percy let the power flow over him. He grit his teeth and forced Gabe to his knees. The fear and utter disbelief in the man’s eyes was enough to encourage Percy further, and he forced him onto his stomach. Gabe’s face paled as all of the blood was drained from it, and he choked out pleas of mercy. Percy’s fist tightened, and he shut off every organ in Gabe’s body. “Mercy is for the weak...you taught me that.” With one final breath, Percy made sure Gabe Ugliano would never rise again.

The second after that monster’s defeat, the scene around him shifted. Except for his head, Percy was emerged in water, one of the places he truly felt comfortable. He was being held up by two people, though he could not make out who. Voices sounded around him, and his frantic heartbeat slowed when he realized that he was surrounded by his friends, that he was safe.

A clear voice broke through the haze, “Percy is going to be fine, and then he’s going to find a way to stop Erebus. I promise.”

Percy gasped for air and his eyes fluttered open. The commotion that followed confused the heck out of Percy, and he snapped his neck towards the sound of splashing water. When his eyes finally focused, he was surprised to see Annabeth, Will, Nico, Hermione, Ron, and Harry all standing in the Prefect’s bathtub, completely drenched.

“Why are we all taking a bath together?” He asked.

His friends were silent for a second before breaking out into a fit of laughter. Annabeth crushed her body into his, as if drinking him in. She held his face in between her hands and kissed him all over. “If you ever scare me like that, I will skin you with my sword!”

He laughed and kissed her back. His friends all took turns either hugging or threatening him before they gave him a second to get his head wrapped around what happened. “So Erebus attacked me, huh?”

They all nodded with grim looks on their faces. Percy shrugged and kept his weight on Annabeth, “better me than any of you.” He didn’t miss the way Nico’s gazed focused on Harry and Hermione as if to say I told you so.

Percy could feel his strength returning to him after spending a little more time in the water, and he listened while Annabeth caught them up on her dream. “So Dr. C isn’t Erebus. He was the one who wrote that poem in the inn, warning us who we are up against. He says he wants to help, but we need to prove ourselves first.”

“Why do I get the feeling that whatever we have to do is completely dangerous and life threatening?” Will asked, patting himself with a towel.

Percy caught on and waved his hand so that the water from his friends’ clothes was returned to the tub. “Because that’s our luck. Nothing is worth doing unless it’s completely dangerous and life threatening.”

A murmur of agreement passed over them, and Percy finally brought himself from the water. “I’m feeling a lot better guys, thank you for taking care of me.” He gave each one of them a grateful smile and followed them towards the Great hall for dinner.

 

XX

 

After another successful D.A. meeting, Percy felt invincible. He and his friends were fighting Umbridge’s plans to keep them sidelined right under her nose, and he felt like nothing could stop them. On top of that, Percy felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders after his intense dream. Sure, Erebus probably meant to break his spirit by having him confront one of his greatest childhood fears, but Percy overcame the monster on his own terms.

He wrapped a confident arm around Annabeth when they reached the library and nuzzled her cheek. She laughed quietly and shook her head, “Seaweed Brain, Madam Pince is going to think twice about helping us when she sees your incessant cuddling.” Percy just gave her a sly grin and steered them towards the librarian.

Madam Pince rose from her chair when she saw their group and motioned them towards their usual corner. Once everyone was seated, she dropped a thick book on the table. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to dig up much. However, I was able to find the di Angelo name in a history book describing Ireland in the early 1600’s, closer to 1610-1625.”

Nico pulled the book closer to him and examined it, “Ireland? My family is from Italy. What were they doing so far away from home?”

Annabeth chewed on her bottom lip, “Who knows, we are talking about the seventeenth century here, and it might not even be your ancestors.”

Will flashed a bright smile at the librarian, “Thank you so much for looking into this for us, Madam Pince!”

“You’re quite welcome, knowing the books that these old shelves hold is my job. Good luck with your search, Mr. di Angelo.”

When she was far enough away, Hermione took the book from Nico and examined it. “It says that the di Angelos were a prominent family within County Kerry, Ireland. They had three sons between the ages of nineteen and thirty who expanded the family’s weapon-making business.”

Annabeth looked over Hermione’s shoulder with a disappointed look on her face, “Yeah, but that’s all it says. There isn’t any more information about what happened to them.”

Nico dropped his head onto the table and groaned, “Of course it doesn’t. This looks like a dead end.”

Will lightly rubbed his back, “Hey, we officially know more today then we did yesterday, so that’s a start.” The son of Hades just scowled back at him, “that’s if these di Angelos are even related to me.”

He pushed off from his spot and stuffed his hands into his pockets, “Thank you guys for helping me, but I think this is all we are going to find out from the library. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

His friends mumbled their goodbyes as he turned his back on them. He was deep in thought as he made his way towards the Common Room, and almost missed the “psssssst” that came from a dark corridor.

Nico narrowed his eyes and fingered his wand, ready to attack if necessary. When he heard a noise coming from his left, Nico raised the wand-almost smacking Draco Malfoy in the face.

“Malfoy, what do you want?” He asked, exhaling and slowly dropping his weapon. Draco’s pale face was still panicked, and he quickly re-gathered himself.

Draco scanned their surroundings to make sure they were alone before turning on Nico. “You didn’t tell me you were..you know!” He sneered through gritted teeth.

Nico raised an eyebrow, “that I was what?”

The wizard looked severely uncomfortable, “you know what I’m talking about! That you are...you know, with the blonde Hufflepuff.”

“You mean my boyfriend, Will.” Nico stated, fighting to hide the amusement from his voice.

Draco licked his lips in frustration, “This isn’t funny! My friends aren’t happy with this new information.”

Nico just narrowed his eyes, “I really couldn’t care less if you, or any of your friends, know about me. I wasn’t hiding anything.”

“Hey, hey, hey” Draco held up his palms defensively, “I don’t have a problem with you and Solace. I’m just saying that the other Slytherins do, and I have a reputation to uphold here. We can’t be seen together anymore.”

The Son of Hades raised his wand so that it was touching Draco’s nose and drew in the shadows that surrounded them. “I’m not the least bit surprised that you don’t have a backbone, Malfoy.” He said with a dangerously even tone, “Just remember, I’m the one you should be afraid of, not your so-called friends. I’m not going to forget this.”

Nico released the slimy wizard and watched him run away in fear. Good riddance, Nico thought. It’s not like he ever valued Malfoy’s friendship-or acquaintanceship, but it still hurt to have someone reject him for his sexuality. Whatever, he didn’t need those cowards anyway.

 

XX

At lunch the next day, Hermione told the group about her idea about how to get the word out about the time and date of future D.A. meetings. She brought out a fake Galleon and showed it to her friends, “I actually got the idea of watching you guys use the Golden Drachma to Iris Message your friends back home. You see the numerals around the edge of the coins? On real Galleons that’s just a serial number referring to the goblin who cast the coin. On these fake coins, though, the numbers will change to reflect the time and date of the next meeting. The coins will grow hot when the date changes, so it you’re carrying them in a pocket, you’ll be able to feel them.”

Percy shook his head in disbelief, “This is a great idea, Hermione! You’re smart enough to be Annabeth’s sister!”

The daughter of Athena rolled her eyes but smiled at Hermione. “He’s right you know. This is brilliant!”

Hermione puffed up at the praise, “Thanks guys! We will each take one, and when Harry sets the date of the next meeting he will change the numbers on his coin, and because I’ve put a Protean Charm on them, they’ll all change to mimic his.” She handed a coin to her friends and took her basket to find the rest of the D.A. members.

Classes that week flew by, as the growing excitement of the upcoming Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch match became the talk of the school. All of the professors seemed to have lightened the homework load so that all of the players could concentrate on their practices. Even though he wasn’t on the team, Percy didn’t mind less homework. The demigods decided to take a break from the library after learning about Ireland, and went to watch Harry and Ron’s daily Quidditch practices. Will still practiced on his own of course, but he understood that the pitch was of more use to the Gryffindors than his own team until after the game.

Percy noticed that Nico had been spending an increasing amount of time with them rather than his fellow Slytherins, and he wondered if something happened. Not that he minded the company, but he thought Nico had actually made friends with a few of his housemates.

At the last practice before the big match, Percy examined how their team looked from the stands. Harry was amazing on a broom, and Percy would bet money that he would catch the golden snitch before Malfoy did. Ron wasn’t exactly the best Keeper in the world, but it always looked like he was working extremely hard to improve. He had an issue with confidence, and each goal that he let slip past him seemed to pile onto his worsening mood. Fred and George were great Beaters, and he did not envy anyone who got hit with one of those Bludgers. He hoped that all of that was enough to kick the snot out of Slytherin’s team.

Finally, the day had come. Every Gryffindor and Slytherin sported their house colors in support of their team, and the energy of the school grew with more with excitement each passing hour. At breakfast, Harry and Hermione had to force Ron to eat something so that he wouldn’t be sick from nerves. Percy grimaced at his greenish complexion and suggested that he do something-anything to calm down.

The Slytherins did nothing to help the poor boy’s tension, of course. Wherever they went, Percy and Nico had to stare down the offenders who kept shouting “Got your bed booked in the hospital wing, Weasley?” Or “Weasley is our King!” They even made up a horrifying chant to get under Ron’s skin...and it worked like a charm.

Percy, Annabeth, Will, Nico, and Hermione wished their friends good luck and started towards the stands. November had arrived in a freezing whirlwind of hard frosts and icy drafts, so everyone was bundled up in extra layers. Percy sipped on hot chocolate to warm himself up, but Annabeth had requested that he not get whipped cream for some reason.

The entire school packed into the crowded seats and their cheers turned into roars as both teams presented themselves onto the pitch. Madam Hooch approached the center, her yellow, cat-like eyes visible even from their high seats, and she motioned for the captains to shake hands. The Slytherin captain-Montague, Percy remembered-looked to be trying to crush Angelina’s hand. The two turned on their heels and mounted their brooms, and Madam Hooch placed the whistle in her mouth and blew.

The balls were released and the fourteen players shot upward. Percy jumped up and down in excitement along with everyone else, adrenaline and excitement coursing through his veins as he watched Harry dodge a Bludger while Ron settled in front of the goal hoops. Lee Jordan’s commentary was especially entertaining because Professor McGonagall kept yelling at him when he said something inappropriate. Angelina snatched the Quaffle first and whizzed around the pitch, unfortunately to be hit in the back by a Bludger, and the Slytherin captain caught it.

“He drops the Quaffle, caught by Katie Bell, Katie Bell of Gryffindor reverse passes to Alicia Spinnet and Spinnet’s away-” Jordan continued, hurriedly commenting on every play in front of him. He only paused to listen to the horrible song the Slytherin House had made up...and Percy’s anxiety grew as he watched poor Ron’s face drop as he realized they were singing about him.

It was obviously getting to him, because Montague easily threw in the Quaffle through the Gryffindor’s central hoop. The Slytherins sang even louder, and Ron missed another goal. Percy groaned against Annabeth’s shoulder, putting his hands over his eyes as if he couldn’t watch. “Harry needs to catch the snitch quick!”

Angelina had the same idea, because she screamed at her motionless seeker. “Harry, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GET GOING!” Thankfully, he snapped out of his trance and raced around the pitch. Percy decided to keep his eyes on Harry rather than Ron, and tried to ignore the deafening chorus around him.

“-and it’s Warrington again,” bellowed Lee, “who passes to Pucey, Pucey’s off past Spinnet, come on now Angelina, you can take him-turns out you can’t-but nice Bludger from Fred Weasley, I mean, George Weasley, oh who cares, one of them anyway, and Warrington drops the Quaffle and Katie Bell-er-drops it too-so that’s Montague with the Quaffle…”

The Slytherins scored again, and Percy pushed himself up on the rails in front of him and screamed out, “LET’S GO POTTER!” Annabeth pulled him down with a nasty look, and returned her focus to the match. A few more goals between the two Keepers were allowed, and the score was forty-ten.

Percy began cheering wildly when Harry finally noticed the snitch. He dived towards the ground near the Slytherin end of the pitch, and Malfoy was right on his tail. The two seekers came neck to neck, then extended a hand towards their target…

Harry pulled up and held the struggling ball in his hand, and the Gryffindor spectators screamed their approval. The next second, a Bludger hit Harry directly in the small of his back and he flew forward off of his broom. He was only a few feet off the ground, so he didn’t fall far, but he was clearly catching his breath flat on his back. Percy roared in fury, and his friends had to struggle to hold him back from rushing towards the pitch himself. Madam Hooch blew her whistle and flew towards the Slytherin player who had attacked Harry, reprimanding him continuously.

Draco Malfoy landed next to Harry, and Nico’s eyes darkened considerably.

 

XX

 

“Saved Weasley’s neck, haven’t you?” he said to Harry. “I’ve never seen a worse Keeper...but then he was born in a bin...did you like my lyrics, Potter?”

Harry took Angelina’s hand and accepted the help up, ignoring Malfoy’s commentary. All of his teammates landed one by one, cheering loudly and running off of adrenaline.

“We wanted to write another couple of verses, but we couldn’t find rhymes for fat and ugly-we wanted to sing about his mother, see-”

Once Malfoy took a shot at their mother, Fred and George had to be held back by Angelina and Katie. Harry’s anger began boiling to the top as they continued.

“-but you like the Weasleys, don’t you , Potter?” Malfoy sneered, “Spend holidays there and everything, don’t you? Can’t see how you stand the stink, but I suppose it’s still better than spending the holidays with di Angelo and Solace. Their homosexuality might just rub off on you….or you might even catch a disease! I can’t believe Dumbledore even allowed their kind to step foot-”

Harry didn’t think twice when he pounced on Malfoy. He didn’t care about the teachers and staff watching, Harry merely drew back the first clutching the Snitch and sank it as hard as he could into Malfoy’s stomach. Before he knew it, there was another fist crashing into Malfoy’s jaw. Percy.

He had no idea how Jackson had gotten down to the pitch so fast, or how he had even heard what Malfoy had said, but he was all too happy to have backup. Crabbe and Goyle jumped into the mix, and Percy made quick work of them, knocking each of them out with one well-placed punch.

“HARRY! PERCY! NO!” Angelina screamed. Fred and George were behind him swearing, still being held back by their teammates. Madam Hooch blew her whistle, and when no one ceased, she yelled “IMPEDIMENTA,” and everyone was thrown backwards by the force of the spell.

The two boys were pulled up by the scruff of their clothes and forced off the field by Professor McGonagall. Neither of them said a word while they were being dragged towards their punishment, and Harry refused to feel the least bit sorry for his actions.

That foul mouthed rotten sore-loser was about to go on a tangent about his friends, and Harry wouldn’t stand for it. Thankfully, neither would Percy. Harry had the sinking suspicion that Malfoy was not the first one to be pummeled on by the Son of Poseidon for insulting Nico di Angelo.

Professor McGonagall threw the two boys forward once they reached her office. “I have never seen such a disgraceful exhibition! Explain yourselves!” She yelled, throwing her Gryffindor scarf to the floor.

Malfoy provoked us,” Harry grinded out stiffly.

“Provoked you?” McGonagall shouted, slamming her fist onto her desk, “He’d just lost, hadn’t he, of course he wanted to provoke you! But what on earth could he have said that would justify what you two did!”

“He insulted Mrs. Weasley, “ Percy said darkly, “And had the nerve to go after Nico and Will for being gay.”

Professor McGonagall’s expression softened for a second before flaring up again, “Then you should have let the staff handle such things! Have you any idea-”

Hem, hem.

Percy and Harry spun around with furious looks on their faces to see a smiling Professor Umbridge standing in the doorway. “I believe I can take it from here, Professor.” She sneered with a foolishly sweet voice.

She grabbed a piece of parchment from her coat pocket and flipped it downwards to show her audience. “Education Decree Number Twenty-five. The High Inquisitor will henceforth have supreme authority over all punishments, sanctions, and removal of privileges pertaining to the students of Hogwarts.”

The blood drained from Professor McGonagall’s face as she looked down at her two students. “I think that I will have to ban Harry Potter from playing Quidditch ever again. As for you, Mr. Jackson, I think two weeks worth of detention will be in order.”

“Banned…” Harry spit out in disbelief.

Professor Umbridge smiled darkly, “I think so, I want your broomstick confiscated and brought to my office to make sure there is no infringement of my ban. Of course, I am not unreasonable, Professor McGonagall, the rest of the team can continue playing. I saw no signs of violence from any of them.”

She laughed like a deranged unicorn and spun on her heel, slamming the door behind her with a loud thump.

 

XX

 

As they made their way back to the Common Room, Harry asked, “How did you get down to the pitch so fast?”

Percy sighed, “As soon as I saw Malfoy come after you, I had Nico shadow travel me down there. We both heard the crap he was saying, and I just lost it.”

Harry winced, “Nico heard that?”

“Yeah, “ Percy nodded grimly, “I think his so called ‘friends’ have been giving him crap ever since they found out about him and Will. He doesn’t show his emotions-like ever, but I know that kind of stuff gets to him.”

“I can’t believe how horrible the Slytherins are.” Harry said darkly, shaking his head.

“Unfortunately, it’s not just Slytherins, or even wizards for that matter. Some people just can’t seem to accept others for who they are. Even worse, Nico was born in the nineteen-forties, where something like that wasn’t even spoken of. It took a lot of guts for him to admit his feelings to us-his friends, and I just hate that he has to deal with all of this bullshit!” Percy slammed his fist against the stone wall and didn’t even flinch at the pain. He just pressed his back against it and sighed.

Harry’s eyes widened, “I completely forgot that Nico is from a totally different time period. I can’t even imagine…”

“Let’s just see how the others are doing. I don’t think they are going to be too happy to hear about your punishment…”

Percy was right. Angelina and the rest of their team was up in arms about hearing that Harry was banned. “It's just so unfair! Crabbe only got lines for hitting Harry with that Bludger after the whistle had been blown!”

“If you two hadn’t of held us back, we would've pounded the little scumbag to a pulp!” Fred sneered angrily.

Hermione and Annabeth stepped forward, “Then you both would have been banned too!”

Everyone groaned, “I’m going to bed,” Angelina said with finality, “Maybe this will all turn out to be a bad dream...Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and find we haven’t played yet…”

Gryffindors began filing out towards their dormitories until only Harry, Ron, Hermione, Annabeth, and Percy were left. The snow had begun falling outside, leaving the windows with a thin frost covering the panes.

“I’m sorry,” Ron mumbled, looking towards the dying fire.

Harry raised an eyebrow, “What for?”

“For thinking I can play Quidditch. I’m going to resign first thing tomorrow.”

Percy grit his teeth, “Drop it, Weasley. You aren’t going anywhere. We need at least one of our friends out there playing so we have a reason to watch.” He wasn’t about to let Ron dive into a self-pity spiral. Percy guessed the look on his face was enough to shut him up, because Ron simply nodded.

Harry stood up from his spot on the couch and crossed his arms, “Let’s just get some sleep and forget about today.”

His friends murmured their agreement and wandered up the stairs. Percy turned back to watch the fire die out completely, and prayed to his father that they would have a quiet rest of the weekend.

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 18

 

After a (thankfully) quiet night’s sleep, Hermione dragged the boys from their beds to meet her downstairs. “Hagrid’s back!” She chimed excitedly, and Harry and Ron immediately perked up.

“No way! Let’s go meet him!” Ron exclaimed, grabbing Harry to run upstairs and get dressed. Hermione pulled on her snow boots and a warm hat over her ears.

Percy settled next to Annabeth by the fire in the Common Room, “You guys go on without us. Meet us in the Room of Requirement when you get back to tell us where he’s been.” The Golden Trio waved their goodbye and flew past the Portrait of the Fat Lady.

About two hours later, the group of friends were seated on various cushions around their secret meeting spot. “So, how is Hagrid? What has he been doing all semester?” Annabeth asked, fidgeting with the D.A. coin in her hand.

Hermione shook her head in distress, “He looks horrible! His face is completely ruined, and he won’t tell us what hurt him.”

“He’s been on a mission from Dumbledore to try and talk the giants into helping us against the war against Voldemort.” Harry explained, ignoring Hermione’s wince when he said the Dark Lord’s name.

Percy groaned dramatically, “I hate giants!”

Annabeth punched him in the arm, hard, and motioned for Harry to go one. Ron continued for him, “Him and Madam Maxime had to travel for a month like muggles to the mountains, and when they got there, there was only about seventy or eighty giants left.”

“If they’re anything like the giants we’ve fought, less is better.” Nico said darkly.

Harry and Ron exchanged nervous glances at the thought of fighting an actual giant. “Well they were able to talk to the Gurg-or chief, who seemed to listen to them. But I guess there was a fight that night, and another giant killed the Gurg to become the new chief.”

“And that Golgomath had already been approached by a Death Eater, who had convinced him to fight for their side. Him and his Giant friends killed any of the other giants who had been nice to Hagrid.” Hermione sniffed, wiping her running nose on the sleeve of her sweater. Ron moved to lightly touch her arm for comfort.

“Sounds like the mission wasn’t exactly a success….” Will trailed, and quickly shut his mouth at the look Annabeth gave him. He raised his palms defensively, “Hey, at least he’s back. I’m excited to finally have him for a teacher.”

Hermione groaned even louder, “If Hagrid doesn’t keep his lessons simple and safe, then that toad is going to sack him!”

“I don’t think those words are in Hagrid’s vocabulary. He has a tendency to bring dangerous monsters around students.” Harry grimaced, obviously wishing his half-giant friend would make Care of Magical Creatures as boring as possible so that he could keep his job.

When Percy, Harry, and their friends trudged down to Hagrid’s Cabin for class the next week, there were soft murmurs stretching across the crowd. Everyone was either inquiring about where Hagrid had been for the last four months, giving their own theories about what happened to his face, or praying that whatever creature Hagrid was showing them wouldn’t eat their face off.

The half-giant appeared at the edge of the Forbidden Forest carrying half of a dead cow over his shoulder. “Come on you lot, we’re workin’ in here today!”

The class groaned in unison and buddled their heavy coats tighter. The snow nipped at their frozen noses, and the sheerwind berated the students continuously. At least in the forest, the wind was held back by the ominous trees.

Will and Percy kept Nico between them, which really wasn’t necessary because Draco and the other Slytherins kept as far away from the demigods as possible. Percy’s right hook had certainly sent a message about what happens to people who insult his friends. Nico never outwardly showed his displeasure at the homophobia, and him and Will were greeted warmly wherever they went by the other houses. Hufflepuff, Gryffindors, and Ravenclaws alike had heard about the cruel words of the Slytherin house, and seemed to have banded together in how highly they treated the Son of Apollo and the Son of Hades.

“Ready?” said Hagrid happily, looking around at the class. “Right, well, I’ve bin savin’ a trip inter the forest fer yer fifth year. Thought we’d go an’ see these creatures in their natural habitat. Now, what we’re studyin’ today is pretty rare, I reckon I’m the on’y person in Britain who’s managed ter  train ‘em.”

 Hagrid heaved the dead cow onto the ground, and motioned for the students to be quiet. He gave an odd, shrieking cry that sounded almost like Ella the Harpy, that echoed through the dark trees. After a minute, he sounded out the cry again, and Harry and Percy nudged each other as the dense bushes to their left moved.

A pair of blank, white, shining eyes broke through the darkness, and a great, black, winged horse with a dragonish face, neck, and skeletal body emerged. It looked around at the class for a few seconds, swishing its long black tail. It made a noise that resembled a distressed whinny, and another one of its kind appeared at its side. After another few seconds of examining the students, one of the creatures walked straight up to Percy, while the other trotted up to Nico.

Harry didn’t mean to, but he stepped behind Percy. The great beast snorted and the Son of Poseidon grinned widely, moving his hand slowly up to the skeletal horse’s snout. “Er-Percy, Nico, I wouldn’t-oh!” His head snapped in between the two demigods as they petted the great beasts with gentle hands. “How are ya doin’ that?” He asked.

“Uh, how are they doing what?” Parvati Patil asked nervously, the entire class taking a step back from Percy, Nico, Harry, and Hagrid.

Hagrid seemed to remember that he had a class to teach, “Now...put her hands up, who can see ‘em?”

Harry, Neville, one or two other students, and all four demigods raised their hands.

“Excuse me,” said Malfoy in a sneering voice, “but what exactly are we supposed to be seeing?”

“Thestrals,” Nico answered for him.

Hermione gave a soft “oh!” of comprehension. “Very good, Nico. Now Thestrals get a bad rap, but they’re dead clever an’ useful! ‘Course, this herd don’ get a lot o’ work, it’s mainly jus’ pullin’ the school carriages unless Dumbledore’s takin’ a long journey an’ don want ter Apparate. Now, can anyone tell me why some o’ you can see them an’ some can’t?”

Nico ran his fingers through his Threstral’s wiry mane. “You can only see them if you’ve seen death.” He said with a touch of a smile at his lips. Percy wanted to punch him for the little inside joke.

“Tha’s exactly right.”

“Hem, hem.”

Harry and the four demigods groaned as they spun around to see Professor Umbridge standing in the clearing with her thick cloak and clipboard at the ready. “You received the note I sent to your cabin this morning?” she said in a loud, slow voice, as though she was addressing somebody both foreign and very slow.

“Oh yeah,” said Hagrid brightly. “Glad yeh found the place all righ’!

No, nobody is glad that that toad found the place alright, Percy thought. He was very much enjoying today’s class up until she showed up. The entire rest of the lesson was taken over by Umbridge blatantly insulting and berating Hagrid, along with trying to turn his students against him.  Percy instead focused on bonding with his new friend, who had taken a liking to Annabeth as well. He whispered back and forth with the great beast, chatting about how nice Hagrid was, and how gross Professor Umbridge seemed to be. “Thanks for having such great manners,” he winked at his new friend. “My friend’s horse, Arion, has the dirtiest mouth!” The Thestral whinnied in amusement, and they went on and discussed Percy’s Pegasus, Blackjack.

“Well, Hagrid,” Professor Umbridge spoke again in that loud, slow voice, “I think I’ve got enough to be getting along with...you will receive”-she mimed taking somethign fromt eh air in front of her-”the results of your spection”-she pointed at the clipboard-”in ten days’ time.” She held up ten stubby little fingers, then, her smile wider and more toadlike than ever.

 

XX

 

December arrived in a flurry of winter storms and frozen rains. Since the teams couldn’t practice Quidditch in this weather and the students were forced to stay inside, the Professors seemed to see that as a sign of boredom. Every class seemed to pile on double the amount of homework, and soon the group of friends were confined to the library almost every other night for hours working on essays, worksheets and quizzes.

The only thing Percy and his friends really looked forward to were the D.A. meetings once a week. They were only meeting twice more before the holidays since almost everyone in the D.A. were traveling home to spend time with their families. Hermione was going skiing, which Ron had never even heard of, while Harry was going with the Weasley’s back home to the Burrow. Even though they were invited to spend Christmas with Ron and his family, the demigods decided it would be best if they searched the castle while everyone was gone and try to find a way to stop Erebus.

Four more students had fallen into comas over the course of the last few months, and Percy was anxious to put a stop to it. If those poor witches and wizards were being tortured with memories anywhere close to the scenes Erebus showed him, then he wanted to shove the Personification of Darkness so far back into his slumber that he wouldn’t even think about waking again.

At the last D.A. meeting of the year, the Room of Requirement was beautifully decorated  with silver streamers with various red and green plants lining the walls. The mistletoe growing from the ceiling was well received by the couples in the room-and all of the girls “awwwwwwwed” when Nico and Will took advantage of the opportunity.

“Since the last class was entirely focused on hand to hand combat, we are going to spend this meeting reviewing everything we’ve learned so far.” Harry announced.

Everyone had divided up into their partners, with most everybody practicing the Stunning Spell. Harry was aware of the overflow of power that radiated from the demigods, giving them a serious advantage over the other students, so they advanced through numerous spells rather quickly. While “Stupify” was echoed throughout the Room of Requirement, Percy, Annabeth, Will, and Nico were working on their Patronuses.

After about an hour, the entire class stopped to watch the rush of silver light that escaped the demigods’ wands. With his feet firmly planted in front of a dementor dummy, Percy called out, “Expecto Patronum!

The silver mist flowed out of his wand, forming into a stunning horse. The giant clydesdale trotted around the Son of Poseidon, as if to show off, before taking off at full speed to shatter the first dummy into pieces.  The demigods laughed when Nico’s turned out to be a giant rottweiler with three heads, and ripped the second dummy to shreds. Annabeth’s Patronus was none other than a magnificent owl, who nuzzled its beak against her cheek before taking off to destroy its target.

Most impressive of all was Will’s display of power. Percy wasn’t sure if it was because he was the Son of Apollo, or if he just used the strongest happy memory out of all of them, but the silver light twisted and turned into a beautiful dolphin, and encased the entire room in a flood of light when it intercepted the last remaining dummy.

The entire class was silent for a beat before breaking out in a roar of cheers. The students all crowded around Will, giving him slaps on the back, asking for advice on how to cast the perfect charm, and pleading for him to show them the dolphin again.

Once everyone had calmed down, Will chuckled next to Percy. “I guess our Patronuses reflect our parent’s sacred animal or something, huh?”

Harry cleared his throat and motioned for everyone to gather around him. “I think that is a good way to end the last meeting of the year.” He smiled as he was met with a mixture of groans and cheers. “You’re getting really good, when we get back from the holidays the rest of you can start learning Patronuses as well.”

After a murmur of excitement, a few people stayed to chat a little while longer, but the room began to clear in the usual twos and threes. Percy noticed that Cho Chang had waved her friend on, and was taking a little too long to pack her bag. He got the message and moved his friends out the door, shooting Harry a wink in his wake.

Back at the Common Room, Percy had decided to head to bed relatively early. He wished his friends goodnight and kissed Annabeth squarely on the mouth before crashing onto his bed. While he missed Cabin Three back home, he was strangely comfortable in this dormitory. He liked sleeping in the same room as his friends, something he was always lacking at Camp Half-Blood unless Tyson was visiting.

He tried and failed to fall asleep. Over the next hour, and twisted and turned in his bed, trying to get comfortable enough to pass out. He said goodnight to Harry when he finally came in with a dreamy smile on his face, and Percy made a note to ask him how it went with Cho. The Boy Who Lived seemed to fall asleep rather quickly, and Percy envied him.

Unfortunately Percy’s head continued to move a million miles an hour, and he wasn’t able to fall asleep like he hoped. Just as he was about to push off his bed and head down to the Common Room, he heard Harry gasp in his sleep. The boy’s face was twisted in horror, and sweat was pooling at the sheets. Percy jumped up, afraid Erebus was attacking his friend.

“Harry! HARRY!”

Ron and Neville had appeared at his side, completely disoriented. Harry opened his eyes, and latched his hand onto the scar on his forehead.

“Harry!” Percy insisted again. Harry took one look at Percy and Ron’s faces and rolled over and vomited over the edge of the mattress.

“He’s really ill,” Neville whimpered, “should we call someone?”

Harry took a few gulps of air and pushed himself up. “R-Ron, your dad,” he panted, his chest heaving. “Your dad’s...been...attacked..”

“What?” said Ron uncomprehendingly.”

Percy rolled his eyes and told Neville to go get Dumbledore quickly. He knew better then anyone that dreams like this were not meant to be ignored.

“Your dad! He’s been bitten, it’s serious, there was blood everywhere…”

“Harry, mate,” Ron shook his head uncertainly, “you...you were just dreaming..”

Percy moved Harry’s arm over his shoulder and held his weight as he pushed off the bed. “No! It wasn’t a dream...not an ordinary dream...I was there, I saw it...I did it…”

That caught Percy’s attention. He filed that information away while he and Ron helped Percy out of the dormitory towards Dumbledore’s office. Harry mumbled wildly, “We need to find out where he is-he’s bleeding like mad-I was-it was a huge snake…”

When they reached the painting of the Fat Lady, Professor McGonagall intercepted them in her tartan dressing gown, her glasses perched lopsidedly on the bridge of her body nose.

“What is it, Potter? Where doe it hurt?” She asked hurriedly.

Harry shook his head, “It’s Ron’s dad, he’s been attacked by a snake and it’s serious. I saw it happen.”

“What do you mean, you said it happen?” She asked, her dark eyebrows contracting.

Harry leaned against Percy for support. “I don’t know...I was asleep and then I was there…”

She looked between Percy and Harry, and a slight shiver ran through her. “I’m not lying, and I’m not mad!” Harry practically shouted. “I tell you, I saw it happen!”

“I believe you, Potter,” Professor McGonagall said curtly. “Let’s get you to the Headmaster.”

 

 

XX

 

When the term was finally over, Draco Malfoy returned to his home at Malfoy Manor for the holidays. Over the next few weeks, his family would travel to Tuscany,  a place his mother had been wanting to visit for years. For now, however, Draco sat at the elongated dinner table with his father and mother in silence while the staff replenished their food and wine.

“So, Draco, I hope your studies have improved now that you finally have a qualified and dignified Defense Against the Darks Arts Professor?” Lucius drolled, smirking at the head of the table.

Draco set down his glass and sat up straighter. To be honest, he was quite bored with the class, seeing as though he wasn’t actually learning anything or doing any sort of magic, but he wasn't going to let his father know that. “Of course, Father. Professor Umbridge is brilliant. She doesn’t let those blasted Gryffindors get away with their usual perversity.”

His father looked pleased, and rested his back against the stiff, but intricate chair and intertwined his long fingers. Draco took this as an encouragement to continue talking, “She’s banned Potter from playing Quidditch ever again, and gave Jackson two weeks worth of detention. I wouldn’t be surprised if di Angelo and the rest of the American transfers are next.”

Lucius Malfoy’s eyes widened and he leaned forward in his seat. “What did you say, boy?”

Draco paused, a heavy pit beginning to form in his stomach, “Potter has been banned from-”

His father stood abruptly, “Not that part you fool! Did you say there was a di Angelo attending Hogwarts?”

His eyes burned hungrily, and Draco found himself leaning away from his father. “Uh, yes sir. Nico di Angelo, he is an exchange student with the other three from America. He’s in Slytherin.”

Lucius straightened his robe and smoothed his hair back. “Draco, do you happen to know where Mr. di Angelo hails from? Is he originally from America?”

Draco was utterly confused, why did his father care whether or not Nico was American or not? What did it matter? “Uh, I can’t be sure. But I think he has a small accent, maybe Italian?”

His father’s smirk twisted into a cruel smile, “I think it’s time I paid Hogwarts a little visit, don’t you, Draco?”

 

XX

 

After the demigods had visited Arthur Weasley at Saint Mungo’s, Nico had insisted that they return to Hogwarts. He didn’t understand why, but he could sense the shadows closing in around the castle. When him and his friends stepped onto the grounds, a shiver rushed through each of them.

“Something’s coming.” Annabeth announced with narrowed eyes. Nico agreed, the air had changed, and the even the bitter cold seemed to cling more tightly to their bodies. They settled into the empty Great Hall, so they could discuss their plans while Percy and Will stuffed their faces.

“Okay.” Percy started, swallowing his last bit of Tomato soup. “We all agree that the castle doesn’t seem well protected, and that we need to be prepared. I think that we need to split up to cover more ground. “Annabeth, you and I will cover the inside of the castle while Nico and Will search the grounds. I want everyone to keep a Golden Drachma on them in case we need to send an Iris Message.”

Annabeth brought out four Sickles and handed them to her friends, “I was inspired by Hermione’s D.A. coin trick. I used a Protean Charm on all of these coins, so that if you need to send a quick message to the rest of us, you should just use your wand to burn it into the Sickle.”

Before the demigods pushed up from their spots at the Hufflepuff table, the Bloody Baron and Nearly Headless Nick floated next to them. The each presented themselves with graceful bows, “My dear children, would you please allow us to help on your quest? We have been painfully away of the dark nature that seems to be hanging over our home.”

Nico raised an eyebrow, “You guys want to help us?”

The Bloody Baron’s head sank lower at being addressed, “Sir, it would be my greatest honor serving the Prince of the Underworld.”

Percy made eye contact with Nico and silently asked, “Do you think we can trust them?”

The Son of Hades examined the two ghosts in front of him and shrugged at Percy. “Why not?”

“Fine, we could use all the help we can get.” Percy announced, giving the two ghosts his famous sly grin.

The Bloody Baron and Nearly Headless Nick looked delighted, and Nico told his house ghost that he wants him on their team. The ghost’s silver eyes widened, and he bowed his head again before speaking, “My Prince, I apologize. I have forgotten that I have a message for you.”

Nico exchanged glances with his friends. “What is it?”

His house ghost rose his head to meet Nico’s eyes. “Before we can begin our quest, your presence has been requested in The High Inquisitor’s office.”

“What does Umbridge want with Nico?” Will asked warily.

The corner of Nico’s mouth twitched. “Maybe she’s found out that I’m the one sending skeletons into her bedroom every night.”

Percy spit out the pumpkin juice he was drinking and burst out laughing, “Man, I’m so glad you’re still doing that. That toad doesn’t deserve to sleep.”

Nico pushed off from his spot and told his friends that he would meet them here after he was finished talking with Umbridge. He prayed to his Father that she hadn’t found out it was him tormenting her, he wasn’t even close to being done with having his fun.

As he approached the office off of the second-floor corridor, and stopped and listened. Nico sensed that there were two people waiting for him in the office. He grimaced and knocked on the door, only for it to swing open to reveal Professor Umbridge and a tall, thin man with long, white-blonde hair like Draco.

The man’s face twisted into a hungry smile and he stood up from Umbridge’s office chair. She didn’t look particularly happy with his invasion, and pursed her lips. “Ah, Mr. di Angelo, come in.”

Nico stepped forward warily. “I received a message telling me to come here.”

Professor Umbridge had dark circles under her eyes, which had now settled on Nico. She stared at him hard, as if trying to figure out why her guest had hijacked her office to speak with a mere student. He wasn’t about to be intimidated, and returned her glare, and wasn’t the least bit surprised when she broke the tension almost immediately.

“Lucius Malfoy, an associate of mine at the Ministry of Magic, has requested an audience with you.” She gestured towards the tall man, who hadn’t taken his eyes off Nico.

“Thank you, Dolores, now please leave us.” He said with an amused smile. She pouted and started towards the door. “And please tell your...pets...to wander elsewhere. I would like for this conversation to be private.”

Nico raised an eyebrow at the fury on her face. She huffed and flicked her wand, sending the hundreds of kittens and cats within her portraits away. Professor Umbridge slammed the door on the way out, causing Lucius to shake his head in amusement.

“Such a temper. Mr. di Angelo, please sit.” He said, gesturing to the leather chair in front of the desk.

Nico narrowed his eyes, but did as he was told. “What do you want?”

The man chuckled, “Why, I simply came for an interview.”

“An interview.” Nico repeated. What the heck?

“Yes, Mr. di Angelo. You see, I’m somewhat of a genealogist. I am most interested in family lines-or rather, one particular family line.” Malfoy began, a small smirk always resting on his lips.

Nico ran through the different possibilities in his head of what this guy could possibly want with him. “And what does that have to do with me?”

A beat of silence. “That’s what I’m here to find out. Mr. di Angelo, can you tell me where you’re from?”

“I-I’m from Long Island.” He said warily. It wasn’t technically a lie, he did live at Camp Half-Blood now.

Lucius raised a slick eyebrow. “I see. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you have a slight accent. Did you ever live in Italy?”

Nico was thrown off by the question. What could it possibly matter if he was from Italy or not? “Mr. Malfoy, I don’t mean to be rude, but can you please just get to the point? I don’t have all night.”

His smirk darkened. “If you insist, Mr. di Angelo. I believed the family line that I am interested in had ended near the beginning of World War two, but  your surname and lineage leads me to believe otherwise.”

The Son of Hades flinched. “You know something about my family?”

“Possibly. That’s what I’m here to determine. In the late nineteen-thirties, a woman named Maria di Angelo left Italy with her two children, Nico and Bianca, to come to America. A year later, there are records of the family checking into a hotel in Washington D.C. Tragically, a bolt of lightning struck the establishment, killing everyone inside.”

He paused, and Nico’s breath had become shallow. He didn’t think he could respond even if he wanted to. Malfoy took his silence as encouragement and continued. “At least that’s what I thought. You share the name of one of Maria di Angelo’s children, so I’m interested in the possibility of you being related to her. Maybe one of her children survived the blast, and then grew up to have children and grandchildren.” He raised an eyebrow to see if Nico would react to any of that. “Or maybe she had another undocumented child, who then grew up to sire your family line.”

Nico finally regained his ability to speak. “It doesn’t matter how I’m related to her. Why are you so interested in M-Maria’s family line in the first place.”

Lucius leaned back and examined him. “Considering it might be your family line, I might as well tell you.” His eyes reflected that hungry glint again as he began. “The House of Gaunt was a pure-blood family that descended from Salazar Slytherin himself, as well as the infamous Cadmus Peverell. They were prominent, wealthy, and powerful within both the wizarding and muggle world.”

“The House of Gaunt?” Nico repeated, searching his brain for anything his mother might have mentioned about them.

“Yes, Mr. di Angelo. Maybe you can understand my fascination, the end of such a brilliant family line is very interesting. In the sixteen-hundreds, a powerful witch, Gormlaith Gaunt slew her sister Rionach and her husband, William Sayre for betraying the family. The Sayre’s were lending aid to neighboring muggles. This weakness could have led to possible breeding with muggles, which was definitely worth killing for.” His smile sent chills up Nico’s spine.

Nico bit the inside of his cheek to stop from berating the man for his cruelty, he needed for Malfoy to continue talking. “Gormlaith then took her five year old niece, Isolt Sayre under her wing in the valley of Coomcallee, Ireland for twelve years. Isolt was a very special witch, Mr. di Angelo. She had the blood of Salazar Slytherin from her mother’s line, and the powerful Irish witch Morrigan from her father’s line.”

Now that was a name Nico recognized. Morrigan was the Irish goddess of fate, death, and war. Obviously she hadn’t been prominent for centuries, but Nico had made a point to know all of the gods and goddesses who had been cast aside by his father. This Isolt woman was supposedly a descendant of the Phantom Queen?

“The ungrateful child ran away from Gormlaith the day she turned seventeen. She was in the wind for a few years before the records reveal a one Elias Story showing up on the Mayflower in sixteen-twenty. It is believed that Isolt cut off her hair and masqueraded as a Muggle boy in order to travel to the New World. Isolt then married a filthy muggle, who she started the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with.” He finished with an ugly sneer.

Nico replayed the story over again in his head. “And you think I’m related to this Isolt woman how?”

Lucius stood up and began calmly pacing the room. “After she came to the New World and married that muggle, James Steward, she gave birth to four children. From that line, the most powerful wizard in history was sired. However, before she fled to America like an insolent child, there are records showing that a family near County Kerry provided her refuge. Can you guess which family to who I am referring to?”

The Son of Hades’ breath hitched, and he remembered the book Madam Pince gave him. “The di Angelos. They had three sons between the ages of nineteen and thirty.” He answered, putting the pieces together.

The elder Malfoy looked delighted, “Exactly right! Records show that a baby was born into the di Angelo family about a year after Isolt ran away from Gormlaith. She moved on quickly after giving birth, and did not bring the baby along with her. Records show that the di Angelos moved to Italy within the next few years.”

Nico closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “You think my family line comes from this baby that Isolt had with one of the three sons? How can you be sure that my family didn’t come from one of the other two brothers?”

Lucius didn’t look the least bit worried. “Because there are death records for the entire family except for one of the sons soon after they arrived in Italy. I believe that Gormlaith tracked her niece to the di Angelo family and killed them all, except for the one son who escaped with the baby, of course. Isolt must have warned her lover that the powerful witch would come after them.”

It was Nico’s turn to stand up and pace, “Madam Pince wasn’t able to dig up any of this information. How did you get your hands on it? And how do you know its reliable?”

“Like I said, I am somewhat of a genealogist. I have great interest in the family line of Salazar Slytherin, especially if the same ancient blood that runs through the veins of the greatest wizard in history is shared by a mere student here at Hogwarts.” Lucius Malfoy was practically foaming at the mouth, and he advanced on Nico.

Too many thoughts were running through Nico’s mind to focus on the elder Malfoy’s actions. His mother was a descendent of Isolt Sayre, who hailed from Salazar Slytherin, a child of Hecate, and the Irish goddess Morrigan? Is that why she was able to see through the Mist? Is that why Hades was so drawn to her? Hades had two children with the same woman, which was practically unheard of-besides Zeus, but even he came to Jason’s mom as both Zeus and Jupiter. Did his father know? Was Hades aware of the blood that ran through Nico’s veins?

As Lucius grabbed hold of Nico’s arm, his nails breaking through the skin, a voice broke through the silence. “If I were you, Lucius Malfoy, I would release my son’s arm immediately.”

A chill shot through Nico’s spine, and he forced his arm away from Lucius. “Father? What are you doing here?”

Hades stood before them  in a blue and black pinstripe suit that held a black silk pocket square. His dark hair was slicked back smoothly, making the sharp features of his pale face more prominent. Within the fabric of his suit, Nico could make out sorrowful faces, reaching out to him for release.

Lucius Malfoy looked positively dumbstruck, “W-what? How did you get in here? Hogwarts has defenses against apparition!”

The Lord of the Underworld looked to his son as if to say, is this guy serious? “I am not bound by the laws of mere mortals, you pathetic leach. And if you ever lay your hand on my son again, your time in my domain will come much quicker than you expected.” While the threat probably didn’t make any sense to Malfoy, he was still clearly terrified. He stepped away from Nico hastily.

Hades moved forward, trapping Lucius Malfoy in a corner. “Maria di Angelo is no longer a concern of  yours.” He snapped his fingers, and a sizzle escaped his fingers. “Every ounce of research you have received on the di Angelo family is now in flames.”

The blood drained from Malfoy’s face, and he sputtered, “T-that’s impossible! I searched for years to find a relative of the Dark Lord! And now I have him!” He whipped out his wand and pointed it at the man in the pinstripe suit.

The Lord of the Underworld rolled his eyes, and merely waved off any spells that Malfoy cast. “You have nothing. My son here is off limits. The death of Maria di Angelo was tragic, and I will not have you associating her or her family with your pathetic wizard.”

“The Dark Lord is the greatest-”

“I AM THE DARK LORD!” Hades bellowed, and Nico flinched at the outburst. Malfoy dropped his wand, petrified with fear. “YOUR RIDICULOUS WIZARD IS A PUPPET!” The room around them shook, and thirty small empty portraits crashed into the floor.

Hades huffed in annoyance and straightened his suit. “Now, get out of my sight.” With a wave of his hand, and a puff of smoke, Lucius Malfoy was gone.

Nico tried to wrap his mind around that his father was standing in front of him, and that he had just lost his temper with a sleazy wizard. “How are you even here? I thought Erebus was throwing the Underworld into Chaos?”

Hades sighed and turned towards his son. Nico could see the dark circles under his eyes that now were impossible to hide, and his sharp features seemed to stretch across his face more tightly than the last time he had seen him. “He has. But I always have an ear out for anyone who mentions your mother. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about your lineage sooner.”

Nico was silent as he tried to take in the fact that Hades knew about Maria’s bloodline. “You were too young to understand, and when you were old enough, you were in the middle of a war. Hecate would have thrown a hissy fit if I had told you that Maria was a descendant of hers. The wizarding world is meant to stay separate from ours.”

Before Nico could respond, Hades placed a strong hand on his shoulder. “I wish I could explain further, but my Kingdom is under attack. I’ve spent too much time away already.” A rush of wind pushed Nico’s unruly hair back, and when he opened his eyes, he was alone.

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 19

 

Nico tried to wrap his mind around that his father was standing in front of him, and that he had just lost his temper with a sleazy wizard. “How are you even here? I thought Erebus was throwing the Underworld into Chaos?”

Hades sighed and turned towards his son. Nico could see the dark circles under his eyes that now were impossible to hide, and his sharp features seemed to stretch across his face more tightly than the last time he had seen him. “He has. But I always have an ear out for anyone who mentions your mother. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about your lineage sooner.”

Nico was silent as he tried to take in the fact that Hades knew about Maria’s bloodline. “You were too young to understand, and when you were old enough, you were in the middle of a war. Hecate would have thrown a hissy fit if I had told you that Maria was a descendant of hers. The wizarding world is meant to stay separate from ours.”

Before Nico could respond, Hades placed a strong hand on his shoulder. “I wish I could explain further, but my Kingdom is under attack. I’ve spent too much time away already.” A rush of wind pushed Nico’s unruly hair back, and when he opened his eyes, he was alone.

 

XX

 

Will fiddled with his spoon absentmindedly once he had finished all of his cobbler. Nico had been gone for almost an hour, and the temperature was outside was dropping quickly. If they were going to go on patrol tonight, they needed to get going.

“Do you think something’s wrong?” He asked Annabeth and Percy, who had begun to look more and more sullen. Percy’s seaweed green eyes pierced through him, and Will got the message loud and clear. He pushed off from his spot at the table, “I’ll go check on him. I’ll either come back here, or I’ll send you guys a message to go ahead and start the patrol. His friends nodded towards him, and the Bloody Baron drifted silently behind Will.

“So…” He started awkwardly, stuffing his hands into this pockets, “What’s it like being a ghost?”

The ghost’s vacant eyes bore into him, and Will decided making small talk with the Slytherin House ghost wasn’t the best course of action. Instead, he forged on towards Umbridge’s office, a dark pit forming in his stomach as he got closer.

The door was ajar, and rather than pushing it open, he hovered outside so that he could listen in. Professor Umbridge was muttering angrily to herself as she cast “Reparo” around the room, and Will heard the sound of broken pottery being mended together. He stepped away from the door and turned towards the ghost. “Do you know where he is?”

The silver bloodstains that engulfed the Barron’s clothes glittered in the darkened corridor, and the ghost pointed a silent finger towards the thickening shadows. Will chewed on the inside of his cheek anxiously as he made his way towards Nico. He brought out his wand and willed a small light to appear at the tip, guiding his way. He struggled to breath as he travelled further into the darkened castle.

Finally, he smelled something...familiar. “Neeks? Are you okay?”

A muffled, frustrated voice answered him. “Get out of here, Sunshine.”

Will tilted his head in confusion and shut off the light from his wand. In the dim corridor he could make out Nico’s frame, and tried to figure out what that crunching sound was. “Are...are you eating McDonalds?” He asked with a hint of amusement in his voice.

The Son of Hades sighed and waved the heavy shadows away so that Will could see and breathe properly. He was sitting alone with his back against the stone corridor eating a Happy Meal, which Will had figured out a while ago was Nico’s version of comfort food.

He silently took a spot next to his boyfriend, and ate one of the warm fries that Nico offered. “Do you want to talk about it?” Will asked quietly.

Nico ignored the question and continued eating. Will was patient though, and simply waited for his boyfriend to work up the nerve to talk to him. They hadn’t been together long, but that didn’t mean much. They were figuring this whole thing out together.

“I saw my dad.” The Son of Hades whispered so quietly Will almost didn’t hear.

“You-what? What was Hades doing here?” He asked incredulously.

Nico brushed the salt off his fingers and sent the Happy Meal box into the shadows. “I had a little talk with Draco Malfoy’s father...Hades wasn’t a big fan of the topic.”

A white hot flame burst in Will’s chest, and he narrowed his eyes dangerously. “What was Lucius Malfoy doing within fifty feet of you? His spineless prick of a son-”

“I know, Sunshine. He didn’t mention anything about...that. It was about my family.” Nico responded gruffly.

“You’re going to have to be more specific than that, Neeks.” The Son of Apollo pursed his lips.

Nico sighed and rested his head against the cold stone. “Apparently, my mother was a descendant of the wizard who founded the Slytherin House. I’ve got wizard blood running through my veins.”

Will let the new information soak in and was silent for a few minutes. “So Hades…”

“Knew about my mom, and didn’t like Malfoy running his mouth about her.”

“Woah.” Will huffed.

Nico agreed solemnly, “Yeah.”

“Hence the Happy Meal.” Will observed with a hint of humor, and a ghost of a smile played on Nico’s lips.

“I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.” The Son of Hades closed his eyes, as if still trying to process the news.

Will stood up abruptly and dusted himself off, then held out a hand for Nico. “Well, I won’t say anything until you are ready to tell the others. I think the best way to handle finding out you’re a descendant of two immortal beings is to go kill some monsters.”

Nico looked away as he took Will’s hand. “Three. I’m a descendant of three immortal beings.”

“Come again?” Will asked, placing a hand on his hip.

“Technically, one of my ancestors was a descendant of an Irish goddess….” He said, kicking his black combat boots against the ground.

Will groaned dramatically and moved so that he was facing Nico. “It’s official, my Ghost King of a boyfriend has more magical blood in his system than the gods themselves!” A rumble of thunder sounded in the background, and Will held up his palms, “Just kidding, guys. Geez…”

Nico shook his head with silent laughter, and caught his breath when he suddenly felt Will’s lips on his. He stiffened considerably, but melted into the kiss after a few seconds. When his boyfriend pulled away, Nico felt significantly colder.

“It doesn’t matter to me if you’re related to the gods, fancy wizards, or the archduke of Canterbury, as long as you are still Nico di Angelo, I’m happy.” Will rested his forehead against Nico’s and the two demigods enjoyed each other’s closeness for a few minutes.

Nico nodded his head against Will’s, and nervously raised his lips to meet his partner’s. Will seemed surprised at the show of affection, but smiled against Nico’s teeth. The Son of Apollo put a hand on the back of Nico’s head and deepened the kiss for a few seconds before his boyfriend reluctantly pulled away.

He was out of breath, but a warm, feathery glow seemed to radiate off of the Son of Hades. “Let’s go kill some monsters.”

 

XX

 

When the two demigods finally returned to the Great Hall, Percy and Annabeth were on their feet talking with Nearly Headless Nick. The Son of the Sea god spotted his friends and grabbed his girlfriend’s hand, tugging her towards them. “Where the heck have you guys been? We’ve been worried sick!”

Will raised an awkward hand behind his head, “Sorry, we lost track of time…”

“Lost track of-” Annabeth must have squeezed her boyfriend’s hand tightly, because Percy turned to look her her in confusion.

Her startling grey eyes were upturned in amusement, “I think we can bypass the details for now. Everything okay?” She asked, turning her gaze to Nico.

The boy nodded and twisted the Skull Ring that rested on his finger. “Let’s get going.”

Percy looked between the three other demigods with narrowed eyes before shrugging. “Fine, are you guys still okay with checking out the grounds?”

Will took out his wand and called out “Focillo.” Gentle warmth radiated out from the demigod’s wand tip, instantly heating the immediate area. He smiled widely, “I learned that spell a few days ago, thought it might come in handy.”

He showed his boyfriend how to use it, and when Percy and Annabeth were sure their friends would be fine, they headed off towards the Dungeons with Nearly Headless Nick.

“You ready?” Will asked Nico and the Bloody Baron, both of whom nodded with determination.

Will was relieved for the heat when they stepped out onto the Grounds. The spell worked as a shield against the bitter cold, brushing away the harsh winds that nipped at their heels. They surveyed the low hanging clouds, not completely comfortable with the way they twisted and churned above them.

“I don’t have a good feeling about this.” Nico said in a heavy voice. Will agreed, nothing about the night seemed right. Nico might be able to feel the heavy shadows that seemed thicker than usual, but even Will could sense the change in atmosphere. Instead of the inviting, soothing Hogwarts that he had grown to love, the air seemed darker...malevolent.

The Bloody Baron raised a silver finger, and pointed it towards the Forbidden Forest. Will turned to Nico with an eyebrow raised. “Well, it looks like we know which direction to go in.”

Nico growled his agreement and brought out the Sickle Annabeth had given him. “Let’s tell the others where we are going...just in case.” Will agreed and cast the spell, sending a slight burning sensation to the other coins.

They nodded to each other silently and raised their wands as they traveled through the dying grass. Before they stepped foot past the treeline, a breeze wafted around Will, raising his blonde hair along with it. He turned to see if Nico had felt the same thing, but found his boyfriend frozen in time, along with the Bloody Baron, who was suspended motionlessly.

Will set his jaw and twisted around, “Hecate!”

A familiar chuckle sounded at his side. “Guess again.”

Will’s eyes met the man’s kaleidoscope ones, and he sucked in a breath, taking a calculated step back. “Dr. C?”

The elderly man gave him a small smile. He looked more burdened than the last time he had appeared to the demigods. “I don’t have much time, Mr. Solace. Unfortunately holding off the Darkness is a full time job.”

“What are you doing here? Do you have a way for us to stop Erebus?” The Son of Apollo asked suspiciously.

“Don’t patronize me, boy, of course I have a way for us to stop Erebus. The question is...are you ready for the Trials?” Dr. C asked with a twinkle in his eye.

Will tilted his head, “The Trials? What is that?”

“You’re about to find out. All four of you demigods will be fighting a variety of monsters tonight...and if you are all still alive by the end of the night, I will enlighten you as to what each of you must do to defeat the Darkness.”

Will didn’t like the sound of that. “And if we don’t succeed in defeating these monsters?”

Dr. C shrugged, “Then Erebus will overtake the entire Earth in darkness. Nobody will survive. I cannot put him back in his prison on my own. The foolish boy has grown far too powerful writhing in his nightmares.

Do not fail tonight, Mr. Solace. The fate of the world depends on it.” Before Will could object, Dr. C was gone, and Nico was moving past him.

When he saw that his  boyfriend wasn’t following, Nico turned around. “You coming, Sunshine?”

Will pushed away the dread he felt and nodded. “Let’s go.”

The harsh wind was blocked almost instantly by the ominous trees, and the demigods decided to bring out their weapons rather than stay warm. Will and Nico moved slowly, eyes scanning their surroundings for threats.

After about half an hour hiking into denser areas, they came across a lake hidden in the woods. It wasn’t large, but the absence of trees allowed the roar of the wind to assault them again. The Bloody Baron’s vacant eyes were suddenly alert, and he became agitated, flying around them in quick, uncontrolled bursts. “Well, that can’t be good.” Nico mumbled, his Stygian Iron sword at the ready.

Will cocked an exploding arrow on his bow, and moved to stand back to back with Nico. They circled slowly, keeping their eyes and ears peeled. On Nico’s flank, four sets of bright red eyes appeared out of the darkness. The Son of Hades cursed in ancient greek, “More Hellhounds!”

As Will turned around to take aim at one of the beasts, a frigid chill inched its way across his body. A wave of sorrow rushed over the Son of Apollo, and he stumbled on his feet. He twisted towards the lake, and widened his eyes at the scene in front of him.

Ice had begun to crystalline over the edges of the lake. Heavy shadows glossed over the surface, and Will raised his blue eyes to the sight of at least twenty cloaked figures gliding eerily slow towards him. “Dementors!” He cried, and looked over at Nico.

His boyfriend was in mid-somersault over one of the Hellhounds. He landed steadily on his feet and drove his blade into the first beast’s side. When he dared to look up at Will for a split second, anger, loneliness, and death radiated off of him. “I got this, you take care of them!”

Will’s heart reached out to Nico. He couldn’t imagine what his boyfriend must be going through right now. Dementors sucked away any sort of happiness or good memory, leaving you in the torture of your worst memories. If Nico was experiencing even a fraction of that...Will was just glad he wasn’t one of those Hellhounds.

He turned around with eyes flashing, and transformed his weapon back into a wand. He took a deep breath and pushed away the iciness that had begun to harden across his chest. Will focused on his most powerful memory, and screamed “Expecto Patronum!”

The sun was beginning to set at Camp Half-Blood, and Will was beyond frustrated. He had asked Nico specifically not to leave the infirmary until he had released him. The ridiculously stubborn Son of Hades had exhausted himself at this week’s game of Capture the Flag, and Will had spent all day trying to make sure the boy didn’t disappear into the shadows.

Not that he minded spending time with the demigod. Actually, he even sort of enjoyed himself. Nico might be pale, dangerous, and even a little scary, but over the past few weeks, Will had found out that the Son of Hades was also extremely brave, fiercely loyal, and even kind of funny. He enjoyed their constant bickering, and missed having him around when he went off to do his own thing.

Like now. Will searched around the Infirmary with no luck, so he decided to head towards the dining pavilion, maybe one of the other campers had seen him. He came across Percy and Annabeth sitting side by side at the Athena table. Their thighs were touching, and Percy had his arm draped around his girlfriend’s shoulders. He had cut holes into his piece of lettuce and had it pressed to his face, sticking out tongue out at Annabeth, who had her nose scrunched up in amusement. She playfully tried to take bites out of the mask, and Percy caught her mouth, pressing his lips softly against hers.

Will sighed happily. He had never really known love like the two of them had. They had known each other since they were eleven years old...they had fought  battles and wars together...they trusted each other more than anything on the face of this planet. Will was a happy guy, content with everything in his life right now. But still, he wouldn’t say no if the opportunity arose to see where things went with a faithful partner. Speaking of which….

“Hey guys, have you seen Nico?” He asked. Annabeth gave him a knowing smile, and grabbed the lettuce mask off of her boyfriend’s face.

“Hey! You can’t use your hands!” Percy complained. He sighed and looked up at the Son of Apollo. “I think I saw him at the archery field.”

Will shot them both a wink and jogged over to the now dark field and looked around. A single light illuminated one of the targets, which happened to have a few arrows stuck around the wooden frame. As he got nearer, he heard a grunt, and a glossy black arrow hit the outer ring. Will turned to the shadows to find Nico fumbling with the bow, muttering angrily to himself.

“What are you doing out here?” He asked with a tilt of his head.

Nico almost dropped the arrow he was holding from surprise and turned quickly to Will. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to sneak up on the Children of Hades?” He asked with a frustrated growl.

Will held up his hands in defense. “Woah, nobody’s trying to sneak up on you, Neeks. It’s just me. What are you doing?"

Nico sighed in defeat and motioned towards the target. “I..I was trying to learn archery. We spend a lot of time in the infirmary, so I thought you might eventually want to do something else. I know that you enjoy it...so…I don’t know.” He shrugged before finishing, and moved towards the armory to put away the weapon.


A tingling sensation stretched across Will’s nerve endings. “You...wanted to learn Archery? For me?”

Nico scowled and kicked his black combat boots to the ground. “Whatever.”

Will caught him before he could take another step. “That is really cool of you, Nico.” He gave the Son of Hades a wry smirk, “Definitely makes me like you even more.”

From the way Nico stiffened, Will instantly chided himself for saying that. He had to be patient with the boy, he couldn’t expect him to-

Before he could get another thought out, a pair of painfully soft lips crushed against his own, and he relished in the feeling. A spark flittered throughout his body, and Will found himself responding hungrily to the kiss. He ignored Nico’s aversion to touching, and gripped the boy’s long black hair with his fingers, pulling them closer together. A flash of fireworks burst through his mind-no doubt a gift of his father-and he lost himself in his first kiss with Nico di Angelo.

A powerful wisp of silver light magnified tenfold into an impenetrable shield, surrounding himself and Nico. The hooded Dementors groaned in fury, and threw themselves against Will’s patronus. He cried out again, forcing more power into the charm, and laughed with immeasurable delight when his faithful dolphin soared through the assault, crashing into each and every terrible beast with striking force.

Once his patronus had eradicated the last of the Dementors, Will’s energy was completely depleted, and he fell hard to his knees. He barely registered Nico shouting his name before darkness overtook him.

 

XX

 

As the light from the Patronus Charm dissipated, Nico slashed into the last Hellhound. He forced himself to breathe in fresh air as his muscles screamed at him. Nico was about ready to drop from his fight when he turned to check on his boyfriend.

Will dropped to his knees and sunk into moist gravel. Adrenaline kicked into his system, and Nico cried out, “WILL!” He stumbled towards his boyfriend, bringing the boy’s head into his lap. He checked for a pulse in the correct spots that Will taught him, and sighed in relief when he felt a thump thump against his two fingers.

Nico took out a Golden Drachma and slashed at the lake water. “Oh Iris, goddess of the rainbow, please accept my offering.”

Percy and Annabeth were crumpled against a stone wall breathing heavily and drenched in sweat. The two looked into the mist with tired eyes, “Are you both okay?” Percy asked.

Nico nodded his head, “We were attacked by Dementors and Hellhounds. Will’s breathing, but I need help getting him inside so he can rest.”

Annabeth bounded up with a loud groan, “Be right there. Somehow a Manticore and a Fury got into the castle. Took us a while, but we finished them off.”

He told them where to find him and Will, and wiped his hand through the mist. Nico called out “nostos” and waited for his blade to transform back into a wand, and used the spell Will had taught him to keep warm. He waited there in silence with the Bloody Baron until he heard the familiar shouts of his friends.

 

XX

 

Will was standing in the middle of an enormous room with obsidian tiles etched with green grout. Along the sides of the corridor were giant fireplaces that glowered with a dark aura. When he turned around, he saw a decorated fountain that was no longer in use. The water lapped lazily along the sides, and the golden statues before him stared at him in disgust as if to say, You don’t belong here.

“Well done, Mr. Solace.” Will spun to see Dr. C standing a few feet from him. He twisted the edge of his long, white beard in his index finger and smiled widely at the demigod. “I am very pleased to see that you have survived.”

Will sighed, “Thank goodness. Now can you tell me how we are going to stop Erebus?”

Dr. C laughed happily, “You like to get right to the point, don’t you my boy? Fine, fine, you will be needing this.” A small flash of light appeared, and he opened his right hand to reveal a gold necklace. Two engraved bands twisted steadily around a glass centerpiece that looked like an hourglass filled with turquoise sand.

He handed it to Will gingerly, who examined the gift. “What is it?”

Dr. C gave him a wry smile, “My dear boy, it is a Time-Turner.”

A memory surfaced. “Hermione Granger used one of these in her third year to attend more classes.”

The old man chuckled. “I can assure you, Mr. Solace, that this is a very special Time-Turner. Mere mortals would crumble beneath the power of this device. I would know, I created it myself.”

Will met Dr. C’s kaleidoscope eyes. “You made it yourself? How?”

“You’re a smart boy, Son of Apollo, surely you can figure it out.” Dr. C said with amusement, and a hint of a challenge.

Will brought the Time-Turner to eye level and thought about everything he had learned about Dr. C. The inscription was written in greek, but his brain rearranged the letters effortlessly to read, “How very near us stand the two vast gulfs of time, the past and the future, in which all things disappear.

“No way….” He mumbled, snapping his attention upwards, and fumbling backwards. “I-I-I”

“I would be careful with that, Mr. Solace.” The man said patiently, pointing a long finger towards the Time-Turner in Will’s hand.

The Son of Apollo looked between the object and it’s creator, trying to form the word he was looking for. He took a deep breath to steady himself, and swallowed hard. “Chronos.”

A victorious smile crept across the primordial being’s face. “At your service.” He said with a bow.

Will shook his head in confusion, “I don’t understand. You’re literally the father of everything...Chaos was created from you...and from Chaos…” He trailed, wrapping his mind around the impossibility that he was sitting here chatting with Father Time himself.

“And from Chaos, the world came into being. Gaia, Tartarus, Eros, Erebus, Nyx…” He finished for the demigod. “My grandchildren were a little too power hungry for my taste. Erebus especially, that spoiled brat wouldn’t be satisfied until the entire cosmos were coated with the Darkness. Alas, I had to make arrangements for everyone to take a little nap.” Chronos sighed in disappointment.

“Why can’t you do the same thing with Erebus now that he’s waking?” Will asked, his stomach dropping.

Chronos furrowed his brow when he looked at the young demigod, “I’ve been around since the beginning, Mr. Solace. I haven’t had to use my powers in millenia, you could say I’m a bit rusty. I was able to use the bit I could to create the Time-Turner in your hands, but I will need you and your friends’ help to generate enough power and magic to force Erebus back into his slumber.”

Will decided that his feet and brain needed a break, so he took a seat on the black marble fountain. He held the object gently in his hand and studied it. “Tell me what we have to do.”

The quotidian, the recurrent took a seat next to the Son of Apollo and clapped him on the back. “First, I want you to keep that safe for me. Which means,” He said with a pointed look, “not using it until the time is right. This Time-Turner can only be used once, and it has a very special power hidden within.” Will gulped. “When the time comes, I will explain how it works, but for now…” He snapped his fingers. “It’s time for you to wake up and warn your friends of the upcoming battle.”

 

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 20

The Son of Apollo looked between the object and it’s creator, trying to form the word he was looking for. He took a deep breath to steady himself, and swallowed hard. “Chronos.”

A victorious smile crept across the primordial being’s face. “At your service.” He said with a bow.

Will shook his head in confusion, “I don’t understand. You’re literally the father of everything...Chaos was created from you...and from Chaos…” He trailed, wrapping his mind around the impossibility that he was sitting here chatting with Father Time himself.

“And from Chaos, the world came into being. Gaia, Tartarus, Eros, Erebus, Nyx…” He finished for the demigod. “My grandchildren were a little too power hungry for my taste. Erebus especially, that spoiled brat wouldn’t be satisfied until the entire cosmos were coated with the Darkness. Alas, I had to make arrangements for everyone to take a little nap.” Chronos sighed in disappointment.

“Why can’t you do the same thing with Erebus now that he’s waking?” Will asked, his stomach dropping.

Chronos furrowed his brow when he looked at the young demigod, “I’ve been around since the beginning, Mr. Solace. I haven’t had to use my powers in millenia, you could say I’m a bit rusty. I was able to use the bit I could to create the Time-Turner in your hands, but I will need you and your friends’ help to generate enough power and magic to force Erebus back into his slumber.”

Will decided that his feet and brain needed a break, so he took a seat on the black marble fountain. He held the object gently in his hand and studied it. “Tell me what we have to do.”

The quotidian, the recurrent took a seat next to the Son of Apollo and clapped him on the back. “First, I want you to keep that safe for me. Which means,” He said with a pointed look, “not using it until the time is right. This Time-Turner can only be used once, and it has a very special power hidden within.” Will gulped. “When the time comes, I will explain how it works, but for now…” He snapped his fingers. “It’s time for you to wake up and warn your friends of the upcoming battle.”

XX

Annabeth paced at the foot of Will’s bed in the infirmary, waiting very impatiently for the Son of Apollo to wake up. It hadn’t been very long since they brought him in, and Madam Pomfrey didn’t seem too concerned, but Annabeth was still on edge from their earlier battles.

How did so many monsters find their way to the Castle Grounds without tripping any of the alarms Hogwarts had in place? Dementors, Hellhounds, a Manticore and a Fury all at once? The coincidence didn’t sit right with her. Annabeth grabbed a washcloth from the nightstand and wiped the grime off her face. Ugh, she thought, I am in desperate need for a shower.

As she went to dab the towel with water, Will’s hazel eyes flew open. All three demigods sprung to attention and lined up at Will’s side. “How are you feeling?” Nico asked, obviously relieved that his boyfriend had woken up.

The Son of Apollo sat up in bed with little effort, which was a great sign. “I’m feeling fine, don’t worry about me.” He checked to see if anyone was eavesdropping then motioned them in closer. “We need to talk.”

Annabeth grimaced at Percy, knowing that whatever Will had to say couldn’t be good. Nico helped him out of bed and they waited for him to feel comfortable on his own two legs before heading off to the Room of Requirement. Once they reached the seventh floor, Percy pulled open the door for everyone and then filed in behind them.

“So, what’s going on?” Percy asked with his arms crossed.

Will tightened his grip on the object resting in his hand. “I know who Dr. C is.”

That caught everyone’s attention. Annabeth’s eyes widened in surprise, “Who is it?”

“Chronos.” He said with a large gulp.

Percy’s brow furrowed. “That’s impossible. Luke took care of him. There’s no way he could have reformed.”

Will shook his head, “Not Kronos, Percy. Chr-on-os, with a ‘CH.’”

Percy and Nico still looked confused, but Annabeth shook her head. “That’s even more unbelievable, Will. Chronos? Like Father Time, that Chronos? He’s one of the first primordial deities...ever. Chaos was born from him. He’s been in the wind for millenia….so people started lumping him and the Titan King, Kronos together. Their names were used interchangeably.”

Nico chewed on the inside of his cheek. “Why in the world would the Father of...everything...be hanging around a castle in Scotland discovering new stars?”

“And if Chronos is more powerful than Erebus, wouldn’t he be able to stop him?”

Will sighed and took a seat on one of the cushions available. “It sounded like he’s lost some of his power over time, and now there’s not enough left to put Erebus back to sleep. He said he needs a huge amount of power and magic for that...which is where we come in.”

Annabeth didn’t like the sound of that one bit. “And how exactly are we supposed to do that?”

“I’m not sure, he said he would explain when the time is right. I guess there is a battle coming up.” Will shrugged. His eyes widened, “Speaking of battles, he said that our separate fights against those monsters were part of some kind of test.”

Percy’s eyes narrowed dangerously and he growled, “Chronos sent the Fury and the Manticore into the castle? What if the students had been around? Someone could have been killed!”

Will held up a pretty golden necklace in his hand. “But nobody did, and we won, which means we passed the tests. He gave me this Time-Turner and told me to hold onto it until the time is right.”

Nico leaned in and examined the hourglass. “When is the time supposed to be right?”

Annabeth’s fingers fidgeted wildly, “We can assume that it will be a tool for the final battle. If that Time-Turner was given to you be the Father of Time himself, I will bet you anything that it’s one of the most powerful objects in existence right now.”

Will looked down at the Time-Turner with fearful eyes, “That’s...terrifying...and I’m the one who has to keep it safe...awesome.” He gulped and slid it gingerly into his jacket pocket.

Percy brought out his wand and waited for it to transform into his magnificent sword. “If there’s a battle involving not one, but two primordial deities coming up, then we need to do everything we can to prepare for it.

Annabeth admired her boyfriend’s fearlessness. It didn’t matter if the odds were stacked against them (which she thought was the greatest understatement of all time), Percy Jackson wouldn’t back down. She brought out a Golden Drachma from her pocket and slid it skillfully between her fingers. “I think it’s time to call in reinforcements.”

XX

Harry was standing outside of Arthur Weasley’s ward in St. Mungo’s Hospital with Fred, George, Ginny, and Ron, wiping the layer of sweat off of his hands as he watched the twins hand each of them Extendable Ears. He hesitated to take one. Members of the Order were inside discussing the attack, and he was nervous that they would discover some kind of connection between himself and the snake.

“Go on, Harry, take it! You saved Dad’s life, if anyone’s go the right to eavesdrop on him it’s you…”

Grinning in spite of himself, Harry took the end of the string and inserted it into his ear as the twins had done. The flesh colored strings wriggled like long skinny worms, then snaked under the door. For a few seconds Harry could hear nothing, then he heard Tonks whispering as clearly as though she were standing right beside him.

“...they searched the whole area but they couldn’t find the snake anywhere, it just seems to have vanished after it attacked you, Arthur. ...But You-Know-Who can’t have expected a snake to get in, can he?”

“I reckon he sent it as a lookout,” growled Moody, “‘cause he’s not had any luck so far, has he? No, I reckon he’s trying to get a clearer picture of what he’s facing and if Arthur hadn’t been there the beast would’ve had much more time to look around. So Potter says he saw it all happen?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Weasley. She sounded rather uneasy. “You know, Dumbledore seems almost to have been waiting for Harry to see something like this…”

“Yeah, well,” said Moody, “there’s something funny about the Potter kid, we all know that.”

“”Dumbledore seemed worried about Harry when I spoke to him this morning,” whispered Mrs. Weasley.

“‘Course he’s worried,” growled Moody. “The boy’s seeing things from inside You-Know-Who’s snake...Obviously, Potter doesn’t realize what that means, but if You-Know-Who’s possessing him-”

Harry pulled the Extendable Ear out of his own, his heart hammering very fast and heat rushing up his face. He looked around at the others. They were all staring at him, the strings still trailing from their ears, looking suddenly fearful.

XX

Ginny watched in frustration as the boy she admired so much hid himself away from her and the rest of the Weasley family during the holidays at Grimmauld Place. Ever since they had heard Mad Eye’s ridiculous hypothesis on why Harry could see through You-Know-Who’s snake’s mind, he wouldn’t even look them in the eye.

She had tried to reach out to him multiple times, but she was met with a powerful wall of guilt and shame. Ron had told him not to think anything of the accusation, but Harry didn’t seem to be listening. He was stuck in his own little world, and she was scared for him.

Hermione called, thankfully, and had agreed to spend the rest of the holiday here with them. Ginny threw her arms around her friend when the bright young witch stepped through the door. “Hermione, you have no idea how good it is to see you!”

Her friend tightened her hold around Ginny, “I’m so so sorry about your dad. I trust he’s feeling better now that she’s out of the hospital?”

Ginny’s heart constricted, and she fought down the tears that threatened to come up. “He’s doing much better. Thank you.”

Hermione gave her a sad smile and gave the other Weasley’s a hug. She looked around and furrowed her brow, “Where’s Harry?”

Ron grunted, “Up in his room. Hasn’t come out since we got here.”

Ginny sighed and led the duo upstairs, pausing only for a second to knock on Harry’s door. No answer. She grimaced at Hermione and led them through into his room, and watched as Harry’s eyes landed warily on each of them.

“What are you doing here?” Harry asked her. “I thought you were skiing with your mum and dad.”

“Well, to tell the truth, skiing’s not really my thing,” said Hermione. “So I’ve come for Christmas. How’re you feeling?”

“Fine,” said Harry stiffly.

“Oh, don’t lie, Harry,” she said impatiently. “Ron and Ginny say you’ve been hiding from everyone since you got back from St. Mungo’s.”

Ginny didn’t even flinch when Harry glared at her. “They do, do they?”

A rush of frustration flickered across her face, “Well, you have!” she said. “And you won’t look at any of us!”

“It’s you lot who won’t look at me!” said Harry angrily.

“Maybe you’re taking it in turns to look and keep missing each other,” suggested Hermione, the corners of her mouth twitching.

“Very funny,” snapped Harry, turning away.

“Oh, stop feeling all misunderstood,” said Hermione sharply. “Look, the others have told me what you overheard on the Extendable Ears-”

“Yeah?” growled Harry, his hands deep in his pockets as he watched the snow now falling thickly outside. “All been talking about me, have you? Well, I’m getting used to it…”

This was getting ridiculous. “We wanted to talk to you, Harry,” said Ginny, “but as you’ve been hiding ever since we got back-”

“I didn’t want anyone to talk to me,” said Harry, obviously biting his tongue in anger.

“Well, that was a bit stupid of you,” said Ginny angrily, “seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels.”

She watched as he stiffened, and ignored Ron and Hermione as they cast their eyes straight downward.

“I forgot,” he said.

“Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly.

Harry sighed and brought his hand up to his scar. “I’m sorry,” and he seemed to have meant it. “So...so do you think I’m being possessed, then?”

She thought back, “Well, can you remember everything you’ve been doing? She asked. “Are there big blank periods where you don’t know what you’ve been up to?”

Harry seemed to be racking his brains for an answer. “No.”

“Then You-Know-Who hasn’t ever possessed you,” said Ginny simply. “When he did it to me, I couldn’t remember what I’d been doing for hours at a time. I’d find myself somewhere and not know how I go there.”

He seemed to have had a huge weight lifted off his shoulders, and Ginny felt a flutter in her heart knowing that she had helped. “Listen, I don’t think that you should be keeping out of reach from the people who care about you. Talk to us, or at least talk to someone about what’s going on.”

His eyes flickered downward in acceptance, and he thanked them all for their persistence. She pulled Ron and Hermione out of the room to give him a little time to chew on the fact that he wan’t being possessed by You-Know-Who. As she closed the door, she caught sight of him staring intently at a strange Golden coin resting in his hand.

XX

 

Percy ran his fingers through his messy black hair and whistled happily. After their Iris Message with Chiron, they now had a sliver of hope for some backup. Although it depended on the cooperation of a certain magical goddess, he was confident that they would be able to see their friends soon.

He was rummaging through his trunk for a few things to train with before meeting the other demigods in the Room of Requirement when a cloud of mist materialized beside him. “Hello?” A familiar voice rang out, and Percy whirled around towards the caller.

“Harry? Are you okay? Where are you?” He asked quickly.

The Boy Who Lived held up his hands defensively, “I’m fine. I’m at Grimmauld Place with the Weasley’s and Hermione. I just wanted to talk to you, if that’s okay.”

Percy cocked his head and leaned his back up against the bed. “Of course it’s okay, bro. What’s up?”

Harry’s green eyes flickered in the mist, and he sighed heavily. “I’ve been having those dreams, or visions again. The same kind where I feel like I’m watching the scene through someone, or something else’s eyes.”

“I remember, they were the ones that were similar to demigod dreams. Have they been getting more frequent since you first told me?” Percy asked.

“Yeah, and now I’m seeing them in the middle of the day too. Always the same corridor.” Harry grimaced, “The same one where Mr. Weasley was attacked. I think it has something to do with Voldemort.”

Percy chewed on the inside of his cheek. “Harry, I know you don’t want to, but you need to talk to Dumbledore about this. Something isn’t right here, and I’m not going to let your pride get in the way of our best shot at answers.”

His friend’s head dropped, but Harry nodded. “I know. I’ll try to reach out to him when we get back to Hogwarts. Are you guys doing okay at the castle?”

Percy hesitated, “We’re fine. We can catch you up to speed when you get back. Merry Christmas, Harry. Stay safe.”

Harry didn’t seem satisfied with his answer, but he agreed. “Merry Christmas, Perc. I will.”

Percy watched the mist dissipate, and tried to ignore the sinking pit growing in his stomach. He knew he should tell the Golden Trio about what they’ve learned about Chronos, but he wasn’t sure they could handle the idea of two primordial beings being in the mix. He was having a hard time wrapping his own head around it.

He filed the thoughts away for now, and returned to searching through his trunk.

XX

On the last day of the winter break, Harry was not looking forward to returning to Hogwarts. Besides getting to see his friends, he didn’t have much to get excited about. He would have to leave Sirius alone again with only Kreacher as company, he had been banned from Quidditch, and Umbridge was sure to have an entire new term of detention waiting for him. No, he only hoped that Ron, Hermione, Percy and the other demigods would help him through the rest of the year.

“Harry, dear. Could you come to the kitchen for a moment? Professor Snape would like a word with you.” Mrs. Weasley called from the other side of the door of his and Ron’s bedroom.

He turned to his friends to find mirroring bewildered looks. “Ah, I’m sorry. Who did you say wanted to talk to me?”

“Professor Snape, dear. Now don’t dally!”

Harry furrowed his brow and followed her down the stairs, pausing only to shoot a confused look at Ron and Hermione who watched him with confused eyes.

When he entered the kitchen, Professor Snape and Sirius were eyeing each other hatefully at one end of the table, and Harry could practically taste the tension in the air.

“Sit down, Potter.” Snape clipped without taking his eyes off of Black.

He did as he was told, and tugged at his collar. “I would prefer it if you did not give orders in my house, Severus,” his godfather said through gritted teeth.

Professor Snape practically rolled his eyes and turned towards Harry, “I’m here on behalf of the headmaster, Potter. He has directed me to teach you Occumelency this term.”

Harry blinked. “I..I don’t know what that is.”

A sneer grew across Snape’s face. “Occlumency, Potter. The magical defense of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.”

Harry was confused. He wasn’t being possessed, so why did he have to learn to protect his mind? “Why?”

“Because the headmaster thinks it is a good idea,” said Snape smoothly. “You will receive private lessons from me once a week, but you will not tell anybody what you are doing, least of all Dolores Umbridge. You understand?”

Harry gulped loudly and tried to register his Professor’s words. Extra lessons from Snape? Now there was absolutely no hope of him surviving through the end of the school year.

“Why can’t Dumbledore teach Harry?” asked Sirius aggressively. “Why you?”

“I suppose because it is a headmaster’s privilege to delegate less enjoyable tasks, said Snape silkily. “I assure you I did not beg for the job.” He got to his feet. “I will expect you at six o’clock on Monday evening, Potter. My office. If anyone asks, you are taking Remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my classes could deny you need them.”

Sirius stood up quickly, his chair falling backwards with a loud thump. “Don’t speak to my godson like that, Snivellus!”

Snape’s retreating form froze. He turned slowly with a hateful glare fixed on Sirius. “I am Potter’s professor, Black. I am actually contributing to the Order...unlike you, who is banished to lie in this dump...alone. I will speak to the boy however I see fit.”

Sirius’ mouth twitched, and he pointed his wand towards Snape, who mirrored his actions.

Harry’s eyes widened, and he jumped between the two men. “NO!” He shouted, raising his hands outward.

“Harry, out of the way.” Sirius snapped dangerously, his eyes not moving from his old enemy. Snape didn’t respond, but gripped his wand tighter.

“CURED!” Mrs. Weasley shouted happily as she burst through the door with the Weasley clan following closely behind her. When she saw the scene in front of her, she fumed and placed her hands at her hips. “What in the world is going on in here?”

Sirius tore his gaze away and lowered his wand, “Nothing Molly. A friendly disagreement between two old friends…”

He pushed past Harry and Snape to move towards Arthur. “Cured, you say? How wonderful!”

Snape sneered at the intruders and turned his cold, black eyes on Harry. “Six o’clock on Monday, Potter.” He flung his cloak out of the way and left in silence.

Hermione and Ron found their places next to their friend and lowered their voices. “What was that about? What did Snape want with you?”

Harry blinked and told his friends about his conversation with their least favorite Professor. He closed his eyes and decidedly prayed to the greek gods that he would survive the new term.

XX

Nico di Angelo let the shadows pooling by his feet wrap their tendrils up and around his body. He relished in the power he felt slipping from one medium to another, and let the adrenaline push him forward.

Dolores Umbridge was about to pound on Hagrid’s small hut with a clenched fist when the hairs on the back of her neck raised in alarm. The horrifying presence that she had been having nightmares about for months now had just found its way into her reality.

She spun around furiously, hoping to catch of glimpse of what had been stalking her. Of course, she was only met with a flurry of shadows. One in particular looked almost human in the sheerness of size, but she could see straight through it towards a darkened castle.

Umbridge yelped in surprise as a sliver of something solid brushed across her leg. She whipped out her wand and scanned the dying grass for the culprit, but found nothing.

Hagrid practically ripped open his door when he heard a petrified shriek sounding from outside of his hut. “Wha-what’s goin’ on out’ here?” He asked in utter confusion when he found a shaking Umbridge twisting around in circles, strained-bloodshot eyes locked onto the ground.

Nico smirked inwardly when Professor Dumbledore showed up to escort Professor Umbridge back to the castle. Hagrid tried explaining that he didn’t see anything, and he didn’t even know why she was coming to see him in the first place. Umbridge was shaking her head furiously, insisting that something was chasing her. Upon hearing this, Dumbledore’s gaze drifted over the landscape before him and stared right into the shadow where Nico was hiding. If he didn’t know any better, Nico would have guessed that he saw the old wizard wink at him.

XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 21 

“Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotion, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked this easily-weak people, in other words-they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!’

“I am not weak,” said Harry in a low voice, fury now pumping through him so that he thought he might attack Snape in a moment.

“Then prove it! Master yourself!” spat Snape. “Control your anger, discipline your mine! We shall try again! Get ready, now! Legilimens!”

 

XX

“What’s in the Department of Mysteries?”

XX

Now that the students had returned to the castle and classes had resumed, Umbridge had taken it upon herself to present everyone with a ten page essay on “Wand Movement” for various spells that they weren’t actually allowed to practice for homework. The demigods were nestled in the back corner of the library with Ron and Hermione when Harry stumbled in, looking paler than he had in months.

Percy raised an eyebrow at him, “Dude, are you alright?” The rest of his friends peeked up from the papers and looked slightly alarmed.

Harry just waved them off, “I’m fine. Look, I’ve just realized something.” He fell into one of the chairs and leaned in towards them, “During my lesson with Snape, I recognized the door that I’ve been seeing in my visions. I saw it one other time when I was at the Ministry for my hearing. The door leads to the Department of Mysteries.”

Ron’s eyes went wide, “So you think that whatever You-Know-Who is after, its in the Department of Mysteries?”

Harry nodded. “I think that’s where the “weapon” that the Order was talking about is.”

Hermione gasped, and the group turned their attention to her. “Of course!” She whispered, “Sturgis Podmore, the one that was sentenced to six months in Azkaban, was trying to get through a door at the Ministry of Magic...It must have been that one, it’s too much of a coincidence!”

“Ron, has your dad ever mentioned anything about it while working at the Ministry?” Annabeth asked.

Ron frowned, “I know they call the people who work in there ‘Unspeakables,’ because no one really seems to know what they do in there...Weird place to have a weapon…”

Nico huffed, entering into the conversation. “On the contrary, it makes perfect sense. It could be something secret that the Ministry has developed.”

Harry ran his hands up over his face and through his hair. “At least now we have an idea of what it is I’ve been dreaming about all year.”

The corners of Percy’s mouth dipped, “Harry, are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah...fine…” he said, lowing his hands, which were trembling. “I just feel a bit...I don’t like Occlumency much…”

“I expect anyone would feel shaky if they’d had their mind attacked over and over again,” said Hermione sympathetically. “Look, let’s get back to the common room, we’ll be a bit more comfortable there.”

Their group didn’t get ten steps outside of the library when Harry started to fall to his knees before Percy caught him. Maniacal laughter escaped Harry’s mouth, and everyone jumped. Ron and Hermione were in front of him in an instant, calling out his name, but he didn’t seem to hear them. Ron looked up at Percy for a split second before bringing his hand square across Harry’s face.

The wild laughter began to die down, and Harry was panting heavily. Percy felt the deadweight in his arms lighten, and their friend returned to his own body.

“Wha- What happened?” Hermione asked, trying to shake the frozen fear off of her face.

He stood on his own two feet and shook his head, “I don’t know. Something good’s happened,” he mumbled. “Something he’s been hoping for.”

Percy frowned, not comfortable with seeing Harry practically shivering and paler than Nico. “Alright, we can find out what that is tomorrow, you need to get some rest.”

His friends agreed, and they made their way towards each of their Common Rooms. Before Will and Nico branched off, the Son of Hades pulled the demigods back.

“Watch him tonight, his mind will be weak and vulnerable after that Occlumency lesson. If Erebus was going to go after anybody, it would probably be him.”

Percy and Annabeth promised to keep an eye out for him, and said goodbye to their friends.

They caught up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione quickly, and looked around in confusion at a bustling Common Room that was littered with dozens of papers flying around, looking like they appeared out of nowhere.

“How could this have happened?”

“Do you think they will come here?”

“Could it be You-Know-Who?”

“Neville….are you alright?”

Gryffindors were practically shouting at each other in fear, everyone clutching copies of an emergency edition of the Daily Prophet. Annabeth pushed past her friends and asked a second year if she could borrow the paper.

Hermione appeared by her side and their eyes widened at the same time. “What’s going on?” Ron asked, trying to reach for it.

Annabeth placed the Daily Prophet headline on the table and read outloud. “Mass breakout from Azkaban. Ministry fears Black is “Rallying Point” for old Death Eaters.”

Harry’s brow furrowed, “Black? They can’t be serious….”

Hermione shushed him and continued reading.

“The Ministry of Magic announced just recently that there has been a mass breakout from Azkaban. Speaking to reporters in his private office, Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic, confirmed that ten high-security prisoners escaped, and that he has already informed the Muggle Prime Minister of the dangerous nature of these individuals.”

Percy practically growled, startling the few students who were in his immediate vicinity. “These prisoners could be after mortals-uh, muggles? What happened?”

Hermione grimaced, “You-Know-Who happened….””

Annabeth huffed, “If Voldemort is the one who broke them out-”

“Which he was. He did it.” Harry said tiredly, rubbing his scar.

She dropped her voice to a whisper, “Then we know who is really behind this. Erebus must have used the dementors to help break them out.”

“I understand why Voldemort would want his Death Eaters free, but what would that...thing...want with them?” Harry asked with a scrunched up face.

Annabeth frowned, “He probably isn’t powerful enough on his own yet, so he’s putting people in place to do his dirty work for him until he’s fully awake.”

“Like when Gaea sent the Giants and Earthborn after us.” Percy grumbled, his temper spiking at the memory.

The Golden Trio paled, and Ron sputtered, “Y-you think the Death Eaters will come after us?”

Annabeth put a comforting hand on Ron’s shoulders. “We have to assume that Erebus knows who we are, and that we are trying to stop him.”

“Harry, we need to get in more D.A. lessons. With these Death Eaters free, who knows when one could show up.” Percy turned to his friend, who hesitated before nodding.

“Do...do you think they should know what we are up against?” He asked quietly.

Percy’s eyes softened and he shook his head. “No. We don’t need anyone freaking out more than they already are.”

He made resolved eye contact with Annabeth as he answered Harry. “Let’s just keep this information on a ‘Need-to-know’ basis.”

They all agreed, Annabeth grimacing but nodding her head, and headed off to bed on high-alert. Percy watched  the rest of the boys in his dorm drift off to sleep before he sat up in bed, leaning his back against the cool stone walls, and twirled his wand around between his fingers.

Waiting.

XX

Unfortunately, the next few weeks only brought more bad news. Hagrid had officially been placed on probation by “Madam High Inquisitor,” as she liked to call herself, which meant the friendly Half-Giant wouldn’t be teaching classes anymore, as well as decreasing his visiting hours. Harry’s stomach dropped as he thought about all of the things Umbridge was depriving him of at Hogwarts this year...visits to Hagrid’s house, letters from Sirius, his Firebolt, and Quidditch. Percy had encouraged him to take his revenge in a productive way...working especially hard in D.A. meetings.

He was astounded at how much progress everyone had made, especially after the news of the Azkaban break-out. They practiced new jinxes, countercurses, and even began learning the Shield Charm. Besides the demigods, who perfected almost every spell on the first try, he was surprised to see that Neville was improving the most. Harry understood why of course, the recent freedom of the witch who tortured your parents into insanity was a great reason to learn to duel well.

He wished the fervor that his friends felt during lessons would rub off onto him during Occlumency lessons with Snape. After having his mind constantly attacked, he was especially irritable, and his scar hurt all the time now. The only break he seemed to get was when Percy forced him out of the castle on random occasions.

Like today for example, he had grabbed hold of his and Ron’s robes as soon as their classes ended and dragged them towards the doors that led to the Courtyard. “Percy, I’m not in the mood to wander around outside. I have a massive headache.” He told his friend in a clipped tone.

Ron seemed to agree with him, but one look from the demigod shut both of them up. “Get over it, you’re spending too much time worried about everyone else. You need to get a little ‘me’ time in, or you’re going to go crazy.”

It sounded like Percy was speaking from experience, so he just shrugged his shoulders at Ron and followed the Son of Poseidon out towards the Black Lake. The weather was still a little chilly, but at least a little warmer than it had been over the winter break. Harry tugged his robe tighter to his body and mirrored his friends’ when they took a seat by the rickety dock.

Nobody talked for a few minutes, and Harry wasn’t feeling any more relaxed. “What are we doing out here?”

Percy rolled over on his stomach and lapped his hand lazily against the calm waters. “Absolutely nothing.”

Ron coughed, “Perc, it’s bloody cold out here.”

Harry dared a smile, “It’s not that bad, Ron...but why don’t we go back to the Common Room or something?”

“Because there are too many people in the castle.” Percy answered immediately, as if this was blatantly obvious. “Too many people whispering behind your backs, too many people who want something from you...too many people to get inside your head.” His seaweed green eyes flickered to the boys. “Sometimes, you just need to get away.”

Harry chewed on that thought, and had to admit that he was right. They were far enough away from the castle where they couldn’t hear the faint chatter and laughter coming from the students, and he didn’t have to guess whether or not it was directed at him. He found resolve and settled in beside Percy on the dock, and Ron followed his lead.

After a few silent minutes, the chilly wind had subsided, and he felt more comfortable than he had before. He took a couple deep breaths and let his thoughts wander. He thought about his first time meeting Ron and Hermione, the feeling he got whenever he rode a broomstick, the pride that coursed through his veins when one of his ‘students’ finally perfected a spell they had been struggling with…..

The look on Sirius’ face when he left to return to Hogwarts. Hermione petrified during their second year. Percy in unspeakable pain after Erebus got to him.

Erebus. Learning that gods and mythological figures existed made his brain throb, but having knowledge that a primordial deity had resurrected his mortal enemy almost turned it completely to mush.


“Perc,” Ron spoke quietly, breaking Harry out of his descending thoughts, “can you tell us a little more about Camp Half-Blood?”

Percy’s eyes twinkled, and he pulled himself into a sitting position. “The greatest place on Earth? You bet!”

The two wizards sat up in anticipation, and Percy looked off towards the lake. “I was twelve when I first got there. Being a child of the Big Three was tough, but I eventually found my niche. It has magical borders enforced by the Golden Fleece, which is protected by our dragon, Peleus. That way, monsters can’t get into the camp.”

“Kind of like the borders here at Hogwarts?” Ron asked.

The demigod half-smiled. “Sort of, but the castle has been having some security issues lately.  Anyway, all of the campers live in Cabins based on who their godly parent is. My friend Jason, son of Jupiter, is in charge of making sure that all of the gods and goddesses are honored, not just the twelve Olympians.”

Harry perked up, “The guy who we talked to in the bathroom? He’s the son of Zeus-I mean Jupiter?” He fingered his lightning bolt scar, and thought of what life would have been like if he had gotten the scar because of his parentage rather than from a deadly curse.

“Yup, and you guys might get to meet them soon enough.” Percy said with a sliver of hope in his voice.

“What do you mean?” Ron asked.

The demigod pushed off from his sitting position and brushed himself off. “I mean we called our friends over Winter Break. With any luck, a few of them might be able to come help us in our fight against Erebus.”

Harry and Ron looked at each other in excitement and scrambled after Percy. “Who might be coming?”

Percy laughed, “Well, from what I could tell, Jason and his girlfriend, Piper, the daughter of Aphrodite, Leo, the son of Hephaestus, and Reyna, the daughter of Bellona. Everyone else might be busy with their responsibilities to the two Camps.”

Harry took a moment to let the information sink in. More demigods at Hogwarts? That was going to be either really awesome, or…

Nope, nothing else. Awesome was the only adjective to describe the idea of meeting Percy’s friends. He already knew that Reyna and Nico were close, so maybe that meant he would open up a bit more if she was around. He had taken a few trips to the owelry with him to visit Hedwig and Bianca, which had gone as well as one could expect, but the Son of Hades wasn’t exactly easy to befriend, although Harry was persistent in his efforts.

Percy and Jason were obviously great friends, which surprisingly sent a flicker of jealousy through Harry. He shook the uncomfortable thought out of his head and tried to remember what the demigods had said about Leo and Piper. The daughter of Aphrodite was Annabeth’s best friend, and Leo was able to generate fire, which Harry thought might be the coolest thing next to Percy’s ability to control water.

“When can we expect them?” he asked as they neared the castle.

The Son of Poseidon shrugged, “knowing Hecate, she would only bring them around when we need them most.”

XX

With the outrageous amounts of homework provided to them by their teachers, secret D.A. lessons, and hushed library meetings on how to potentially stop another primordial deity from rising, January flew by in the blink of an eye, and February was coming to a close.

Percy, Annabeth, and Nico found themselves crowded into the Quidditch stands with the rest of the school every other weekend, cheering for whichever friends were playing that week. Unfortunately, Gryffindor was putting on a poor show, and Ron was struggling with his role as Keeper. Ginny was doing surprisingly well as Seeker, but she admitted that she would probably be trying out as Chaser as soon as Harry was back on the team.

“I’ve got a lifelong ban, remember?” He reminded her.

She waved him off, “You’re banned as long as Umbridge is in the school, there’s a difference.”

A lot of their downtime was spent in the Common Room watching Fred and George attempt to perfect their WonderWitch products, such as “Skiving Snackboxes,” “Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers,” and even something top secret that they insisted would have to wait to be revealed at the right time.

Percy’s favorite time of the week was spent in the Room of Requirement with the other D.A. members. He was thoroughly enjoying learning so many different types of spells, such as Immobulus, Diffindo, Episkey, Petrificus Totalus, Expelliarmus, and Incendio, to name a few. 

During the meetings, he got to spend a little bit more time with students other than the Golden Trio. Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and Ron’s sister, Ginny, were a few of the students that he rather enjoyed their company. Neville had opened up about his parents after Percy helped him with a difficult protection charm, and Luna was...interesting to say the least. She had an air of oddity about her, but he always had the feeling she was far sharper and smarter than anyone gave her credit for. Annabeth and Hermione found a great companion in the youngest Weasley, and she even help up her own when she sparred with the daughter of Athena on multiple occasions.

On a rainy Friday afternoon, Percy found himself standing in front of the headmaster’s office, strangely nervous to knock on the ancient wooden door. Dumbledore must have been aware of his presence, however, because the door swung open on its own.

“Mr. Jackson. Please, come in.” The old wizard’s blue eyes twinkled, and Percy took a seat in the sturdy leather chair in front of Dumbledore’s desk. “You seem troubled. What can I do for you?”

The demigod squirmed in his seat. “Listen, I’ve tried to get Harry to come and talk to you, but he’s stubborn and won’t actually make the trip.”

Dumbledore’s eyes softened and he leaned back in his char. “If you recall our conversation at Grimmauld Place, I have been keeping my distance from Mr. Potter, it is safer this way.”

Percy frowned, “I disagree. I don’t think the Occlumency lessons are working, he has been seeing visions more often than before. Last night, he even thought he was Voldemort, and watched himself torture someone.”

The old wizard was silent for a few beats. “I hear you, Mr. Jackson. But there are forces going on even unbeknownst to you, and I need you to trust me that the best thing for Mr. Potter right now is to continue taking the Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape. He needs to practice closing his mind to keep from being controlled by the Dark Lord.”

“He is practicing, and it’s not helping!” Percy was now on his feet. “Professor, I understanding wanting to keep people in the dark for their own protection, but Harry is struggling. I know you know there is a battle coming up, and I need Harry at the top of his game. He’s not weak by any means, but his mind is tired. When the other demigods get here, we all need to be prepared to fight. That includes mentally and physically.”

Professor Dumbledore’s next thoughts were interrupted by one of the moving portraits rushing between frames to whisper something in the headmaster’s ear. Dumbledore's eyes flickered to Percy before he rose to his feet calmly. “Mr. Jackson, we will need to postpone this conversation. Something has come up.”

Percy watched, confused, as the old wizard hurried him out of his office, closed the door behind him, and vanished around the corner. Percy didn’t even get a chance to ask where he was going.

He furrowed his brow and stuffed his hands in his pockets. He hated going behind Harry’s back, but he honestly thought talking to Dumbledore would be a step in the right direction. He was wrong.

“You look frustrated, Son of Poseidon.” an eerily familiar voice called out to him from behind a statue. The air seemed to be holding its breath and Chronos stepped out into the firelight. “I believe you know why I am here.”

Percy straightened, and nodded dutifully. “You’re here to tell me what my part is in stopping Erebus.”

The ageless man before him smiled. “You would be correct. My only questions is...are you ready to hear it?”

The demigod took a deep breath and waited for Father Time to tell him what the plan was.


XX

 

Annabeth watched the scene in front of her unfold in disbelief. Hundreds of students were gathered in the courtyard listening in on the sacking of Professor Trelawney. The woman was crying frantically into Professor McGonagall’s shoulder, while Umbridge looked on with satisfaction.

“There, there, Sibyll...Calm down...Blow your nose on this...It’s not as bad as you think, now...You are not going to have to leave Hogwarts…”

“Oh really, Professor McGonagall?” said Umbridge in a deadly voice, taking  a few steps forward. “And your authority for that statement is…?”

“That would be mine,” said a deep voice.

Dumbledore appeared in the entrance of the Great Hall, and students scrambled out of the way.

“Yours, Professor Dumbledore?” said Umbridge with a singularly unpleasant little laugh. “I’m afraid you do not understand the position. I have here”-she pulled a parchment scroll from within her robes, and began reading about how the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts has the power to fire any teacher she does not see fit.

The Headmaster continued to smile. He looked down at Professor Trelawney, who was still sobbing and choking on her trunk, and said, “You are right, of course, Professor Umbridge. As High Inquisitor you have every right to dismiss my teachers. You do not, however, have the authority to send them away from the castle.I am afraid,” he went on, with a courteous little bow, “that the power to do that still resides with the headmaster, and it is my wish that Professor Trelawney continue to live at Hogwarts.”

McGonagall flashed Dumbledore a grateful look before pulling Professor Trelawney up and began escorting her back upstairs.

Professor Umbridge was standing stock-still, staring at Dumbledore, who continued to smile benignly.

“And what,” she said in a whisper that nevertheless carried all around the courtyard, “are you going to do with her once I appoint a new Divination teacher who needs her lodgings?”

“Oh, that won’t be a problem,” he said pleasantly. “You see, I have already found us a new Divination teacher, and he will prefer lodgings on the ground floor.”

He turned towards the Courtyard entrance, and out of the night mist hooves could be heard. Annabeth’s eyes widened, and there was a shocked murmur throughout the crowd. A handsome face with white-blond hair and astonishingly blue eyes appeared, sporting the head and torso of a man joined to the palomino body of a horse.

‘This is Firenze,” said Dumbledore happily to a thunderstruck Umbridge. “ I think you’ll find him suitable.”

 

XX

 

When the shock of the the Headmaster’s announcement had dissipated and the Courtyard had cleared out, only Annabeth, Harry, Hermione, Nico, and Will remained.

Before Firenze had trotted off, they stopped him. He took one look at the group of students and a wide smile broke out across his face. “Demigods! It is wonderful to see you again. And you, Mr. Potter. I trust you are staying clear of the Forbidden Forest?”

Harry snapped towards his friends. “You guys know each other?”

Annabeth smiled and went to give the centaur a hug. “Firenze was part of the London Chapter of the Party Ponies, Centaurs who fought beside us in the Battle of Manhattan a few years ago. They are related to the activities director at Camp Half Blood, Chiron.”

Will turned towards Harry, “How do you know Firenze?”

The Centaur clapped a strong hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Mr. Potter found himself in a rather unpleasant situation in his first year of Hogwarts. I saw to it that he was returned to safety.”

Harry looked at the others sheepishly, “He let me ride on his back…”

Nico’s brow furrowed, “That was very kind of you, Firenze, but that’s considered dishonorable to your kind. Is that why you joined the London Chapter?”

The Centaur nodded, “My brethren did not appreciate my treatment of Mr. Potter, so I was temporarily banished from my herd.I joined the London Chapter soon after, and fought proudly by your side. My honor was restored, that is until I was approached by Dumbledore for this teaching position.”

Will held his hand up to cover the nasty hoofprint that decorated Firenze’s chest. “They did this to you?” Their new teacher nodded grimly, and Will closed his eyes. After a few seconds of Will’s lips moving silently, he removed his hand, and the hoof print was gone.

Firenze bowed towards Will, “Son of Apollo, I am grateful for your kindness.” He straightened and smiled at the group, “I am looking forward to our time together in class. The stars have been burning brightly, anxiously waiting for each and every one of you.”

 

XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 22

 

The chilly month of March flew by in a whirlwind, making way for a brisk and sunny April. Nico’s time at Hogwarts had significantly improved ever since the Winter Break. Malfoy and his goons gave him an especially wide berth, which he thanked Hades every day for. The one Slytherin who didn’t seem to keep his distance was Blaise Zabini, and he had strangely grown to enjoy spending time with someone from his own house who wasn’t a) afraid of him or b) in the business of trying to make his life hell.

 Speaking of potential friends, Nico had been spending a lot of time with Harry. Originally, he wasn’t particularly warm to the young wizard due to a couple of reasons, namely his involvement of putting him and his friends in danger yet again, and the way he had initially written him off as a dark wizard just because he was put in Slytherin. It seemed as though Harry had seen the error in his ways and put in some time trying to be Nico’s friend, which was an incredibly foreign concept to the Son of Hades. At Will’s persistence, Nico finally opened up and enjoyed the time he spent with the object of their quest.

Harry, Will, and himself had spent plenty of evenings up in the Owlery attempting to coax Bianca out of her shadowy corner. His heart warmed ten degrees when she dared to take a lap around the tower with her new friend, Hedwig. She was making incredible progress, and he couldn’t help but hope that she would be free to fly out in the sunlight by the time summer was upon them.

Although things were looking up for the demigods, Nico never once let his guard down. Erebus was still out there preying on young wizards. Three more students had fallen into mysterious comas, and he could practically taste the tension drifting through the school. D.A. meetings were still going well, and it seemed that a fire was lit under each and every student after Umbridge’s spectacle of trying to kick a Hogwarts professor out of the castle. The knowledge that they were “fighting back” in their own way was dangerous and exciting.

After an incredibly insightful Divination class with Firenze, Annabeth approached two of her friends in a huff. “Have either of you noticed  that Percy seems a little...off?” She asked nervously, biting the inside of her cheek. Nico raised an interested eyebrow, the Son of Poseidon seemed just like his happy-go-lucky self with an added amount of sassiness that could rival Rizzo’s from Grease. He shook his head at the thought, he did not need to relive his favorite musical at the moment.

Will leaned back in his favorite char in their corner of the library, “What do you mean?”

She shrugged, seemingly unsure of herself, which was not like Annabeth. “I’m not sure. He just suddenly seems more attentive, and more affectionate-maybe?”

Nico frowned, “I thought people would generally consider that a good thing. Your boyfriend is spending more time with you...I don’t get it.”

Annabeth grumbled under her breath and packed up her books. “That’s not what I mean. Just..keep an eye out for him, okay?” She turned on her heel and headed towards the library doors.

Will shot a confused look at his boyfriend, “What do you think that was about?”

The Son of Hades scowled, “I have no idea.”

So, Nico spent the next week watching Percy a lot closer than he normally did. To his surprise, he noticed the subtle change in his friend’s personality. Rather than his normal confident strut, Percy seemed to have an air of resolve around him. His eyes also lingered on his friends longer than normal, like he was trying to drink in every second spent with them.

After classes ended on Friday, Nico pulled Percy aside and cornered him against a darkened corridor.

“Woah, what’s up Neeks?” He asked with widened seaweed green eyes.

Nico narrowed his own, “What’s going on with you?”

Percy leaned up against the stone wall nonchalantly, “I don’t know what your talking about.”

“Don’t give me that crap, just tell me what’s going on.” He growled with his arms crossed. His temper spiked, and Nico could feel the lengthening shadows moving around them.

His friend was silent for a few beats, as if deciding whether or not he should appease the Son of Hades. “Fine, a few weeks ago, Chronos came to see me.”

Nico’s brow furrowed even more, “Why wouldn’t you say something earlier?”

Percy’s jaw tightened. “Because he said it’s dangerous for us to only know parts of the whole plan. Apparently, I’m supposed to wait until you guys know your responsibilities before I divulge my job.”

The Son of Hades practically rolled his eyes. “Well, when the hell is that supposed to be? And since when do you listen to authority?” 

The demigod put his hands on Nico’s shoulders, ignoring the slight wince he responded with. “Since lives are on the line. I’m not sure what to think of Chronos’ timeline, but I’m asking you to trust me, Nico. If this plan works, everything will be okay.” Percy didn’t even give Nico a chance to respond before he brushed past him and hurried around the corridor.

Nico stood there dumbstruck. What the bloody hell just happened!? Ugh, I’m spending way too much time around Harry and Ron, he thought to himself. But seriously, how could Percy act so...so...chill about the whole situation? If they were going into battle, they needed a solid plan. Sure, Jackson had always been kind of headstrong, but he he wasn’t usually so cavalier about something like this.

On the other hand, Percy did ask Nico to trust him. He was the leader of this quest, and clearly he knew something Nico didn’t. The Son of Hades angrily stuffed his hands in his pockets and made his way towards the Great Hall for dinner. Before he took three steps, he felt the air around him shift, and he looked up expectantly.

“Chronos.”

The old man’s kaleidoscope eyes twinkled at him, “Nico di Angelo, I had a feeling you were wanting to see me.”

Nico didn’t hesitate before asking, “What did you tell Percy? He’s acting so strange.”

The primordial deity shook his head and let out a tisk tisk sound, “Trust your leader, Mr. di Angelo. Percy Jackson has enough on his plate without taking heat from his friends.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

Chronos waved him off, “In due time. Now, I think it is time for you to learn of your role in all of this…”

XX

“What did the golden snitch say when the Seeker was itchy? Quidditching!”

Will and Hannah burst out laughing at Ernie’s joke, and continued discussing everything under the sun and sharing gossip as they finished their dinner. The Son of Apollo did a quick sweep of the Great Hall with his eyes and found Percy entering through the double doors before making his way next to Annabeth at the Gryffindor table. Will didn’t think he was doing it on purpose, but Percy’s wolf glare was showing. The few first and second years that passed him practically scrambled out of his way.

But, the second that Annabeth looked up from her spot, Percy’s incredibly endearing grin spread across  his face. He had confirmed with Nico that there was definitely something going on with him, but they couldn’t quite place their finger on it. Will thought back to the past week, skimming through interactions in various classes, and the only things out of place was in Divination. Firenze had approached the demigods and Harry and asked them to deliver a message to Hagrid. “The attempt is not working. Tell him he would do better to abandon it.

Of course, they had no idea what the Centaur meant. But, they delivered the message to the friendly Half-Giant, whose face seemed to have new bloodied bruises than the last time they had seen him. Since Hagrid was on probation, Professor Umbridge had attended every single one of his classes, taking every opportunity to berate and humiliate him in front of the students. Nico had made it perfectly clear that he hated that woman with a burning passion, and he had not relented in his sleuth attacks to her sleep. Will had a feeling that simply giving her nightmares was not cutting it anymore in Nico’s mind. He would have to watch his boyfriend to make sure he didn’t do anything too drastic, lest they be discovered.

Speaking of which, Will scanned the Slytherin table for him, but didn’t see Nico in his usual spot by Blaise. He must have decided to skip dinner, which irked Will to no end. He was supposed to be staying healthy, and missing meals was not doing him any favors.

“Hey Hannah, did that Calming Draught help at all?” Will’s thoughts were interrupted by Ernie checking in on their friend. The poor girl had broken out into tears a few days before during Herbology, and had demanded that she be brought home. Apparently, the O.W.L.’s were drawing nearer, and the pressure was too much for some people.

The pretty brunette gave a half-smile, “A little bit. I’m still not sure I’m smart enough to take all of them though..”

Will nudged her shoulder, “Nonsense, Hannah. You are a Prefect, and a brilliant one at that. Don’t worry about not doing well.” He turned to face Ernie, “Hey, at least you know you will get top marks on the Defense Against the Dark Arts one.”

That earned him a smile, “Can you image Umbridge’s face when all of us receive an Outstanding despite her best attempts to fail us?”

He returned her smile and his eyes flickered towards the Great Hall doors, silently willing for Nico to finally come down for dinner. To his surprise, he got exactly what he wished for. Unfortunately, his boyfriend was looking paler than usual, and the dangerous aura that seemed to follow him around had intensified. Will frowned and excused himself from the table to intercept him.

“Neeks, you okay?” He asked in a hushed tone.

The Son of Hades barely registered that Will was in front of him. “Oh, hi. Yeah...I’m fine. Just a lot to think about.”

Will crossed his arms, “Well, then I guess that means there’s a lot to talk about.”

Nico scowled, and pushed past Will abruptly. Before he got too far, he sighed and turned back towards Will. “Listen, we can talk about it later. I need some time.”

Will narrowed his eyes but let his boyfriend walk towards his lone Slytherin friend. What the hell was up with his friends lately?

XX

He got his answer in a D.A. meeting the following week. The students were practicing producing a Patronus, a  spell that the demigods had mastered before the Winter Break. So instead of lining up with the rest of the group, they fell back and began training with their weapons. To his surprise, Percy and Nico had decided to pair up together, sharing a knowing look that Will didn’t understand.

After a second of silence, their swords clashed, and sparks went flying. A fervor rolled through his two friends, and each had a dangerous glint in their eyes. Percy advanced with a powerful lunge from his shoulder, and Nico threw it off course with a quick beat. He immediately thrust a feint out towards Percy’s right, and slashed towards the left, but Riptide parried him easily.

Annabeth and Will looked at each other uneasily. These two were seriously going at it, training more intensely than they normally did. He could see the beads of sweat forming on the demigods’ brow, and their grunts grew louder with every attack. The rest of the students had abandoned their Patronuses to instead watch the show with increasing interest.

“Blimey, what are those two doing?” Ron whispered to Will, sticking his hand out towards the two fighters. The Son of Apollo shrugged, but a block of ice settled in the pit of his stomach. Percy and Nico were relentless in their advances, and Will seemed to catch a glimpse of a strained conversation going on between them.

After a few minutes, it was obvious that Nico was getting tired. Percy, on the other hand, had seemed to find a new spout of energy, and advanced forward without relief. Seconds before the Son of Poseidon disarmed Nico, the two stood frozen in time. Will jumped in surprise, and looked around to see the rest of the D.A. had done so as well.


“Confused, Mr. Solace?”

Will spun around to find the owner of the familiar deep voice smirking at him. “What are you going here?”

The deity fixed those unwavering kaleidoscope eyes on him, “I’m here to help you understand.”

Will narrowed his own and moved towards Chronos slowly. “Understand what?”

“The weight of your responsibilities, of course. The children of the Big Three have found an interesting outlet for it, I suppose.” he said, gesturing towards the sword fight.

He turned back to look at his friends, “Wait, what did you say to them?”

Chronos sighed heavily, “I simply divulged their responsibilities in my plan to defeat Erebus, Mr. Solace. It seems that your time for clarity has come.”

The block of ice in Will’s stomach melted slowly, sending a series of shivers throughout his system. He carefully fingered the Time Turner in his pocket and brought it out into the light. “Tell me what I’m supposed to do with this.”

“I told you that this object is unlike any other of it’s kind, did I not?”

Will nodded thoughtfully.

“This is because a Time Turner of my creation consumes any power potentially released in the present, and sustains it during its travel.” Chronos said almost arrogantly.

“I don’t understand.” Will muttered plainly. And he didn’t.

“I trust that you will come to see things clearly, in time. Mr. Jackson and Mr. di Angelo have immensely difficult tasks ahead of them, but they will not succeed in producing the type of magic and power that I need to send my grandson back into the depths of his caged sleep without you.”

Will gulped, and turned back towards Percy and Nico. “What happens if I fail?”

“I don’t believe you truly wish to know the answer to that question, Mr. Solace.” Before Will could respond, Chronos turned away from him. As if remembering something important, the deity brought his index finger upwards and looked over his shoulder. “Oh yes, I would be careful to keep this information between the three of you. The daughter of Athena will be...otherwise occupied.”

The clatter of a sword hitting the floor caused Will to jump in surprise. He turned to find Nico laying flat on his back with Percy’s brilliant celestial bronze sword pointed directly between his eyes. The D.A. students broke out into a frenzied applause, and returned to their Patronus charms with new fervor. “That was something else.” Annabeth whispered, nudging him in the shoulder.

Will’s eyes widened and he went to help his fallen warrior. As he lifted Nico up, Will clasped his free hand on Percy’s shoulder and hissed, “We need to talk. Now.” The two demigods looked at him in resolution and nodded.

Before Annabeth could reach them, everyone’s attention turned towards the door, which had just opened and then closed again. Will’s eyes followed a strange creature, only about three and a half feet tall, with large, tennis-ball like eyes. It’s large, pointed ears reminded him of a bat. The house-elf sprinted towards Harry, and pulled on his pants repeatedly.

“Harry Potter, sir…” the creature squeaked, “Harry Potter, sir...Dobby has come to warn you...but the house-elves have been warned not to tell…”

Annabeth crouched down with Harry to get on Dobby’s level. “Dobby, what’s wrong?” Will gasped when Dobby ran head first into the nearest wall. Harry reached out and grabbed the House-Elf’s collar and pulled him up.

“She....she…” Dobby hit himself hard on the nose with his free first, and Annabeth caught it to prevent any further self-harm.

“Who is ‘she’?” Harry asked warily, before his face paled. “Umbridge?”

A murmur of confusion carried through the D.A. members.

“What about her? Dobby-she hasn’t found out about this-about us, has she?” He pursued rather frantically.

Based on the creature’s stricken face, she had. Annabeth’s voice went hard, “Is she coming?”

Dobby let out a howl, “Yes!”

Harry looked up at the motionless, terrified people gazing at the thrashing elf.

“WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” he bellowed, “RUN!”

Everyone pelted toward the exit at once, forming a scrum at the door, then people burst through. Will could hear them sprinting along the corridors, and he hoped they didn’t try to make it all the way to their dormitories, there were much closer hiding spots.

With his heart pounding in his chest, he twisted towards Nico. “Neeks! Get us out of here!” Will pushed Ron and Hermione towards the Son of Hades, and called out for Harry to join them. “Potter, come on!”

Harry’s eyes went wide as he continued to try and stop the House elf from hurting himself even more. “Go! I have to make sure everyone gets out! I’ll meet you in the Common Room!” He didn’t spare them a second glance as he sprinted out the door.

Will growled in frustration, and Percy yelled out, “Agh! Fine! Nico, go!” The young wizards’ screams rang in his ears as they melted into the shadows.

XX

Percy paced the Gryffindor Common Room furiously. He raked his fingers through his messy hair and groaned, “Where the hell is he? He said he would meet us here!” Since their Shadow-Travel trip away from the Room of Requirement, the Golden Trio, Annabeth, and himself had been impatiently waiting for Harry to show up.

“What if he got caught?” Ron asked wearily, still shaking from his first trip with the Son of Hades. Percy frowned, remembering his own first unpleasant experience on the back of Mrs. O’Leary.

Hermione squeaked, “If he got caught, Umbridge could very well expel him…”

“Or worse…” Ron mumbled.

Percy narrowed his eyes dangerously at the thought. If that toad of a woman touched a HAIR on his charge’s head-he wasn’t sure he would allow her to live another day. Nico had been itching to take her down, and Percy might just be inclined to let him loose.

Before his thoughts could travel further down the rabbit hole, Harry stumbled in through the portrait hole. His friends were on their feet in an instant, and the Gryffindor members of the D.A. surrounded him.

“What happened?”

“Did you get expelled?”

“How did they find out?”

“Who ratted us out?”

“Did they find out that we were in on it?”

Percy pinched the bridge of his nose before bellowing, “SHUT UP!” and the onslaught of questions died down immediately. He placed his hands on Harry’s shoulders and forced the young wizard to look at him. “Where the hell have you been?”

His sorrowful green eyes met Percy’s, and the demigod could feel Harry’s shoulders sag. “Dumbledore's gone.”

Hermione reached for his hand, “Harry, what do you mean?”

Harry grit his teeth, “I mean he’s gone! They caught me, and took me to his office. He told the Minister that D.A. was his idea, that he was recruiting for his army to take over Fudge’s seat!”

“Bloody Hell, what did they do with him?” Ron asked incredulously.

Hermione scoffed, “As if they could do anything to the greatest wizard of all time!”

Harry nodded towards Hermione, “He took off before they could get to him.”

Percy released Harry, and shooed the crowd away until it was just him, Annabeth, and the Golden Trio.

Harry sighed and collapsed on the couch, rubbing his eyes underneath his glasses. “He told me I had to keep practicing Occlumency with Snape while he was gone, that it was important.”

“I don’t see how Dumbledore trusts him. Bloody Death Eater, you know…” Ron grumbled, and Hermione slapped his arm.

Ronald, if Dumbledore trusts him, then we need to as well.” She turned back towards her best friend, “Harry...if that’s what Dumbledore wants, then you must keep practicing.”

Percy chewed on the inside of his cheek. Clearly, he was missing something if the old wizard was so adamant about this process. “She’s right.” The group looked at him, surprised at his change in tune. “If he thinks it’s helping, who are we to argue. Keep going to Snape for…’Remedial Potions’....”

Harry grimaced at the thought, but seemed to accept the “advice” (more like order) from his friends. Once everyone had fallen asleep in their respective dormitories, Percy sat up in his bed yet again and twirled the now-familiar wand between his fingers. Things were heating up, quick, and he wasn’t going to let anything else surprise him.

XX

The following day, the castle was abuzz with gossip surrounding the disappearance of Albus Dumbledore. Somehow, everyone knew that their former headmaster had overcome two Aurors, the High Inquisitor, the Minister of Magic, and his Junior Assistant to escape. The notices degreeing that Umbridge had officially replaced Dumbledore had gone up all over the school overnight, and Flich seemed all too pleased to hammer the twenty-eighth decree into the stone walls as loud as he possibly could.

When their group walked through the doors of the Great Hall for breakfast, muffled laughter was threatening to erupt at the Gryffindor table. They found their spots next to Fred and George, who were watching a few third-year Slytherins break out in boils across the room. “Oi, what’s going on here?” Harry asked, looking back and forth between their two tables.

“We gave some slimy Slytherins a bar of Fever Fudge, didn’t we Fred?” George asked happily.

His twin brother smiled triumphantly, “We sure did, George. Thinking of selling these beautiful sweets wholesale.” He said with a twinkle of mischief in his eye.

Hermione blanched, “But you’ll get into terrible trouble!”

The boys gave mirrored shrugs. “We’ve decided we don’t care about getting into trouble anymore.” Fred said cooly, and a smile tugged at the corner of Harry’s mouth.

“Have you ever?” asked Annabeth with an interested smile, one eyebrow popped.

George’s eyes brightened when they fell on her, “Course we have. Never been expelled, have we?”

His brother followed, “We’ve always know where to draw the line.”

“We might have put a toe across it occasionally,” George said, clapping a hand on his twin’s shoulder.

“But we’ve always stopped short of causing real mayhem,” Fred said, giving them a knowing smirk.

Harry laughed, which he found was desperately needed, and he was grateful for the distraction. “But now?”

The others leaned in, anxious to hear how the Weasley brothers were going to “cross the line.”

“Well, now-” George started.

“-what with Dumbledore gone-”

“-we reckon a bit of mayhem-” .

“-is exactly what our dear new Head deserves.” said Fred.

“You mustn’t!” whispered Hermione. “You really mustn’t! She’d love a reason to expel you!”

Harry wondered if the twins even cared about their punishment anymore, they hadn’t really ever been that interested in school to begin with…

He got his answer from the hilarious grin stretched across Fred’s face. “You don’t get it, Hermione, do you? We don’t care about staying anymore. We’d walk out right now if we weren’t determined to do our bit for Dumbledore first.”

Percy’s eyes were lit up with absolute pleasure, and he stuck out his hand towards the boys. “I will be forever in your debt if you can plan something epic.”

Fred and George took turns giving the demigod’s hand a hearty shake and wrapped an arm around both Ron and Harry. “Oh, you best believe it.”

XX

The next few days were filled with various Weasley pranks that 1) nobody could ever truly tie back to them and 2) seemed to grow bigger and grander with each passing day. Annabeth thought the twins were being ridiculous of course, but she couldn’t quite get herself to wish they would stop. The tension deriving from Umbridge’s newest appointment created a heavy blanket of tension in the air, and she found herself grateful that at least someone had found a way to break through the cracks.

She found herself welcoming the constant distractions, especially after how uneasy she was feeling about this whole Erebus situation. Something was definitely off about the way Percy handled her. Of course, she loved that her boyfriend had suddenly become more attentive, and wanted to do things like hold her hand more often, but she hated seeing the look in his eye that told her ‘I want to remember every second of this.’

And now even Will and Nico seemed to be avoiding her as well. She randomly walked past the empty room on the third floor to find them their heads together whispering-rather harshly if she heard correctly. As soon as she stepped foot in the classroom, they fed her some ridiculous story about Nico endangering himself with attempting something between Shadow-Travel and Apparition.

She prayed to her mother that these boys weren’t really that stupid to keep something big from her. Annabeth fixed her fierce grey eyes on her boyfriend. “Seaweed Brain, you need to tell me what’s going on right now, or I’ll be forced to beat it out of you.” She turned on Will and Nico, “And then I’m coming for you two!”

The corners of Percy’s mouth twitched, and she had to consciously keep her first from colliding with his handsome face. “Wise Girl, nothing is going on.” He said too calmly, and she could practically feel the steam leaving her ears.

“Percy, if you lie to my face one more time, you will regret it.” She clipped, daring him to try that excuse again.

He seemed to understand the weight of her words and took her hands. “Wise Girl, I wasn’t lying to you, at least not completely. Nico is really trying to figure out how to mix shadow-travel and apparating.” He looked to the Son of Hades for help, and she could see the wariness in his dark eyes.

“It’s true. You can’t Apparate inside of Hogwarts, and shadow-travel takes a lot out of me, so I’m trying to find a way to combine the two where I can pop in and out without it taking as big of a toll.”

Will nodded quickly when her eyes fell on him to confirm their story. “Then why are you three acting so ridiculous?”

Percy’s grip on her hands tightened, “Because.” She looked at him expectantly. “Chronos paid each of us a visit, and told us what our responsibilities are for the upcoming battle.”

“What? Why would none of you tell me about this?” She could feel herself practically shouting, and was grateful when Will put a silencing charm on the door.

Nico brought his hands up defensively, “Well, he hasn’t said anything to you, has he?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Who? Chronos? No, he hasn’t!”

Percy brought her attention back to him, and squeezed her hands again. “He told us we needed to keep the plan between the three of us.”

“AND YOU LISTENED?”

To her pleasure, all three boys winced. “No! I mean, I needed to talk to these guys first before we came to you about it.” Percy was still using his calm voice, which definitely wasn’t doing him any favors.

Annabeth was the daughter of Athena, the Architect of Olympus, a HERO of Olympus-how could they be so stupid to leave her out like this? She bit back the anger and resentment she felt in that moment, and then breathed in strategically. “Well,” she said tersely, her voice barely above a whisper, “once you three decide that it’s time to tell me what’s going on, I’ll be in the Common Room.” She shot her boyfriend one last heated glare before turning her back on them.

XX

Percy stood there in shock for about ten seconds after the heavy door slammed shut behind his girlfriend before he was thrust back into motion.

“She is fucking terrifying.” Nico said bluntly, and Percy almost laughed...almost.

He sprinted after her, only catching up after she entered through the Portrait Hole to the Common Room. “Wise Girl, wait up, will you?”

The head of curls that he loved so much turned around so quick, Percy had to stop himself from running into her. “What!”

He gulped and peeked around the room, thankful that only four Gryffindors were lounging about, pointedly keeping their heads down.

“I’m sorry, okay? We were going to talk to you, we just needed to figure a few things out first!”

She looked at him incredulously, and he could almost see the onslaught of thoughts pouring out of her head.

I’m the daughter of ATHENA, Seaweed Brain, the goddess of WISDOM and BATTLE STRATEGY!

He silently cursed himself for saying something so stupid. “Please, Wise Girl, you know me. If I could have, I would’ve come to you first.” Percy gave her his best puppy dog look, and begged the gods that she hadn’t found a way to resist it yet. Thankfully, her eyes softened and she let out a sigh.

“I do trust you Seaweed Brain.” As he reached for her hand, they were met with a familiar sense of deja vu as Harry stumbled through the opening.

Percy immediately grabbed his friend by the shoulders again, and Annabeth followed his lead. “Harry, what’s wrong?”

The Boy Who Lived looked absolutely stricken, and his shirt was covered in sweat. They brought him over to the couch, their recent argument temporarily forgotten.

“Tell us what happened, Harry.” Annabeth said in a soft voice.

Harry’s head dropped, and he looked like he was fighting back tears.

Percy rested a hand on his friend’s shoulder, and encouraged, “It’s okay, you can talk to us.”

After a few moments of silence he said, “I was practicing Occlumency with Snape, when Malfoy burst in, asking for him to help somewhere out in the castle. When he was gone...I found a Pensieve.”

He chanced a look at the demigods’ faces, and found them looking confused. “A Pensieve is an object used to review memories. I got too curious…”

“What did you see, Harry?” Percy asked quietly, suddenly nervous at his answer.

Harry winced, “I-I saw my dad. Snape went to school with my parents. He always used to say that my dad was arrogant and rude, but I didn’t know until tonight that he was right.” His voice grew small, “he was a bully. He tortured Snape, made his life here at Hogwarts a living hell.”

Percy and Annabeth exchanged worried glances. He knew that Harry had never known his parents, only the sacrifice they made for  him.

“Harry, people change. Your father must have been a teenager, right?” Annabeth tried.

Their friend only looked back at them with a flood of hurt in his eyes, “But he was a monster. I can’t believe the way he treated people...and..what if I’m just like him? What if-”

“Stop.” Percy ordered, earning him a defeated look from Harry. “You are not allowed to go down this rabbit hole. You are a good person, Potter. And your dad was too, I’m sure of it. Okay, sure, he was a bit of a bully in school, but everyone is stupid when they’re young. Your dad loved you, and he turned out to be a great man who gave his life for his family.”

“Percy’s right, you know.” Annabeth said, taking Harry’s hand. “People change. My father was...well, let’s just say we didn’t quite see eye to eye. I even ran away from home when I was young. But, turns out my dad changed a lot in the time I was gone, and I learned that he actually did love me.”

Harry’s eyes dropped, and he chewed on thoughts. Percy hated seeing his friend doubt everything he knew about his father, because he knew it wouldn’t do him any good. He himself had spent twelve years spirling between wondering who his dad was, to hoping he would come back, to wishing he would return just so he could punch the daylights out of him, to finally having a sort-of-relationship with the man-well, god.

The Boy Who Lived gulped loudly and gave them a semi-smile. “I’m sure you’re right…”

Percy squeezed his shoulder, “We are. Trust us.” He looked at Annabeth and silently begged her to trust him too.

Harry laughed, a pitiful one at that, but it was still a laugh. “Thanks. I needed that. I-...”

They gave him matching confused looks when he cut himself off.

“I-I love you guys. I’m happy you’re here, and I’m glad you came to Hogwarts.”

Percy’s heart dropped at the words, his conscious heavy. “I love you too, man.”

 

XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Wait, so you’re telling me that Snape thinks you are good enough to practice Occlumency on your own?” Hermione asked skeptically at breakfast the next morning.

Harry groaned, not wanting to repeat himself. “Yes, ‘Mione. He thinks I can control the dreams now, so I don’t need to go to him anymore.”

As she opened her mouth to argue with him, Annabeth interrupted with a cough. “Guys, can we go back to focusing on our study schedules? We only have six weeks until O.W.L.S.” Despite the depressing subject, Harry was thankful for the distraction. He wasn’t quite ready to tell Ron and Hermione that Snape had basically thrown him out the night before. And he definitely wasn’t ready to tell them about his father.

While he agreed with Percy and Annabeth about the change that must have happened after James started dating Lily, his heart still dropped when he thought about how much he had been compared to his father over the years. In the memory he saw in the Pensieve, Sirius encouraged the attack on Snape, and Remus just stood by and watched it happen. His family’s closest friends did nothing to stop a cruel prank from crossing the line. When they compared Harry to James, he wondered what time in his Father’s life did they see that he resembled?

“Hermione, you haven’t given me one day off!” Ron complained loudly, shaking Harry from his thoughts.

Percy chuckled beside him, “Good luck with that and getting in time for Quidditch practice…”

Annabeth shot him a look, “Don’t think you’re getting off easy, Seaweed Brain. We are taking these too!”

His eyes widened, “Why the Hades would we do that?

Harry perked up, he wondered the same thing. They weren’t actual transfer students from a Wizarding School in America like their cover stories explained, so they didn’t take any classes on the material until this year.

The daughter of Athena’s eyes blazed excitedly, “Because, its a series of examinations designed to determine your knowledge and expertise on a magical subject. Do I really need to explain why that would appeal to me?”

Ron and Harry laughed at Percy’s slumped form, “But that doesn’t mean I have to be subjected to this cruel and unusual punishment…” He mumbled under his breath.

Annabeth didn’t bat an eye, “You, Will and Nico will be sitting in that testing room with the rest of us. It will be so much fun!” She clapped her hands together and tried to hide her smile as Percy dropped his head onto the table with a dramatic groan.

Harry burst out laughing. Good riddance, he thought. If he and Ron had to suffer through these bloody O.W.L.S., it’s only fair that their best mate had to as well.

XX

As the long weekend rolled around, Nico took advantage of the cloud cover and brought Bianca out to visit the Black Lake. He tightened his robes as the chilly wind whipped through his messy black hair. Will and Blaise joined him, and the three boys let their competitive sides show whilst skipping rocks.

“Bloody hell, di Angelo! At least try to shoot straight, will ya?”

Nico rolled his eyes while Will snickered at the bad joke. As Blaise released a smooth rock towards the water’s surface, Nico quickly threw out his own and smirked when it collided with his friend’s and spun the target off course. “I think you underestimate my impeccable aim, Zabini.”

The two boys looked at him, then each other in complete surprise before bursting out laughing, clutching their stomachs. “Are my ears filled with gillyweed, or did di Angelo just make a joke?”

Will made a motion of cleaning out his ears, pausing, then shaking his head with a bright smile, “Nope, you heard right, Blaise. Let’s mark our calendars, shall we? A day that will go down in history as the day Nico di Angelo-”

“Alright, that’s enough out of you both!” Nico growled with a slight shade of pink covering his cheeks. Even Bianca chittered away in a laughing manner from her tree branch above them, and he shot her a betrayed look.

“Even your own owl can’t believe it…” Blaise muttered happily, tossing a treat up to the bird.

 The Son of Apollo clapped Nico on the shoulder and grinned widely, “Let’s just hope I’m the only one your aiming at!”

Nico shoved Will’s hand off in a playful manner, and tried to keep his cheeks from burning like he knew they were. To be honest, he was grateful for the lighthearted mood. Things at Hogwarts had become...heated to say the least. The looming battle with Erebus and the events he knew would have to take place agonized him, and he was constantly trying to prepare himself for his part of the deal. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do it….but he was having trouble with the weight that had been placed upon his soul.

Will and Percy were doing whatever they could to help, but Nico found it increasingly difficult to be around the Son of Poseidon without having mini panic attacks. If Nico failed during the battle, then Percy….no, he thought to himself. He wouldn’t let his mind wander. I will not fail.

He shook his head from the depressing thoughts and returned his attention to the obnoxious Hufflepuff and Slytherin beside him.

“Oi! I hope you lot aren’t getting any studying done over here!” A familiar voice called out from the lawn. He turned to see the Weasley twins coming their way with Harry struggling to keep up with their long strides.

Will closed his neglected textbook with one foot and shot a proud smile at Fred and George, “Of course not, Annabeth and Hermione aren’t here to stick out nose in between the pages.”

Blaise and Harry stared awkwardly at each other few a few moments before the Slytherin coughed and began packing up his books, “Ah..nothing against you, Potter, but…”

“Malfoy. No problem.” He said stiffly, trying to wave him off casually. Blaise bade Nico and Will goodbye and headed back up towards the castle.

“Well, you didn’t have to scare him off.” Nico said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Harry rolled his eyes, “Blaise is cool, but I doubt he’d be able to survive the rest of the year if we suddenly became chummy. Sure, making friends with the new Slytherin might be fine, but the ‘Chosen One’?” He asked in air quotes. “I rather like Zabini, he doens’t deserve to be fed to the dogs.”

Will looked between him and the twins, “So, what’s up Harry?”

Harry chewed on the inside of his cheek for a second. “I actually need Nico’s help.” Nico crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow expectantly. “Well, I need to talk to Sirius.”

Will cocked his head, “How? Umbridge checks all incoming and outgoing mail, and monitors all of the fireplaces in the castle.”

“Not all the fireplaces.” Harry corrected, “The one in her office is safe…”

“But how-” Will started, but Fred cut him off.

“That’s where we come in, dearest Hufflepuff.”

“Harry here will need a little distraction, won’t he Fred?” George asked, ruffling up Harry’s hair.

“That he will, George. It seems like the perfect time to show the world our Grand Plan, doesn’t it?”

The two boys grinned at each other then looked expectantly at Nico, who was thoroughly confused. “Okay...but what does any of this have to do with me?”

Harry scratched the back of his neck sheepishly, “Well….while Fred and George are distracting Umbridge, I’ll need to get into her office to use the fireplace. And you happen to be the best bloke I know at sneaking…”

Nico’s eyes lit up with realization, and he nodded slowly, careful not to make eye contact with the redheads staring at him. “I see.” He shrugged slightly, “Just eat a light dinner, okay?”

Harry’s nose pinched and he looked fairly nervous, no doubt remembering hearing about Ron and Hermione’s experience. “I will. How does Sunday night sound?”

“Sunday night it is. I’ll meet you in the Library.”

Fred and George gave an excited hollar and moved to clap Nico on the back, but one look from the Son of Hades had the two mischief makers changing their minds quickly. “Er, right. Sunday night!”

XX

Nico hid away in the familiar corner of the library after sundown, waiting patiently for Harry to arrive. Will, Percy, Annabeth, Ron, and an incredibly anxious Hermione were all having dinner in the Great Hall, where Fred & George’s ‘Grand Plan’ was supposedly going to take place. Hermione had been a nightmare to be around over the weekend, not that he blamed her of course. Sneaking into the High Inquisitor’s Office to speak to the most wanted man in the Wizarding World was especially dangerous, but Nico wasn’t about to let either of them get caught.

His eyes met Harry’s green ones, and he moved to meet his friend. “Potter, why did you bring a blanket with you?” Nico asked dryly, gesturing to the bundle in Harry’s arms, and his cheeks burned.

“It’s not a blanket,” He whispered, “It’s my dad’s invisibility cloak. Thought it might come in handy.” Harry checked his surroundings, but seemed content that they were hidden by the bookshelves. He pulled out a scrap of plain parchment and tapped his wand to it. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Nico looked on with interest as intricate markings began washing across the parchment, and he quickly realized it was an incredibly detailed map of the castle. “Where in the gods’ name did you get something like this, Potter?”

Harry shot him a proud grin, “Fred and George, of course. But it was my dad’s. Look,” He said, pointing out the moving dots. “Umbridge is on the second floor.”

The Son of Hades gave Harry one of his rare smiles, “Magic is brilliant.”

As they waited for their cue, Nico grew curious. “Why are you risking expulsion to talk to your godfather?”

Harry looked at him for a moment before sighing. “I just need to ask him about my dad.”

Nico waited silently for Harry to continue, “I already told Percy and Annabeth, but...well during my last Occlumency lesson, I accidently saw one of Snape’s memories. It was of my dad, and he was with Sirius, Lupin, and Pettigrew. He was playing a really nasty prank on Snape, and it completely crossed the line. My mum was there too, and it was obvious that she hated him.”

“So..you want to find out if he was really as awful as Snape thought he was?”

Harry nodded, his emotions swirling perfectly across his face.

Before Nico could say anything else, an earth shattering explosion sounded throughout the castle, and the two boys struggled to keep their balance as the floor shook. Their eyes locked momentarily, “I think you’ve got your distraction.”

Harry nodded and checked the map and sure enough, the small dot labeled, ‘Professor Umbridge’ was moving quickly towards the Great Hall. He gulped loudly and tried to steady his breathing, “Alright...I’m ready.”

Nico looked at him skeptically but grabbed his arm and pulled the shadows around them both.

The next second, Harry was on the floor of Umbridge’s office, very obviously trying to hold back the need to vomit. “I told you to have a light dinner, didn’t I?” Nico asked with a hint of humor in his voice.

Harry just groaned and made his way over to the fireplace. “I just need a spot of Floo Powder…”

Nico pulled out his wand and concentrated. The next second, a small jar filled with a sparkling green powder flew towards his hand from one of the drawers. He handed it to Harry, who had a dumbfounded look on his face. “I’ll never get used to how powerful you demigods are. Nonverbal spells are ridiculously advanced, and you guys don’t even have to try!”

“Well, Potter, the goddess of magic did make our wands out of our magic weapons...so try not to get upset anytime you lose a duel against one of us.” The Son of Hades said with a shrug, earning him another exasperated look from Harry.

The young wizard grabbed a handful of the contents of the jar and dropped it in the crackling fire. The dying flames soared upwards, and Harry called out, “Number 12 Grimmauld Place!” and stuck his head into the fire.

Nico’s heart accelerated for a split second to double check that Harry was not burning to death, but calmed down as he started talking to himself. Well, presumably to Sirius.

He busied himself by examining Umbridge’s office again, like he had done a hundred times before when he was hidden by shadows. He scanned through every horrible moving cat portrait, then moved to sorting through her desk.

“Yeah,” Harry said heatedly behind him, “but he just attacked Snape for no good reason, just because-well, just because you said you were bored.” He finished with a slightly apologetic note in his voice.

Nico tried to ignore him, it was none of his business after all, and returned to the desk. He felt around through the drawers, and his eyes narrowed as his hands landed on a fase bottom. Nico pulled up slightly and felt the slightest pop as it came loose.

“How come she married him?” asked Harry miserably. “Mum seemed like she hated him…”

Nico pulled out a carefully folded piece of parchment and examined it, blocking out the rest of Harry’s conversation. It looked like one of the many executive orders hanging on the Hogwarts walls, but the Minister’s signature looked wrong. The seal was the same, but the signature was definitely forged. A fire burst in his chest as he read the words.

 

I, Dolores Jane Umbridge, Madam Senior UnderSecretary for the Minister of Magic, hereby order no less than two (2) guards from the Wizarding Prison, Azkaban, be sent to the residence of one Harry James Potter. The wizard in question….

 

Before he could read further, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up straight, and he knew someone was coming. He cursed loudly in greek and stuffed the piece of parchment back into the false bottom, trying to hold his rising temper. He made sure everything was back in place before pulling on Harry’s shoulder. “Let’s go, Potter!” He hissed, and Harry scrambled to tell his companions goodbye.

Harry had half a second to prepare himself before Nico shadow-traveled them back to the library. The young wizard audibly gasped when he felt the sheer fury radiating off of the Son of Hades. “N-Nico! Wha-!”

Nico seemed to realize the shadows had begun to cover them both, stealing away the light and oxygen within the air, and stepped back, desperately trying to calm his raging heartbeat. Harry sighed with relief, “What the bloody hell was that!”

The demigod waved him off, “Nothing. My job just got a whole lot easier, that’s all.” He pulled Harry’s arm towards the front of the library, “let’s go see what mess the Weasley twins got themselves into now…”

Harry looked completely confused by Nico’s sudden mood change, but followed his friend out the door.

When they arrived in the Great Hall, nearly the whole school was standing on top of the four tables, narrowly escaping the murky floors, which had been flooded with a mixture of stinksap and heavy mud. Fred and George stood right in the center, looking entirely pleased with themselves, as Umbridge and Filch looked positively murderous. “So...you think it amusing to turn the school corridors into a swamp, do you?”

“Pretty amusing, yeah.” Fred beamed, not showing even a hint of fear.

Filch held up a piece of parchment, practically waving it in front of Umbridge’s face. “I’ve got the form and I’ve got the whips waiting...Oh, let me do it now…”

“Very good, Argus,” she said, not taking her eyes off the twins. “You two are about to learn what happens to wrongdoers in my school.”

“You know what?” said Fred. “I don’t think we are.”

He turned to his twin. “George, I think we’ve outgrown full-time education.”

A gasp sounded throughout the Great Hall. “Yeah, I’ve been feeling that way myself,” said George lightly.

“Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?”

“Definitely,” George agreed.


Before Umbridge could say a word, they raised their wands and said together, “Accio Broomstick!”

Nico ducked when he heard a loud crash somewhere in the distance. Looking to his left, he ducked just in time-Fred and George’s broomsticks were hurtling along the corridor toward their owners. They turned left, streaked through the double doors and stopped sharply in front of the twins.


“We won’t be seeing you,” Fred told Professor Umbridge, swinging his leg over his broomstick.

“Yeah, don’t bother to keep in touch,” said George, mounting his own.

Fred looked around at the assembled students, and at the silent, watchful crowd.

“If anyone fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated tonight, come to number ninety-three, Diagon Alley-Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes,” he announced in a loud voice. “Our new premises!”

“Special discounts to Hogwarts students who swear they’re going to use out products to get rid of this old bat,” added George, pointing at Professor Umbridge.

“STOP THEM!” shrieked Umbridge, but it was too late. Fred and George kicked off from the floor, shooting fifteen feet into the air and spinning off through the open front doors into the glorious sunset.

XX

The story of Fred and George’s flight to freedom was retold over and over again that Percy was positive that it would soon become the stuff of legend. He was ecstatic over the ‘Grand Plan’ and couldn’t help but gush over how awesome it was to Annabeth, who would just shake her head and laugh along with him. The excitement and laughter in the air seemed to carry over into the following week until the Quidditch Cup match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff had arrived. That morning, everyone was sporting their house colors and using magic to bring about exquisite fireworks that either resembled a lion or a badger.

Percy squeezed into the stands beside Nico, Annabeth, Harry, and Hermione along with the rest of the school and let himself get swept away in the spirit of competition. He wasn’t sure who he wanted to win, because Ron and Will were playing each other, but either way, it was going to be a good match. Gryffindor had to get their two back-up beaters up to speed before the last match today, and Hufflepuff was nearly always underestimated in regards to Quidditch. Both teams seemed to have something to prove, which was blatantly obvious as members of both houses screeched and cheered without a second thought to the people around them when the teams stepped onto the pitch.

He leaned forward in anticipation as the two captains shook hands and took a step back to mount their brooms. Madam Hooch eyed both teams one more time before placing the whistle in her mouth and letting the piercing sound travel across the pitch. The Quaffle was up in the air and…

“And they’re off!” Lee Jordan announced, “And Davies takes the Quaffle immediately, Ravenclaw Captain Davies with the Quaffle, he dodges Johnson, he doges Bell, he dodges Spinnet as well...He’s going straight for goal! He’s going to shoot-and-and-” Lee swore very loudly, earning him a slap on the wrist from McGonagall. “And he’s scored.”

The Gryffindors groaned loudly, but Nico and the other demigods silently cheered for Will and his team. The Slytherins, on the other hand, were being anything but silent as they began to sing:

 

Weasley cannot save a thing,

He cannot block a single ring…

 

Percy’s neck tingled and he looked around to find Hagrid, looking as torn up as ever, pushing passed the tightly packed students. He nudged Harry and Hermione to make them aware of his presence, and they looked just as confused as he did.

“Harry, Hermione…” Their group of friends turned to face the enormous half-giant. “Listen,” he whispered, “can yeh come with me? Now? While ev’ryone’s watchin’ the match?”

Percy cocked an eyebrow at Hagrid before turning to Harry, “Do you need us to come too?”

Hagrid shook his head hurriedly, “N-No! Just these two, alrigh’?”

“Er..can’t it wait, Hagrid?” Harry asked, “Till the match is over?”

“No, No Harry it’s gotta be now...while ev’ryone’s lookin’ the other way...Please?”

Percy noticed the blood dripping from Hagrid’s face and got a sinking feeling as his eyes traveled along the bruises on the half-giant’s face.

Hermione chewed on her lip, “Of course we’ll come, Hagrid.”

Before Harry followed the two back along the row of seats, Percy grabbed his arm. “Be safe, alright? Use your coin if you need me.”

His friend assured him he would be fine, and left the match with Hagrid and Hermione. Annabeth leaned over towards Percy and Nico, “What do you think that was about?”

Nico’s eyes followed them out, “Nothing good, I imagine.”

Percy found that it was increasingly difficult to focus on the match for the next two hours. He kept glancing back to see if Harry and Hermione had returned, which of course they hadn’t. What could Hagrid possibly have wanted with them? He thought to himself, keeping a strong grip on his D.A. coin.

The match itself was exceptional, as both teams were playing on an entirely different level than anyone was used to. The stakes of the Quidditch Cup, which was in full view next to Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout seemed to spur each player to turn it up a notch. Ron was surprising everyone at his newfound ability to keep the Quaffle out of Gryffindor’s hoops. It seemed with every saved goal, his confidence soared a little higher, and soon he was outperforming the Hufflepuff Keeper.

Will was playing fantastic as always, as he had found a natural affinity for the game. Even Nico was up on the stands screaming and hollering for his boyfriend. In the end though, Ginny Weasley caught the snitch, and the entire stadium went wild. The stands were shaking with enthusiasm, and the demigods were no exception. The three of them stormed down to the field to congratulate the team and laughed when the players lifted Ron up on their shoulders, singing:

 

Weasley can save anything,

He never leaves a single ring

That’s why Gryffindors all sing:

Weasley is our King.

 

At that moment, Harry and Hermione appeared by their side, looking entirely disheveled and paler than normal. Percy was on high alert, but Harry mouthed later to him, gesturing towards the celebrating team.

“HARRY! HERMIONE! PERCY!” yelled Ron, waving the silver Quidditch Cup in the air and looking beside himself with happiness. “WE DID IT! WE WON!”

They beamed up at him as he was carried into the castle all the way up to the Gryffindor Common Room, where a party had commenced. Scarlet and Gold streamers hung from every inch of the ceiling, and the fireplace danced with energy. Drinks were flowing abundantly and the students laughed and danced around them. Percy shrugged and thought the news Harry and Hermione would share with them could wait until tomorrow, and wrapped his arm around Annabeth.

She smiled brightly at him and caught his mouth with hers, and all thoughts Percy had at that moment ceased. He laughed against her lips and bent down a fraction to wrap his arms around her back and legs, lifting her easily into the air. “Seaweed Brain! Put me down!” She called out to him, obviously enjoying the sudden playfulness. He pretended to think about it for a second before shaking his head. “I don’t think so, Wise Girl. We just won the Quidditch Cup! I can think of a few ways we can celebrate…” Percy eyed her passionately, and she pressed her lips against his to cut off his classic smirk.

XX

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 24

“He did WHAT?” Percy growled menacingly underneath the lone tree next to the Black Lake. Harry and Hermione had just explained to Ron and the demigods why they had missed the match. While Ron was disappointed that his best friends didn’t watch him play, he was more concerned with the fact that Hagrid brought his half-brother back from Giant-country and had been hiding him in the Forbidden Forest all year.

The demigods, on the other hand, were absolutely furious. “Does he even realize how dangerous Giants are? They almost overtook the gods last year! The freaking gods! The Gigantes are the children of Gaea and Tartarus, Harry! They can only be killed by a demigod and god working together. Do you see any gods available for hire running around out here? Because I sure as Hades don’t!”

Harry and Hermione leaned away from Percy’s tantrum, and Annabeth shot him a warning look. “Obviously these Giants are a different breed than the Gigantes that we fought, Seaweed Brain.”

Nico, however, was on Percy’s side. “That doesn’t make them any less dangerous, Annabeth. They said...Grawp...was at least sixteen feet tall, and that he was the runt of the family. If he got out of the Forest, just think of the damage he could do to Hogwarts!”

Will tried to step in between his friends before an all out shouting match could commence, “Guys! Chill out, will you?” When he was satisfied that he had their attention, he continued. “This will only become a problem if Hagrid is fired, so why don’t we put our worries on hold for a hot minute, okay?”

Hermione groaned, “But Will, Hagrid is going to be sacked! Umbridge despises him, and she blames him for the rogue Niffler that destroyed her office. It won’t be long now…” She said miserably.

“Well, did he do it?” Ron asked, earning him a glare from Harry.

“Of course not! Everyone is just playing pranks on Umbridge ever since Fred and George left. He would never set a magical creature loose!”

Hermione and Ron snorted, “Do you not remember Norbert? Or Fluffy? What about Aragog?” he said, his voice quivering just a bit at the mention of the giant spider.

Annabeth pinched her nose in annoyance and returned her attention to Percy. “Not all Giants are bad, Seaweed Brain. You know this. We both do!” She pulled out her wand and whispered nostos, earning her the full use of the Drakon Bone sword.

The Son of Poseidon held her gaze for a moment longer before casting his eyes down, feeling a bit deflated. “She’s right. We would have never survived Tartarus without Damasen’s help.”

Nico’s eyes wandered along the castle’s outline in the distance, “One semi-friendly Giant who didn't want to kill you doesn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzies about Grawp. Having him near the school is just too dangerous.”

Annabeth closed her eyes, not sure what else to contribute to the argument. “Harry, Hermione, I’m sorry, but I have to agree with Nico here. Hagrid has lost his mind if he thinks you three are going into that forest without backup.”

Harry saw his opening, but before he could say anything, Percy caught onto it. “Without backup? He’s lost his mind if he thinks they are going back in there at all! I’m not about to let these three wander into the Forbidden Forest playing teacher to a giant that could crush them in two seconds flat and not even bat an eye!”

Percy argued back and forth with the demigods for a few more minutes before Harry yelled, “Oi! SHUT UP! That’s enough!”

Four very intense, very heated gazes were shot his way, and Harry almost crumpled under the pressure. “I appreciate you all looking out for us, I do! Hermione and I knew that you guys would react like this...and we agreed that we wouldn’t go in without at least one of you with us.”

Percy opened up his mouth to protest, but Harry kept talking. “I know this is dangerous, and we don’t even want to be involved in this. But we promised Hagrid, and he’s one of those people you help-no matter how likely you are to get caught, or get-”

“Killed?” Nico finished for him, his dark eyes narrowed.

Harry squirmed, “Er...yeah. If Hagrid gets sacked, then we have to look after Grawp. It’s-It’s settled.”

Hermione and Ron were  both looking at him like he had sprouted a second head for standing up to the demigods, but they showed their support nonetheless by moving to stand beside him.

Harry and Percy’s eyes locked in a silent battle of wits for a few long moments before Harry broke. “Come on, Perc! Nothing is going to happen to us if one of you guys is with us!”

Percy moved to look at Annabeth and raised an eyebrow, and she imperceptibly nodded. He then returned to meet Harry’s eye, “Fine. If Hagrid gets fired, then you will take one of us every time you decide to go frolicking around in the Forbidden Forest where every creature can have a go at killing you!” Before he could start yelling again, Percy turned on his heel and made his way back to the castle without waiting for his friends to catch up.

XX

June had finally arrived, and Harry almost felt an urge to thank Umbridge for not sacking Hagrid yet...almost. The beginning of the first summer month brought perfectly tempered mornings and wonderfully warm afternoons, which on most occasions would have caused the student body at Hogwarts to relax. However, instead of young witches and wizards lounging around outside, the entire fifth year class was holed up in either the library, the Great Hall, or their respective Commons Rooms.

O.W.L.S. were upon them.

Older students tried their hand at selling “Baruffio’s Brain Elixir” and “Powdered Dragon Claw” as tools to help the test takers focus, effectively earning them detention from Hermione.

“Hermione, we wanted to buy that!” shouted Ron as he watched her dump the contents of sixth year Eddie Carmichael’s bottle down the toilet.

“Don’t be stupid,” She snarled. “None of these things actually work you know-”

“Dragon claw does work!” said Ron. “It’s supposed to be incredible, really gives your brain a boost, you come over all cunning for a few hours-Hermione, let me have a pinch, go on, it can’t hurt-”

“This stuff can,” said Hermione grimly. “I’ve had a look at it, and it’s actually dried doxy droppings.”

This information took the edge off Harry and Ron’s desire for brain stimulants.

Percy laughed at his friends’ exchange. Even if any of those things actually did work, he doubted that they would have any effect on him. His ADHD and dyslexia was killing him these days, and he didn’t understand how Annabeth, Nico, or Will was handling it so well.

Professor McGonagall floated into the classroom and headed straight for the blackboard, which had the dates and times of their exams. “I’m sure you have already reviewed your exam times, but let’s review, shall we? Your O.W.L.S are spread over two successive weeks. You will sit the theory exams in the morning and the practice in the afternoons. Your practical Astronomy examination will, of course, take place at night.” Her ancient eyes swept across them for a few moments before she continued, “I would also like to remind you of the many spells and stringent Charms are in place to keep anyone from cheating, so please don’t even bother trying to find a way around them.”

After an incredibly stressful night of last-minute studying, nobody was particularly chatty the next morning. Hermione kept dropping her fork and knife to triple check information in Achievement in Charms, Ron and Harry picked at their plate nervously, and Neville accidently knocked over at least three people’s Pumpkin Juice. Percy himself wasn’t necessarily nervous, which was a trait that he found he only shared with Nico and Will. They simply knew that their results wouldn’t actually mean anything for them, but that didn’t stop Annabeth from using all of her energy to memorizing every spare detail about magic that she could possibly learn.

The O.W.L.S. even seemed to distract her from the upcoming battle, which Percy didn’t even think was possible. She hadn’t even mentioned the enormous fight they had a few weeks ago..he had tried to forget it himself. No matter what she thought, everything was going to work out fine, and in a few weeks, they would be back home at Camp Half-Blood.

He droned out the anxious muttering around him and let his mind wander back.

“I won’t let you do it, Seaweed Brain! I won’t!” Her stormy grey eyes were now glossy with unshed tears, and Percy’s heart constricted.

“Wise Girl, everything will be okay, I promise!” He tried reaching for her hands, but she pushed them away and gripped the front of his robes.

“How can you promise me that! You have no idea what could happen! I...can’t sit by and watch you do this!”

Percy closed his eyes and breathed in the nearness of her. “Wise Girl...It’s the only way. Harry has to be protected…” His voice was barely a whisper now, and he wished that she would stop fighting him. Will and Nico certainly had.

“I love Harry, Percy. I do. But I love you more! I can’t let you do this!” She was begging now, and the Son of Poseidon didn’t think his heart could handle seeing her like this anymore.

“Annabeth, look at me. Look at me!” He caught her chin and met her eyes. “This is the way it has to be. You know the plan now, Will and Nico are going to do their parts, and then all of this will be over. Erebus will be back where he belongs, and Harry will finally be one step closer to defeating Voldemort.”

He kissed her forehead, and sighed when silent tears began sliding down her face. “We will have our friends with us, and you know Reyna isn’t going to leave here without all of us in one piece. Okay?”

Annabeth shook with grief, and dug her face into the crook of Percy’s neck. “We started this together, Seaweed Brain. We’ll finish this together. Promise me.”

Percy gripped tightly to her robes and inhaled the scent of her hair. “I promise. As long as we’re together, right?”

To his relief, Annabeth laughed and clutched to him tighter, “As long as we’re together.”

“Perc? Percy!” Harry’s voice dragged him from his thoughts and he was brought back to the present. “You alright, mate?”

Percy blinked away the memory and shot his friend a crooked smile, “I’m fine, bro. Let’s go take some tests!”

Every fifth year within earshot gave a dramatic groan, and they all shuffled towards a very trying two weeks.

XX

“Only two more O.W.L.S. to go!” Ron said, his voice filled with exhaustion as the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs made their way towards the Astronomy Tower. All in all, Percy thought the tests had gone fairly well. He knew he didn’t do very well at the written portion of any of the exams, but he went above and beyond during the practicals. Annabeth and Hermione had been quizzing each other almost every night on each subject while Ron and Harry tried to retain as much information as possible for their essays.

He thanked the gods that these O.W.L.S. didn’t affect him in the real world. Professor Sinistra welcomed them in and ushered each to a telescope before leaving them to the examiners. They had one hour to create a star chart and complete a model of all of Jupiter’s moons as well as give a detailed history of “The Huntress.”

With half an hour left to go, and his heart very much subdued at his recollection of previous quests, he was slow to register what Harry, Ron, and Hermione were doing. All three of their telescopes were pointed downwards, which he found very odd.

“Thirty Minutes left…” One of the examiners reminded them, but the Golden Trio did not look back towards the sky. Percy furrowed his brow and followed their direction. He watched six hooded figures bang on the heavy wooden door of Hagrid’s hut. Light flooded the lawn as the Half-Giant stepped outside and was immediately attacked. Percy swore in greek as red whips of energy cast out towards Hagrid, and he was confused when they bounced right off. Hagrid swung his arms out in a great arc, knocking two of his attackers out. He then body checked another one, and didn’t look twice to make sure the person wouldn’t get up.

“Ten minutes left…” But nobody paid them any attention. All eyes were now on the duel below.

The Great Hall doors, which were directly beneath the Astronomy Tower, opened and Professor McGonagall rushed out, screaming at the wizards attacking Hagrid. Before Percy could blink, four stunning spells were shot out and hit her squarely in the chest.

“THOSE COWARDS!” A shriek sounded behind them, and one of the examiners rushed out of the room to call for help. Percy could hear Hagrid’s roar of fury, and winced when he took out the last of his pursuers. Once he was satisfied nobody was left to follow him, he took off running into the Forbidden Forest.

Percy and Annabeth locked eyes with the Golden Trio, and they hurriedly scribbled down the remaining information on their star charts before rushing out of the classroom.

“Bloody Hell, what was that?” Ron asked once they reached the Common Room. The entire Gryffindor house seemed to be packed in tightly, all talking animatedly about the duel they had witnessed.

“Umbridge obviously wanted to forgo a scene, like with Trelawney.” Hermione answered, sinking deeper into one of the arm chairs.

“He must be meeting up with Dumbledore then…” Percy offered.

Annabeth nodded grimly. “It would make sense. I just hope Professor McGonagall is okay. I still can’t believe they attacked her like that.”

“It just goes to show you how downright evil Umbridge is. She deserves to be put in Azkaban!” Harry fumed, and Percy couldn’t help but agree.

“Don’t worry, guys. Umbridge will get what’s coming to her.” He said it with such finality, that his friends looked up at him, waiting for an explanation. He shook his head, “Don’t worry, you’ll see.”

XX

Before they entered the Great Hall, Percy noticed just how tired Harry looked. “Did you get any sleep last night?” He asked the young wizard, who just shook his head sadly.

“Too worried about Hagrid to sleep.”

Percy grimaced, “Well, just try not to fall asleep during the last exam, alright?”

They were entering the Great hall in groups by last name, so Annabeth, Nico, and Hermione had already completed their exams. Percy wished for the thousandth time that he didn’t have to take this last O.W.L., and hoped he would be able to answer at least half of the questions.

The enormous double doors open before them, and they were ushered into the Hall. The long tables had been replaced by single desks, each one holding an overturned packet of parchment labeled with a name. Professor Flitwick looked a little worn out next to the filled House Points Hourglasses, but he spoke as loud as ever. “Students, you will notice that you are sorted by alphabetical order. Please find your seat and wait for my signal before you begin.”

Percy bid Harry and the rest of his friends good luck before taking his place next to Lee Jordan and Libby Jasper. Professor Flitwick brought out his wand and flipped over a smaller hourglass, but still visible to the students, and he immediately heard the flutter of parchment and the scratching of quills. He briefly wondered if these people had ever been introduced to pens and pencils before.

He snorted at the absurdity of the first question, ‘In your opinion, did wand legislation contribute to, or lead to better control of, goblin riots of the eighteenth century?’ Yeah, he skipped that one, and the following ten.

‘How was the Statue of Secrecy breached in 1749 and what measures were introduced to prevent a recurrent?’

“Describe the circumstances that led to the Formation of the International Confederation of Wizards and explain why the warlocks of Liechtenstein refused to join.’

Forty-five minutes of the most ridiculous test of his life flew by, and he had only answered about fifteen questions. Right before he gave up completely, Harry’s piercing scream broke the concentrated silence. Percy responded immediately, completely ignoring the rest of his exam, and caught his friend before he hit the ground. Harry gripped his scar, as if trying to claw the damn thing off, and threw the entire Great Hall into disarray.

Will at his side in an instant, and helped Percy carry Harry out of the Great Hall. Professor Sprout rushed towards them and ushered them take him to the Hospital Wing. Harry’s breathing was labored, and he kept muttering protests. As they turned the corner, Will checked that they were alone, and nodded towards Percy. They set him down and Percy grabbed Harry’s shoulder. “Harry! Harry, what’s wrong? What did you see?”

Harry’s eyes snapped open, and he gripped Percy’s robes. “Sirius! He has Sirius! We-we have to save him!”

The Son of Poseidon tried to calm his friend down, “Harry, deep breaths, tell us what you saw.”

Harry struggled to get his breathing under control, and he shook wildly. “I..fell asleep. During the exam. I saw the same hallway in the Department of Mysteries. I saw the door, and the room full of crystal balls. Then...then I saw Sirius. Voldemort was torturing him. He-he said he was going to kill him, Percy!”

Percy closed his eyes for a split second to prepare himself. This was it. This was the beginning of the end. He snapped up at Will, “Go find Nico!” The Son of Apollo nodded and took off around the corridor. Percy looked up to see Ginny passing by. “HEY!”

The youngest Weasley’s eyes widened and she rushed over, “Percy? What’s going-oh! Harry! Are you okay?”

“Ginny, go run and get Annabeth, I think she’s in the Common Room. Hurry!” The authority in his voice could not be ignored, and Ginny didn’t hesitate before sprinting towards the stairs. He heard a rush of commotion, and realized the exam must finally be over. Ron spotted them and knelt down beside Harry. “Blimey, are you okay mate?”

“NO! I’m NOT alright! Ron, He-he’s going to kill Sirius!” Ron’s eyes locked with Percy’s, as if to confirm his best friend’s rantings, and The Son of Poseidon nodded. Ron stood up quickly and jogged toward the end of the corridor, “Oi! Neville, run and get Hermione! She said she would be in the library!”

“Who studies after the test we just had-”

“HURRY NEVILLE!” Ron cut him off, and the poor Gryffindor looked so taken aback by the redhead’s sudden change in demeanor Percy thought he was going to faint.

Harry was sweating profusely, so Percy wrapped an arm around his waist and lifted him into a standing position. “Ron, help me get him into the bathroom.” He obliged and together they brought him into the Prefect’s Bathroom and set him down near the line of exquisite sinks.

“He’s burning up, Perc…” Ron muttered worriedly, and the Son of Poseidon grabbed a washcloth and dabbed Harry’s forehead with it.

“We...we have to go! We have to go to the Department of Mysteries to save him!” Harry pleaded, and Percy knelt down so that he was eye level with his friend.

“Harry, I promise we are going to go save Sirius. I just need the others here, and we can figure out a plan.” This seemed to placate the boy, and he slumped against the stone wall in exhaustion.

Nico, Will, Neville, and Hermione rushed in, looking relieved that they found them. “What’s going on?” Hermione asked, rushing to Harry’s side and placing the back of her hand to Harry’s forehead.

“I’ll explain in a minute, I just need Annabeth here.” Percy explained, his brow furrowing. Where the hell was she? Didn’t Ginny realize how important it was to bring her here?

XX

After Annabeth completed her last O.W.L. in the Great Hall, she stretched her entire body upwards and let out a huge sigh of relief. She was exceedingly confident and feeling quite proud of her handle on all of the material that she had been tested over. She was the offspring of the goddess of Wisdom, she wasn’t about to let a series of examinations get the best of her. She chatted with Nico and Hermione for a little while before heading up to the Common Room to relax and maybe take a little nap. She had spent so many hours studying, she decided a break was the best option for her.

Nico agreed, but chose to visit Bianca in the owlery, and Hermione wanted to double check that the answers she had written down were absolutely correct, so she headed off to the library. She waved goodbye to her friends and dragged herself through the portrait hole, thankful that only three younger Gryffindors had chosen to inhabit the room. She let herself fall quietly onto the couch and rested her eyes as she drifted off near the welcoming fire.

A horrified scream yanked her from her unpleasant dreams and she was on her feet in an instant. Her eyes locked on the source of the yell and found the three wizards huddled together, backing away from...something. Her knees threatened to give out on her when she saw what had scared them.

A great, shadowy mass was spilling into the Common Room, slowly filling every square inch of their sanctuary with Darkness. Annabeth brought out her Drakon Sword and leaped over the couch towards the wizards. They looked at her with wide, fearful eyes, and she turned her back on them. “Stay behind me! No matter what!”

She scanned the room for potential exits, but the mass had worked its dark tendrils around the entire perimeter of the room, leaving them only enough space to back up against the window. Annabeth slashed out erratically towards what she knew to be the primordial deity, and she screamed in fury. The younger Gryffindors yelled in horror when shadows struck out repeatedly, wrapping themselves around their ankles.

“No! Please! Make it stop!”


“I don’t want to die!”

“Please Annabeth, help us!”

She was trying, gods she was trying, but it was just too much. He was just too strong, and Erebus had left her no way out. She couldn’t even see the floor anymore, shadows had her and her companions completely surrounded. Annabeth felt hopeless for the first time since Tartarus. He was going to get her. She might never see Percy again.

Tears stung her eyes as she continued to lash out at the shadows, which only hissed and groaned in response before a greater mass took the tendrils’ place. The darkness wrapped itself around her legs, and she grit her teeth in defiance.

The portrait door swung open and Ginny Weasley appeared, looking flushed. She froze at the scene in front of her, and Annabeth screamed.

“GINNY! GET THE HADES OUT OF HERE!”

She struggled against the shadows overtaking her, and pleaded towards her friend. “Tell...tell Percy that I love him. Tell him that he needs to fight! Tell him-” before she could finish, the darkness flung itself over her and her companions, and they crumpled straight to the floor.

Ginny shrieked in between sobs while sprinting away from the horror she had just witnessed and rushed to find Percy.

XX

Professor Snape scowled at the unclean cauldron in front of him. He had told those incompetent second years to clean every inch of their potions stations, and did they? Of course not. The half-witted miscreants can’t even follow simple instructions, much less be trusted to clean up after themselves. He waved his wand easily and everything was put back its place. There, he thought to himself.

The classroom was dark and menacing, just the way he liked it. As he made his way back towards his quarters, a thundering explosion sounded behind him. Snape whirled around, wand out, and was utterly confused by what he saw.

Four teenagers wearing muggle clothes stood before him. Well..most of them were in normal clothes. The girl in front stood tall and fierce looking like she had stepped straight out of the Roman Army. Her long dark hair was braided straight down her back, falling on the regal purple toga attached to her breastplate of armor. She shared a matching tattoo with the athletic blond boy next to her, who’s piercing blue eyes locked onto his own. A breathtaking young woman with a Cherokee complexion stood to his right, and an impish boy covered in what looked like soot stains stood to the Roman’s left.

Before he could think to ask who they were, where they came from, or how they got into his classroom, the girl in the purple toga raised a golden spear to his eyes and commanded, “Take us to Percy Jackson.”

 

XX

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Nico paced up and down the length of the Prefect’s bathroom, running his hands together as if trying to keep himself busy as they waited for Annabeth. Harry was finally breathing normally again, and was on his feet explaining the details of his dream to them.

“Sirius was crumpled on the ground in front of row number ninety-seven when Voldemort got to him…”

“But Harry, couldn’t these just be-” Hermione started, her anxiety causing her voice to crack.


“DON’T say dreams ‘Mione, because they aren’t just dreams! Remember what happened to Ron’s dad?”

Ron pushed off from his leaning position against the wall. “He’s got a point. That was real...”

The Son of Hades watched Harry give a grateful nod to his best friend before turning back to Hermione. “I know how it sounds, but Sirius is in trouble, and we have to help him!”

She turned towards the demigods, as if willing them to knock some sense into him, but Percy wasn’t listening. The Son of Poseidon was watching the door like a hawk, completely rigid while waiting for Annabeth. A block of ice had settled in Nico’s stomach, and he tried to ignore it while he addressed Hermione. “We think he’s seeing what Voldemort’s seeing. So it’s a good possibility that Sirius is right where Harry says he is.”

Her face dropped and she closed her eyes to take a calming breath. “We...we should at least be sure, shouldn’t we?”

“I AM SURE!” Harry exploded, and Will grabbed his shoulder.

“Harry! Calm down. It’s not a bad idea to be sure that he isn’t just at Grimmauld Place.”

Neville looked positively confused at the information exchanged, but kept his mouth shut. Harry shook Will’s hands off and crossed his arms. “Fine, we can use the fireplace in Umbridge’s office again. 

Ron cocked his head, “We will need another distraction...Perc? Any ideas?”

But Percy hadn’t taken his eyes off the door. “Where is she…” He muttered.

“Percy?”

Ron finally got his attention, but he still didn’t turn around. “Where is she? Annabeth should be here by now.”

Nico agreed, and was relieved when Ginny Weasley crashed through the door the next second. But the look on her face had everyone on their feet.

“It’s Annabeth!” She heaved, trying to catch her breath.

Percy caught her right before she hit the floor, and the Golden Trio knelt by her side. “What happened?” He insisted, the emotion catching in his voice.

She closed her eyes, obviously terrified of the memory. “The Common Room...the shadows that sent the other students into comas...it got her and three other Gryffindor boys. She said to come get you!”

The room erupted in screams as the plumbing exploded. Water from every available faucet burst around them, soaking everyone to the bone. When Nico pushed his sopping hair from his face, Percy was gone. He swore and grabbed Will and Harry by their dripping sleeves and ushered them out. “Go! Go!”

They all sprinted towards the seventh floor, the moving staircases seemingly knowing how important their journey was and giving them easy access. If he had been paying attention to his surroundings, Nico would have noticed students around them complaining loudly in wet robes about the plumbing malfunctioning. Will and Nico led the pack and stopped before reaching the closed portrait of the Fat Lady.

“My dears, I believe you have the wrong Common Room! This is strictly for Gryff-" 

Harry pushed passed them and yelled, “Baubles!” Now open the damn door!”

The Fat Lady looked thoroughly offended, but swung open for them anyway. They raced inside, and Nico had the briefest thought of warmth as he laid eyes on the flashes of scarlet and gold, so different from his own Common Room. That thought process didn’t last long however, because his eyes landed on three unconscious Gryffindors crumpled near the window, and Percy cradling Annabeth’s head in his hands.

Nico thrust out an arm towards the group of friends, stopping their advances, and let Will approach them first. Percy was muttering under his breath, looking more stricken than Nico would have thought possible. His brow was furrowed in concentration, but the light had died in his seaweed green eyes. He moved her head so her neck was more accessible to Will, who checked her pulse. He nodded to Percy, whose face was flushed with relief and racked with pain.

The Son of Hades finally allowed himself to approach, followed by the Golden Trio. Will clasped a hand on Percy’s shoulder. “She’s alive. They are all in the same condition as the others we’ve found. We need to get them to the hospital wing.”

Hermione dropped down and grabbed Annabeth’s hand, “Will...we know that they can’t wake up until Erebus is defeated..”

His boyfriend gave her a soft look, “I know, Hermione. But we can at least get them comfortable in a bed while we go-”

“Go?” Percy asked incredulously, fury lining his voice. “I’m NOT leaving her.”

Nico grimaced, he was afraid of this. “Percy, I know you don’t want to leave her,” He held up his hands defensively when The Son of Poseidon turned his heated gaze towards him, “I don’t want to either! But the only way to save her is to go.”

“No.”

He shared a defeated look with Will and Harry, offering them a turn to knock some sense into the demigod. Potter knelt down next him as well, holding Annabeth’s other hand. “Perc, we’ll have someone stay with her, she’ll be okay…”

Percy’s head snapped up, “She will NOT be okay! You don’t understand! If she’s seeing anything near as horrible as I did, then she’s in PAIN! She’s...she’s…” His gaze dropped back to his girlfriend’s face, and he caressed his thumb against her cheek. “I can’t leave her here knowing what she’s going through. She needs someone that she trusts.”

“It’s a good thing we made it then, huh?” A familiar voice sounded behind them, and the group of students drew their wands at the intrusion. 

Nico was frozen in shock for half a second before relief flooded him, and he couldn’t help himself as his feet moved towards Reyna. The hardened regal look that she had on her face softened immediately, and she wrapped her arms around him. He could have sworn he heard one of the Golden Trio gasp, as no one except Will was allowed to hug him like this. But he didn’t care, and he let himself cling to the only person in the world who truly understood him.

He pulled away reluctantly and gave her a half-smile, “I’m glad you made it. I just wish the circumstances were better.” Before he could introduce everyone, Piper rushed to Annabeth and Percy, causing Hermione and Harry to back away abruptly.

“What happened?” She asked, ignoring the nervous eyes flickering back and forth between her and the other newcomers.

Percy tried to meet her eye, but couldn’t. “Erebus. He got to her.”

Piper didn’t answer, and instead found Harry and Hermione. “Hi, I’m Piper.” She stuck out a hand and they both moved to shake it while introducing themselves. Percy didn’t seem interested in taking over, so Nico did the honors.

“Guys, these are our friends that we told you about. This is Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite_”

Ron snorted, and muttered “Makes sense..” a little louder than he probably meant to.

Nico shot him a look before continuing, “This is Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus. Jason Grace, son of Jupiter, and Reyna Ramirez-Arellano, daughter of Bellona.” He motioned towards his new friends, “This is Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville.”

The look on Neville and Ginny’s face almost made him want to laugh. He addressed the Golden Trio, “Uh..you might want to catch them up to speed.” The two newcomers nodded with wide eyes, and listened to Hermione explain about their parentage and true reasons for being at Hogwarts.

In the meantime, Piper eyed Jason, who got the message and moved towards Percy. “Bro, she’s going to be okay. We’ll make sure of it.” He clasped the Son of Poseidon on the shoulder and pulled him in for a tight hug. Nico let out a sigh of relief when he saw Percy react for the first time since their arrival. His grip was tight around Jason’s dark blue shirt, and his body shook in what Nico was sure to be a mix of emotions. Fury would probably be at the top of the list.

He was right, of course, because when Jason pulled away, the vehemence that rolled off of Percy was enough to cause the young wizards around him to stumble. He whispered something to Piper, who moved out of the way so he could pick Annabeth up bridal-style. His bright eyes were darkened, and his jaw was set.

“P-Percy?” Hermione asked in a small voice.

“Get them to the hospital wing.” Was all he said before walking out of the portrait hole. The rest of the group looked at each other nervously before Hermione brought out her wand and called out “Wingardium Leviosa,” lifting the three unconscious Gryffindors gently and followed Percy.

When they made it to the hospital wing, Percy’s radiating anger hadn’t worn off. He set Annabeth down with grace, and Hermione did the same with the three boys. Nico looked around and his heart sank, every bed was full now. Twenty-four total students had been attacked by Erebus, and all of them were in painful comas. Percy was the only one he knew of that escaped his fate, and Nico knew that was only because of his frequent dips in the water and his courage to destroy the demon that plagued him.

A few visitors were startled by the interruption and started walking towards them to inquire about what happened. Percy turned around and roared at the poor students. “OUT! GET OUT NOW!” They squealed in fear and sprinted out the door. The Son of Poseidon pulled out his wand and pointed it towards the door. “Colloportus!” Nico winced as it slammed shut and locked with an echoing click.

“Perc, buddy, pal, I think I saw some steam coming out of your ears. If we aren’t careful, the two of us might burn the whole damn castle to the ground.” Leo laughed nervously. 

With the tangible tension hanging in the room, Nico thought Percy might explode at their fiery friend, but to his surprise, the Son of Poseidon smirked for the first time since the exam. “At least not until we get a dam snack bar in this place.” He shook his head and folded his arms, suddenly unsmiling again. “Harry, I promised you that we would go and save Sirius. But, Hermione and Will were right, we need to double check that he’s not at Grimmauld Place first.”

Ron’s eyes widened, “You were listening?”

“I’m always listening!” He snapped. “But I’m not playing games anymore, I want that floor cleared so Harry won’t have any interruptions. If someone comes, find a way to get rid of them. Piper, I want you to stay with Annabeth.”

Ginny took a step forward, obviously struggling to piece everything together, “We could set off one of the pranks Fred and George left behind? And have people guarding the corridor entrances so they can’t get past?”

Jason nodded, “Ginny, that’ s a great idea. Reyna, Leo, Neville and I can keep people out.”

Nico had a feeling Neville was whimpering silently, but to his credit, he only nodded his acceptance.

Ron moved towards his sister, “Ginny, Will, and I can distract Umbridge while you are clearing the floor. Then Percy, Nico, and Harry will be clear to use the fireplace.”

Harry looked towards Annabeth with a crestfallen look, then returned his eyes towards the group. “I won’t need very long, five, ten minutes maybe?”

It was Nico’s turn to speak, “They can give you that. We still have a problem though, if we confirm that Sirius isn’t there, we still need a way to get to the Ministry. I could shadow-travel us there, but that’s going to take out a lot of energy, and I honestly don’t think that most of you could handle it.”

Percy’s eyes narrowed, “Any ideas?”

Reyna pulled out a skinny silver whistle, “Hecate made Guido and Blackjack available to us, but they wouldn’t be able to carry all of us.”

Harry crossed his arms, “Then maybe not all of us should go.” Once people started protesting, and sighed, “I don’t want any of you put in danger because of me. I barely know any of you, and it's too dangerous for Ginny and Neville. I can’t ask you to fight for me.”

Reyna gripped her spear and brought it eye-level with The Boy Who Lived. “Harry Potter, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. If you look around, you will find that you have great people surrounding you. We are not fighting for you, Harry Potter, we are fighting with you.”

Harry blinked and nodded slowly, the words of Reyna’s speech sinking in. The corners of Nico’s mouth twitched. He missed these guys.

“Great, now that we are all on the same page, how would all of us get to the Department of Mysteries?” Percy asked.

A few moments of silence passed before a light voice called out, “I believe I have an idea.”

They all turned to find none other than Luna Lovegood exiting the Hospital Wing bathroom, an airy look on her face. “Uh...Luna, I didn’t think anyone else was here…” Percy started.

“Don’t worry, Percy Jackson, I won’t tell anyone that you and your friends are demigods.” Nico’s eyes widened. His first assumption of the girl was confirmed, Luna Lovegood was a lot smarter and frightfully observant than anyone else gave her credit for.

“Er...thanks...you said that you had an idea?” He asked, obviously coming to the same conclusion as Nico.

“The Thestrals, of course.” She said with a soft smile on her face, as if the answer was obvious.

Will clapped, “That’s a fantastic idea! There is a herd of them living in the east portion of the Forbidden Forest. Ginny and Hermione can ride with Reyna and Percy on the Pegasi, and the rest of us can ride the Thestrals.”

Jason cocked his head in confusion, “What in Jupiter’s name is a Thestral?”

“They are like Pegasi..only…” Percy tried to explain.

“Slightly more terrifying,” Will finished for him. “They can only been seen by those who have seen death.”

Leo laughed wearily, “Then these must be my kind of horses. Been there, done that. You can’t get much closer to death than me.” He said with a wink.

Nico grumbled, but figured he had a point since he was the only one he knew who had actually died and come back to life.

“Anyway…” Percy continued. “Luna, that’s great. Can you and Leo round up four Thestrals while we get to the fireplace? I think Jason, Reyna, and Neville can handle clearing the corridor.”

“It would be my pleasure.”

Nico’s lips twitched looking at the demigods’ undetermined reactions to Luna Lovegood, she really was something else.

Ron held up a nervous hand, “Wait..hold up.” He seemed to shrink at the weight of everyone’s eyes on him. “Are you telling me that everyone except Hermione, Ginny, and I have seen death..?”

Percy sighed and grabbed Annabeth’s hand next to him. “I can’t speak for Luna and Neville, but Ron, we’re demigods. Half mortal, half god. We were born to fight. Whether our home is Camp Half-Blood or Camp Jupiter, we are groomed to lead armies and kill monsters at a young age. Death...death is a normal part of life for us. We’ve all lost people close to us...our friends and family.”

A pregnant silence set itself on the shoulders of the group before Neville and Luna spoke up.

“I can see them because of my mum. I was nine.” She offered.

Neville’s eyes found the floor. “My Grandad." 

Jason put a hand on Neville’s shoulder and gave him a small smile. “It makes us stronger.”

Percy coughed, “Alright, so we’ve got a plan in place. We check to make sure that Sirius is missing, then we meet by the Forbidden Forest and fly to the Ministry of Magic.” He then turned towards Harry and met his gaze, “And then we finish this.”

XX

Will grinned like a maniac when Ginny handed him a box of Weasley’s Wildfire Whiz-bangs. “This is going to be epic…” He said with anticipation, earning him a nervous look from Ron.

 “Er..yeah. I think we should set them off in the Great Hall, it’s big enough to make a scene, and it’s plenty far from her office.” 

Ginny and Will nodded in agreement, “Fine,” she said, “You two get these going, and I’ll bring her here. Make sure she doesn’t find out you two had anything to do with it.” 

When she turned on her heel and took off to find Umbridge, Ron and Will casually sauntered towards the Gryffindor table, trying not to look suspicious. There weren’t a great deal of people present, as lunch was already over. But that was ideal, better to have less witnesses. The two boys nodded to each other and carefully opened up each of their boxes.

The next second, all hell broke loose. The Great Hall shook with enormous force as several enchanted fireworks exploded above the students’ heads. Bright neon lights twisted themselves into fantastic shapes, all resembling a disfigured head that looked suspiciously like Professor Umbridge. The young witches and wizards below cheered loudly as a firework fire-breathing dragon dismembered each of the faces with a brilliant flash of light.

Will nudged Ron and the two made their way towards the double doors. Ron pointed his wand at the fireworks and whispered, “Stupefy!” and “Evanesco!” Causing the fireworks to explode and multiply by ten for each one he hit.

The Son of Apollo grinned widely at the young wizard, “Smart thinking.” They rushed out of the Great Hall, leaving a complete mess in their wake, and hid behind a large column. They waited until Ginny came running with Professor Umbridge at her heels. She pointed towards the commotion and shouted, “There! You have to find a way to stop it!”

Umbridge looked positively furious, her thick neck bulging dangerously. “Tell me how! Your brothers are the ones who made these horrific contraptions for Merlin’s sake!”

Ginny shrugged, “Maybe with a stunning spell? You can also try to make them disappear...I really have no idea! Fred and George never told me how they worked.”

Filch caught up to them, completely out of breath. Professor Umbridge screamed in fury and marched into the Great Hall with her wand raised high. Ginny waited until they were both distracted before calling out for the boys. Will and Ron gave her a high five and started towards her office. “That will keep her busy for a while, don’t you think?”

XX

Jason waited thirty seconds before Professor Umbridge hobbled after Ginny towards the sound of the explosions. Percy was right, she really did resemble a toad. Once he was sure they were gone, he fingered the wand in his hand-still unused to the feeling-and whistled loudly. “HEY! EVERYONE OUT!”

The thirty or so students that were wandering about gave him strange looks, “Who in Merlin’s name are you?” One of the students in a robe lined with emerald green called out. “And why should we listen to you?”

Annoyance twitched in his chest, he wasn’t used to being questioned. Jason pointed his wand towards one of the light fixtures above and concentrated. The Blasting Curse spun towards it, and the lights shattered, causing the students to screech in surprise and rush out of the corridor. 

He caught Reyna’s eye across the way and caught himself from laughing at her approving smirk. She hadn’t bothered disguising her spear as a wand and threatened multiple students with it before the floor was cleared. She called out to him, “You watch that end, and Neville and I will keep everyone out on this end!”

Jason nodded and called out for Percy, Nico, and Harry, who appeared a few moments later. “Alright, you guys get in and out as quickly as you can.” Nico took the two boys’ arms and pulled the shadows around them before they disappeared completely. Jason couldn’t help but shiver, knowing he would never get used to the Son of Hades’ preferred method of travel.

XX

The second Percy’s feet hit the floorboards, he tried to shake off the chills that ran through his veins. Shadow-Travel was tough on the body, and he understood why it took so much energy out of Nico. Harry immediately started towards the fireplace and called out, “Accio Floo Powder,” safely catching the small jar as it reached him.

He threw out a handful into the fire and leaned back as the flames reached upwards. “Number 12 Grimmauld Place!” Percy watched Harry thrust his head in and call out for Sirius.

While they waited, Percy couldn’t stand still. His feet needed to move, so he paced around the office. Nico must have been feeling the same way, because he mirrored Percy’s actions. They made eye contact, and immediately knew the conversations the other was reliving.

XX

 “You look frustrated, Son of Poseidon.” an eerily familiar voice called out to him from behind a statue. The air seemed to be holding its breath and Chronos stepped out into the firelight. “I believe you know why I am here.”

Percy straightened, and nodded dutifully. “You’re here to tell me what my part is in stopping Erebus.”

  The ageless man before him smiled. “You would be correct. My only questions is...are you ready to hear it?”

He took a deep breath and nodded. “I’m ready.”

Chronos studied him, “I need an enormous surge of magical energy delivered to me before I can put Erebus back into his deep slumber.”

“I know, Will told us.”

  “I believed he would. What none of you understand quite yet is what exactly it will take to generate what is needed.” Chronos said, the light dancing across his face.

Percy narrowed his eyes, “Then explain it to me.”

The old man took a seat on the windowsill and twisted his long fingers around the tip of his beard. “Can you tell me what the most powerful magic in the known world is? It applies to mortals, wizards, demigods...all creatures that inhabit this green Earth.”

The Son of Poseidon thought back, straining to remember something that Hecate told him at the beginning of their quest. “Love?”

Chronos’ kaleidoscope eyes crinkled in front of him. “Very good, Mr. Jackson. More specifically, Sacrificial Love. This is the reason Harry Potter is still alive. His mother gave her life to protect him, searing the ancient, powerful, and long lasting counter charm into his veins. It’s why Voldemort failed the night of his downfall, and why Professor Quirrell disintegrated when he attempted to lay his hands on the boy.”

Percy blinked as he took in the information. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because it’s the only magic powerful enough to defeat Erebus.” Percy took a sharp intake of breath before Chronos continued. “Mr. Jackson, a death is required to wake the students who have fallen after the Darkness attacked, and to stop him from extending his destruction to the rest of the world.”

The response was immediate, “I won’t let my friends be a part of that. They are going back home in one piece.”

Chronos half-smiled. “I knew you would be of that opinion. Loyal till the end, Mr. Jackson. Now, in this world, the end really isn't the end. Your friend Leo can attest to that. I have given Mr. Solace my personal Time-Turner, which has the special ability to hone the power absorbed while it travels.”

“Which means that once the sacrifice is given, we can go back in time before it actually happened….” Percy guessed.

“Precisely. However, the Lord of the Underworld has a certain vendetta against losing souls to time-travel. Can I assume that you have seen your uncle’s temper first hand?”

The Son of Poseidon grimaced, “Yeah, he doesn’t appreciate being jipped out of a soul. So....basically we need to keep the balance. A soul for a soul?”

Chronos nodded, “A soul for a soul. You will need the talents of our dear friend, Mr. di Angelo, for that particular task.”  

Percy leaned up against the stone wall and closed his eyes. “Nico...Nico is a lot more vulnerable than he lets people believe. The thought of ending someone’s life, even if it means bringing me back and defeating Erebus, is going to be rough on him.”

  “Then I suggest you allow me to speak with him first.”

“What, and not tell my friends that someone has to die for us to win?” Percy asked incredulously.

Chronos placed a strong hand on his shoulder, “Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet. Enjoy the present, Mr. Jackson. I will speak to Mr. di Angelo when he is ready. Then you can form a plan with all of the information.”

As the primordial deity turned gracefully to leave, Percy growled. “Chronos!” The old man simply looked over his shoulder. “It has be me. I’m not letting anything happen to them, do you understand?”

“I see all things, I hear all things, and I understand all things, Mr. Jackson.” He answered ominously before disappearing with a flick of his hand.

XX

A few weeks after that, Nico was finally enlightened to the beginnings of their plan, and he had begged, pleaded, and implored Percy to find another way. They had brainstormed, of course, and did enormous amounts of research, but to Nico’s dismay, Chronos was right. A sacrifice produced the most ancient and powerful kind of magic, and it was the only thing that could bring Erebus’ hold crumbling down.

During Nico’s conversation with Chronos, the deity had apparently given him the timeline of his part of the plan, and he had been practicing with the combination of shadow-travel and apparation ever since. From what Percy could tell, the Son of Hades had finally achieved it, but couldn’t yet bring anyone else along with him.

Their eyes twisted towards Harry when he cried out, “KREACHER NO!” He forced himself backwards, falling painfully onto the hard floor. Harry scrambled up, his voice distraught. “He’s not there! He’s gone to the Department of Mysteries!” He grasped onto Percy, “They’re torturing him, Percy! Voldemort’s going to kill him!”

As the two demigods tried to calm Harry down, Jason beat against the door, “They’re coming! Get out of there!” His voice sounded muffled, but insistent behind the strong wood.

Nico swore and pulled them back into the shadows and depositing them outside of Umbridge’s office. Jason, Reyna and Neville were standing by the edge of the corridor, ushering them to hurry. The group sprinted down the stairs and out towards the grounds, pushing past anyone who stepped in their way.

By the time they reached the treeline to where the others were waiting, Harry was huffing heavily. Percy let him catch his breath and called the other wizards over near Hagrid’s hut.

Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville all waited expectantly.

“Listen, I know you all want to do this, and I’m not going to keep you from coming. But, i want you to be prepared for what might happen. Don’t be ignorant enough to think that this won’t end in an all out fight. All of you have been exceptional in the D.A. meetings, so don’t forget what you’ve learned.” He tried his best at a smile, but knew it was strained. “When it comes down to it, I need you to do exactly what we tell you to. Jason, Reyna, Leo, Will, Nico and I have all been in more battles and wars than we can count, so trust our instincts.”

The group of young witches and wizards nodded in understanding, and he sent them back to the Thestrals. Hermione stayed back to mentally prepare herself for their journey, and Harry came into view. Percy admired the determination that settled itself across his face. “Thank you for coming. I know what both of you are risking here, and I just want you to know that I appreciate it.” Percy sighed, knowing that Harry really didn’t know the extent of what he was talking about, but patted him on the back nonetheless.

As they turned to return to the others, who had hidden themselves in a clearing with the Thestrals, a shrill voice lined with fury and delirium called out to them.

“YOU RIGHT THERE! DON’T MOVE!” Percy turned around to see Professor Umbridge hobbling towards them with a handful of Slytherins behind her, all of them holding their wands out.

He immediately held up his hands and balled them into fists, a signal for the others to stay hidden. He would rather try to get out of this peacefully. 

Harry and Hermione took their places next to Percy and kept their hands away from their wands, understanding Percy’s message. “What can we do for you, Madam Inquisitor?” He asked in the most polite tone he could manage.

Professor Umbridge was completely disheveled from the events of the day. It seems that the distraction Will and Ron set off did it’s job. “Do you three honestly think that I wouldn’t have my office guarded after not one, but TWO nifflers destroyed it!? I KNOW that you were in there, Potter!”

Harry’s eyes widened in mock confusion, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Professor.”

She screeched in frustration. “You were using my fireplace! I KNOW you were! Who were you talking to? Was it Dumbledore? Or that disgusting Half-Breed?”

Percy held out a hand to stop Harry from advancing at the insult to his friend. This seemed to spur on Umbridge, “Ah, HA! So you were talking to one of them!” She inched closer, her wand fixated between Harry’s eyes. “Tell me Potter, was Dumbledore explaining his plan to take over the Ministry? Was he giving you directions?”

The trio stayed silent, causing the Inquisitor to start to mutter to herself. Percy thought that after all of Nico’s silent torment, all of the pranks and destruction of property that she had undergone after Fred and George’s ‘Grand Plan,’ the woman must have finally cracked. There was something off about her eyes, like they had lost all reason. 

“If you won’t tell me outright...then I will just have to force the information out of you.” Hermione gasped, and reached for her wand, but Umbridge moved hers to intercept. “I don’t think so, mudblood! This information is essential to the success of the Ministry, and I’m sure Cornelius wouldn’t mind my….methods…”

Percy finally caught onto the woman’s ravings and a snarl ripped from his throat, “If you think you’re going to be harming a HAIR on their heads, you’ve got another thing coming!”

Professor Umbridge laughed in a way that caused the Slytherins behind her to take a step back. “I don’t THINK so, Mr. Jackson. I am the HIGH INQUISITOR of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and WIZARDRY, and by the power given to me by the MINISTER of Magic HIMSELF, I can do whatever I damn well please!”

There was no reasoning with her, Percy decided. He thrust his arms down quickly, pulling Harry and Hermione down roughly and dropped to the ground. Powerful stunning spells spilled from the forest, knocking Umbridge back onto the muddy ground. The Slytherins took the hint and rushed off back towards the castle with their tails between their legs.

He helped his friends up and ushered them towards the Forbidden Forest. “Go! Go!” He heard a sharp whistle sound in front of him, and looked back to see the familiar outline of two flying horses gaining speed towards him. Once Blackjack and Guido had touched down, he gave a quick welcome to his old friend.

“Come on, this way!” He told them, and led them towards the clearing where Ron was carefully climbing on the back of Will’s Thestral with a look of absolute confusion, while Nico and Harry, Jason and Luna, and Leo and Neville were already in position.

Percy gave Hermione a leg up on Blackjack and helped Ginny settle in behind Reyna on Guido. Once everyone looked secure enough, he led Blackjack forward so that he was facing all of his friends. “We go straight to the Ministry and get through to the Department of Mysteries. Keep your wands and weapons up, and keep an eye out for each other. We have our own personal army here with us today. Watch each other’s backs.”

The energy in the clearing rose ten degrees, and everyone shouted out in agreement. Percy took a deep breath before ushering Blackjack towards the skies.

“Legion, cuneum formate!’ Reyna yelled. ‘Advance!’

XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians

Chapter 26

Blackjack touched down on the deserted streets of London just as the lengthening sun fell below the horizon. Guido and the four Thestrals weren’t far behind, and soon the group of demigods, wizards, and witches were back on solid ground. Some were more grateful for this fact than others.

“Never...again…” Ron said weakly as he released his death grip on Will and slid ungracefully off the horse.

When the others dismounted a little shakily, but stayed on their own two feet, Hermione had yet to surrender her hold on Percy’s abdomen. He coughed, “Er...Hermione, I think you can let go now.”

“Mmurmm!” She mumbled with a fierce shake of her head, her face still buried into Percy’s shoulder blades. Harry gently grabbed her arm and tugged, indicating that he would help her down. She held on tight to both boys until she found her footing and immediately latched herself around Harry’s neck. “I...hate...flying! Never, never again!”

Percy dismounted Blackjack and laughed at his pegasus’ whinnies. “I know, right? She’s just like Thalia! Go ahead and take the others for a ride, but stay close enough where you can hear Reyna’s whistle, alright?” The winged horse gave a signal and pushed off into the twilight sky with his powerful wings, leading the charge.

A warm summer breeze flitted across their position, ruffling Percy’s hair slightly. He should have welcomed such an intrusion, but he was too on edge to respond with anything but a shiver.  “Harry, once we get inside, do you think you can find the Department of Mysteries?” he asked.

The Boy Who Lived gave a determined nod, and looked to the phone booth behind them. “This is the only way I know how to get in, but I’m not sure if we will all fit inside.”

Nico rolled his eyes and stepped forward. “Just give me a rough estimate of how far below we are going.”

Harry thought about it for a second before clasping a hand on Nico’s shoulder. “Roughly twelve stories.” The Son of Hades nodded and waited for everyone to be connected.

Reyna grimaced, “Are you sure you can handle the jump?”

Will nudged his boyfriend. “Nico’s been killing his shadow-travel lately. His doctor approves.” This earned Will a rare smile before the group disappeared into the night.

When Percy opened his eyes, he was standing on the cool obsidian tiles of the Ministry of Magic lobby along with Harry and the other demigods. Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna were all lying across the floor trying to shake off nausea chills.

Leo’s smile was infectious, and Percy was glad he had joined them, “I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s not used to being flung through the shadows.” They helped their friends up and looked expectantly towards Harry, who pointed to the left of the golden fountain thirty yards in front of them.

As they passed by, Percy questioned the concentrated look on Will’s face. He just shook his head, “It’s nothing, just looks different from my dream, that’s all.”

Percy thought it was strange that there wasn’t a single soul around, and the block of ice that had settled in his stomach slowly melted as his feeling of foreboding increased.  Shouldn’t there at least be some kind of security?

They found themselves in front of a grand set of elevator doors, which reminded him a little of the gateway to Olympus. Harry pressed the down button, and when the doors opened seamlessly, everyone fit inside comfortably. “Press number nine!” He called out, and Leo obliged. A sudden jolt in movement forced them down, and a cool female voice said, “Department of Mysteries.”

“Wands out!” Percy hissed, his voice echoing across the slick black corridor walls in front of them. Harry’s anxiety flared as he stared fixated on the plain black door ahead. He gulped loudly and turned towards the group. “This...this is it. I guess I can’t convince any of you to stay here?” The look on their faces gave him his answer.

Percy moved next to him as they stepped across the threshold, slightly unnerved by the way the door swung open on its own. Inside, they found a large, circular room that lived up to its ‘mysterious’ name. Everything in there was black including the floor and ceiling-identical, unmarked, handle-less black doors were set at intervals all around the black walls, interspersed with branches of candles whose flames burned blue, their cool, shimmering light reflected in the shining marble floor so that it looked as though there was dark water underfoot.

As they started following Harry towards the door directly opposite the entrance, a loud rumbling shook the room around them. The candles shifted to the left, and Hermione grabbed his arm. “The wall is rotating!” She whispered, frightened that the smallest sound might alert their presence to whoever was waiting for them.

When the movement came to a stop, they all looked around. “I think it was trying to stop us from knowing which door we came in from.” said Ginny in a hushed voice. Percy looked around and confirmed that she was right, he had lost his bearings in the move.

Nico strode warily towards a door on their left. “This one..something strange is on the other side of the door. I can hear things. Voices, maybe.” Harry narrowed his eyes and pushed the door open to reveal an amphitheater type of room. Stone benches circled the perimeter of a sunken center holding an ancient stone archway. Percy was amazed it was still standing, as the cracks and crumbling pieces gave the impression that it could break apart any minute. Unsupported by any surrounding wall, the archway was hung with a tattered black curtain or veil which, despite the complete stillness of the cold surrounding air, was fluttering very slightly as though it had just been touched.

Echoed footsteps sounded across the room as the group entered, making their way towards the strange archway. Only a few feet away, Nico put out a hand to stop Harry from getting any closer. “Don’t. This is a veil.” He warned, his tone suddenly serious.

“A veil?” Harry asked, his brow furrowed.

Nico gave the group a slight push backward. “A veil, Potter. A barrier between here and my Father’s domain. I have no idea how a group of wizards got their hands on it, but it’s extremely deadly.”

Ginny cocked her head in interest, “how so?”

“It’s a one way trip to the Judgement Pavilion. You take one step through, you die.”

The group’s eyes widened considerably and everyone took a hurried step back. Harry chewed on the inside of his cheek, “So what are the voices?”

If possible, Hermione looked more nervous than before. “Voices? I don’t hear anything. I also don’t see any veil…”

Nico raised an eyebrow at her. “The voices are the souls that recognize you. It’s similar to being able to see the Thestrals. When you watch someone die, it changes you.”

“We should get out of here. Right now.” Her voice was more urgent, and Percy couldn’t help but agree.

He grabbed Harry and Ginny’s shoulders and led them back up towards the door. “You heard the lady, everyone out.” Nobody hesitated at the command, and soon they were back in the circular room.

Before it could start spinning again, Hermione pointed her wand towards the door they had just come out of. “Flagrate!” A fiery ‘X’ appeared on the door. Looking very pleased with herself, she turned around and asked, “Well, where to next?”

Harry moved slowly around the room, as if trying to remember the door from his dreams. Neville followed him, “Maybe we just choose one from random?” He asked, and tried one to his right. Unlike the one before, this door didn’t budge. “It’s locked...”

“This is it then, isn’t it?” said Ron excitedly, joining Harry when he attempted to force the door open. “Bound to be!”

“Guys,” Will said in exasperated voice, “move out of the way.” The two boys turned to look at him as he pointed his wand at the door. “Alohomora!”

Nothing happened. Will smiled sheepishly and scratched the back of his neck. “Maybe it’s not supposed to be that easy.”

“Right, we’re leaving that room.” said Hermione decisively.

“But what if that’s the one?” Ron asked, staring at it with a mixture of apprehension and longing.

Percy’s jaw tightened. “I don’t know, Harry was able to get through all of the doors in his dream.”

The others muttered their agreement, and Hermione marked it was another fiery ‘X.’

The wall spun around them again and halted abruptly. Once he got his bearings, Harry tried the next door directly in front of him.

This is it!” He whispered excitedly, turning around to motion the others through.

Percy blinked as he took in the beautiful, dancing, diamond-sparkling light. As his eyes became more accustomed to the brilliant glare, he saw clocks gleaming from every surface, large and small, grandfather and carriage, hanging in spaces between the bookcases or standing on desks ranging the length of the room, so that a busy, relentless ticking filled the place like thousands of miniscule, marching footsteps. The source of the dancing, diamond-bright light was towering crystal bell jar that stood at the far end of the room.

His stomach lurched at the sight of delight stretched across Harry’s face. “This way!” He breathed, taking off towards the bell jar.

As they drew nearer, Percy was able to make out two tiny, jewl-bright eggs floating around a hummingbird. A single door stood in front of them now, and Harry’s hands shook from anticipation. “It’s through here.”

The Son of Poseidon drew his wand, and the others followed suit while Reyna and Jason gripped their respective weapons. Even Leo had a wand of his own- a metallic rod that Percy had the sinking suspicion would revert back into Leo’s Archimedes Sphere-and raised it high.

Percy gripped Harry’s shoulder and pushed the young wizard behind him. Harry’s protests were cut off by the look on the demigod’s face. He stepped through the threshold and the melting ice in his stomach froze again.

They were there, they had found the place: high as a church and full of nothing but towering shelves covered in small, dusty, glass orbs. They glimmered dully in the light issuing from more candle brackets set at intervals along the shelves. Like those in the circular room behind them, their flames were burning blue. The room was very cold.

They edged forward and Jason moved to his right, peering down the rows slowly. “Row ninety-seven.” Harry whispered, and Percy and Jason led them past the silver figure ‘53.’

The Son of Jupiter nudged his friend, “We need to go to the right.” Sure enough, the next row was labeled, ‘54.’ As they moved down the alleys of shelves, Percy noticed yellowing labels that were stuck beneath each glass orb. He wondered what in the world was in them.

“Eighty-five...eighty-six…” Jason counted. Percy held an arm out for their group to stop when they finally reached 97. The two demigods raised their weapons and checked the alley beside it. There was nobody there.

He turned back towards Harry, who looked utterly perplexed. “He should be here…”

Percy narrowed his eyes and continued down the alley, searching for any evidence of Sirius. When they reached the end, his temper flared agrily, and he waited for the others to catch up. Jason looked around, “There’s nobody here, Harry.”

The young wizard was now frantically moving his wand about, “He might be…” Harry whispered hoarsely, peering down the alley next door. “Or maybe…” He hurried to look down the one beyond that.

“Harry.” Percy called, and the boy twisted around.

“What?”

The Son of Poseidon locked their bright green eyes. “Sirius isn’t here.”

Everyone grew silent and turned to look at the pair. A bead of sweat slowly began to drip from Harry’s brow. “He..he has to be!”

Will coughed, and brought everyone’s attention towards him. “Harry, have you seen this?” He asked, pointing to one of the dusty glass spheres. “It’s got your name on it.”

The group moved out of the way so that Percy and Harry could see what Will was referring to. “My name?” said Harry blankly.

S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.

Dark Lord

And (?) Harry-Potter

As his hand neared the glass sphere, Neville croaked, “I don’t think you should touch it!”

This earned him an exasperated look from Harry. “But it’s got my name on it.” Percy watched as the boy closed his fingers around it and pulled it off the shelf. He stiffened, waiting for the trip wire, explosion, or attack to come. But nothing happened. Will drew closer, his features indistinguishable.

“Percy, Harry. This is a prophecy.” He confirmed, earning him strange looks from the group.

“A prophecy? Like the ones Rachel gives?” The Son of Poseidon asked, looking closer at the white mist swirling around inside glass sphere.

Harry raised his eyes to meet the demigod’s. “Who’s Rachel?”

“Our Oracle at Camp-Half Blood.” Will explained. “She is a mortal girl who hosts the spirit of Delphi. When a prophecy is revealed, a quest is given. That’s how we came here...except..” He looked around at his friends. “It wasn’t the spirit that gave the prophecy. Rachel said she was hijacked.”

“Uh..guys?” The group’s attention was drawn to Nico, who was further down the row. “This one has our names on it.” They hurried over to see that he was correct, a glass orb similar to Harry’s had the following inscription:

R.E.D to C.H.B.

Percy Jackson

Annabeth Chase

Nico di Angelo

Will Solace

And Harry Potter

“Why do you guys all get prophecy snowglobes? I want one!” Leo complained.

Reyna smacked him across the head with the butt of her weapon, “You have your death ball to play with, Valdez. Don’t be greedy.”

“Super-sized McShizzle sees your logic, and concedes that his own ‘death ball’ is exceptionally more fun than your little snowglobe collection.” He said with an impish grin, and the corners of Percy’s lips twitched.

“Leo?” He said plainly.

“Yes?”

“Shut up.”

The Son of Hephaestus made a motion of zipping his lips together and throwing away the key before shooting him a wink. Percy turned his attention back to the sphere and reached up to grab it. No one protested this time as his fingers curled around it and brought it so it was level with Harry’s. They were almost identical, except for the mist inside. While the one with Harry’s name on it housed a cloud of white smoke, the demigods’ sphere had a mixture of colors, including an ocean blue, a sharp grey, a bright yellow, and an obsidian black. They danced around each other, entrancing the onlookers.

Percy almost dropped the sphere in surprise when a drawling voice behind them said, “Thank you for retrieving that for me, Mr. Potter. Now give it here.”

The group whirled around, wands up, only to find a dozen black shapes emerging out of thin air all around them, blocking their way left and right; eyes glinted through slits in hoods, a dozen lit wand tips were pointing directly at their hearts. Lucius Malfoy stepped forward with a palm outstretched, “Give it here, Potter.”

Harry had the sense to clutch the prophecy close to his chest, “Where’s Sirius?” He asked, and Percy was impressed when he didn’t hear a hint of fear in the boy’s voice.

The Death Eaters surrounding them laughed harshly. “Where’s Sirius?” A few of them mimicked, and Percy’s jaw tightened. “Give me the prophecy, and I will tell you…” Malfoy grit his teeth, and his eyes passed along each of the group’s faces. They widened in horror for a split second when they landed on Nico, but he quickly returned his attention to Potter.

Interesting.

“I want to know where Sirius is!”

“I want to know where Sirius is!” the woman to his left mimicked again. She and her fellow Death Eaters had closed in so that they were mere feet away from Percy and the others, the light from their wands reflected in his eyes.

Malfoy’s condescending smirk returned to his pale face. “Potter here has a great weakness for heroics; the Dark Lord understands this about him. Now give me the prophecy, Potter.”

“I know Sirius is here,” Harry panicked, his voice sounding constricted. “I know you’ve got him!”

Percy didn’t like the way the Death Eaters laughed, like they found this whole ordeal a great big joke. Malfoy confirmed his suspicions. “It’s time you learned the difference between life and dreams, Potter. Now give me the prophecy, or we start using our wands.”

The Son of Poseidon surveyed the enemies surrounding them. Twelve adult wizards with their wands to his friends’ chests. He chewed on the inside of his cheek, the greeks and romans had faced worse odds before, and he knew they could handle themselves in a fight. However, he wasn’t keen on putting the Hogwarts students in the middle of a duel with a bunch of trained Death Eaters.

When the annoying woman shrieked, “Accio Proph-” Will immediately brought up a powerful shield, keeping the glass sphere snug in Harry’s hand.

Harry nodded his thanks to the Son of Apollo. The woman didn’t seem too pleased at his actions, however. “Oh, they know how to play! Very well, then-”

As Percy deflected the attack easily, Malfoy roared, “I TOLD  YOU, NO BELLATRIX!” The woman winced and Percy felt Neville stiffen behind him. “If you smash it-!”

Nico growled, stepping forward so that he was in between Percy and Harry. “I would be very careful, if I were you, Lucius Malfoy.” This earned him a bewildered look from young witches and wizards around him. Even Percy questioned how Nico knew who Malfoy was. “If you attack again, Harry will destroy the prophecy without a second thought.” The Death Eaters around them cringed, and he continued. “Why don’t you tell us why your boss wants it so bad?”

Harry nodded, “Yeah, what kind of prophecy are we talking about anyway?”

Malfoy seemed genuinely interested in Harry’s words. “Dumbledore never told you that the reason you bear that scar was hidden in the bowels of the Department of Mysteries?”

Percy risked a glance at Harry’s face, which was completely blank in confusion. “I-what?”

The Death Eaters laughed maliciously again, and Percy’s patience was running out. He nudged forward, signaling an advance to the other demigods.


“The prophecy is about you, Potter!” Lucius spat, “You and the Dark Lord! Haven’t you ever wondered why he tried to kill you as a baby?”

Harry tensed beside him. “Someone made a prophecy about Voldemort and me? And he’s made me come and get it for him….? Why couldn’t he come and get it himself?”

“Get it himself?” shrieked Bellatrix on a cackle of mad laugher. “The Dark Lord, walk into the Ministry of Magic, when they are so sweetly ignoring his return? The Dark Lord, reveal himself to the Aurors, when at the moment they are wasting their time on my dear cousin?”

Any response by Harry was cut off by the explosions of four curses knocking out the closest Death Eaters. Barely two seconds later, six more hit their mark, and chaos ensued. The towering structures on either side of them swayed as a hundred glass spheres burst apart, pearly-white figures unfurled into the air and floated there, their voices echoing from who knew what long-dead past amid the torrent of crashing glass and splintered wood now raining down upon the floor.

Percy didn’t have to tell his companions what to do next as the glass spheres began toppling towards them. They rushed out in opposite directions, narrowly escaping being crushed by the falling shelves. The Death Eaters split up to attack, and Percy’s adrenaline roared in his ears. He couldn’t help the dangerous smile that crept across his face as he threw powerful curses in his opponent’s direction, enjoying the cracks and painful grunts that followed. Harry and Hermione fought by his side, throwing up well-placed shields and dueling expertly in their own right.

Ron, Ginny, and Neville backed up to Reyna and Leo, the latter of which was laughing like a madman, shooting balls of fire from one hand and strips of scarlet energy from his metallic wand. “Stupefy!” “Bombarda!” “Depulso!” The young witch and wizards shouted, their spells a great deal more powerful than they were used to with Reyna by their side. She refused to transform her weapon into a wand, preferring the feel of her enemy’s bone cracking underneath the pressure of the spear.

Jason, Will, and Nico fought alongside Luna Lovegood, who was a surprisingly accurate dueler compared her dreamy demeanor. The Son of Jupiter knocked out a Death Eater quickly while Will and Luna used a powerful binding spell to trap the other two that had teamed up against Nico. Jason couldn’t figure out why they had gone after the Son of Hades with fervor rather than attempt to take them on separately.

As the Death Eaters’ number dwindled, Percy, Harry, and Hermione reached the door they entered through at the same time as Reyna, Leo, and Jason. He thrust the door open and rushed through it, the blood pounding within his veins. “Where are the others?” Percy asked angrily, spinning around to see Lucius Malfoy advancing on the door, screaming obscenities in Harry’s direction.

Hermione shouted, “Colloportus!” and the door sealed itself with an odd squelching noise.

She bent down to catch her breath. “They must have gone the wrong way!"

Reyna growled, slamming the butt of her spear against the black marble. “They were right behind us. Where did they go!?”

Percy made an executive decision, “Right now, we need to get away from the door.” He was met with bewildered looks from Reyna and Jason. “We’ve trained them well enough that they can take care of themselves until we find them. But we’ve got to go, now!”

Harry nodded and led the others past the shimmering bell jar towards the exit. When they were thirty feet away, they heard a rough voice call out, “Alohomora!” and the door behind them burst open to reveal five more Death Eaters advancing quickly, casting out curses.

The demigods, Harry, and Hermione dove out of the way, landing behind various desks and bookcases. Soon the cluttered room was filled with green and red jets of energy as the two sides tried desperately to fend off the other. A white hot ball of anger wound itself up in Percy’s chest as he heard one of the Death Eaters yell, “Avada-” He roared and flung a Blasting spell straight towards the attacker’s heart, effectively cutting off the killing curse.

A series of grandfather clocks were thrown off balance by Hermione’s stunning spell, and they began crashing heavily to the ground towards the Death Eaters. Thankful for the distraction, Percy called out, “NOW!” and they rushed towards the door and burst into the circular room. The walls began their predicted shift, and the group struggled to keep a clear head while watching the flickering blue flames spin around them.

When the room finally came to a halt, a crash behind one of the doors sounded, and Harry sprinted towards it. “RON? GINNY? LUNA?”

Before he reached the handle a flurry of shadows whirled around them, planting themselves in front of every exit. All twelve Death Eaters that they had defeated were standing upright and looked maliciously healthy. “Wha-? How? We knocked them out!” Hermione cried, grabbing Harry’s arm and pulling him towards their tight circle.

Percy’s heart sunk, he knew exactly how they had been healed. “The shadows, Hermione.” He didn’t bother to look at the realization that dawned across her and Harry’s face. Jason and Reyna grunted their own understanding,  but before Leo could figure it out, Lucius Malfoy smirked and said, “The Dark Lord is more powerful than you could ever imagine. He is the one who healed us! There is no one stronger!”

The Son of Poseidon wanted to roll his eyes and tell the man that their master was just another puppet of a much greater enemy, but he didn’t waste his breath. He pointed his wand at Malfoy and sent out a Leg-Locking curse, but was surprised when an attack from his right collided with his shoulder. “Confringo!” “Depulso!” “Stupefy!” “Reducto!”

The spells were sent out with such power and fervor that the demigods, Harry, and Hermione barely had time to deflect them. Percy’s shoulder burst with searing pain, and as he reached for it, one of the curses hit Hermione directly in the chest and she crumpled to the floor. Harry screamed and moved to catch her. Jason was hit and flung across the room, colliding with the black stone wall. Reyna intercepted a Petrificus Totalus meant for Percy and fell to the ground, frozen in place.

Leo and Percy stood back to back, desperately flinging curses towards the remaining Death Eaters. Next to Hermione, Harry joined the fray and helped the demigods take out at least six of their enemies before Leo was hit was a Cruciatus curse.

The fire in his hand died as his screams filled the room. For a split second, Percy couldn’t think. He could only feel the agony and pain rip through one of his friends, and he saw red. He felt the pull in his stomach and matched Leo’s strangled pleas with his own fury, finding a grip on the water he knew was pumping through the bloodstreams of the six remaining Death Eaters.

The Son of Hephaestus grew quite and fell to the floor as the curse was broken. His enemies shrieked in confusion and then anguish as Percy tightened his grip. He wanted them to know what real torment felt like, wanted them to know that they can’t attack his friends without facing the consequences. The blood rushing in his ears was deafening, so he almost didn’t hear Harry screaming for him.

“Percy! PERCY! Stop! STOP!” His friend tackled him to the ground, and Percy was thrust out of the trance. He blinked and looked up at an extremely distressed Harry. “You...Annabeth said…” he shook his head as he gripped onto Percy’s robes. “I had to stop you, I’m sorry!”

The Son of Poseidon pushed off from the cold ground and brought Harry up with him. “It’s okay, Harry.” He tried to ignore the wave of power he felt over his enemies yet again, and moved to pick Jason up from the ground. “We need to get them somewhere else.”

Before Harry could wrap his head around what just happened, Will, Nico, and Neville crashed through the door looking utterly disheveled. The Son of Apollo’s golden hair was matted with blood, while Nico and the young wizard’s robes were covered in rips and tears. Neville had blood trailing from the corner of his mouth.

“Where have you been!?” Percy roared, grunting as he maneuvered his way into holding Jason up.

Will struggled to catch his breath. “More Death Eaters. They came out of nowhere!”

Harry brought an arm around Hermione and lifted her up as well. “We need to get them out of here!”

The three boys nodded their acknowledgement and moved to carry Leo and Reyna. Percy chose a door at random and found himself in the room with the stone archway. Harry gave a strangled cry behind him as they noticed a handful of new Death Eaters scattered across the stone benches, three of which had Ginny, Luna, and Ron trapped with wands at their throats.

Behind them, the twelve resurrected Death Eaters pushed their way into the room. The group was now surrounded, and Percy was cursing Erebus for healing their enemies so quickly. They were ushered towards the center, and moved to set their unconscious friends down gently on the stone benches. A flicker of relief passed through him as he saw Leo and Jason open their eyes, and Reyna twitch beneath her hidden restraints.

He was grateful to see Harry’s prophecy was still unbroken in his hand. Lucius Malfoy stepped forward and motioned towards his three captives. “Potter, your race is run. Now hand me the prophecy like a good boy…”

“Let-let the others go, and I’ll give it to you!” said Harry desperately.

A few of the Death Eaters laughed.

“You are not in a position to bargain, Potter,” said Lucius Malfoy, his pale face flushed with pleasure. He motioned towards the Death Eaters holding Ron, Ginny, and Luna. They all grinned maniacally and shouted “Crucio!” Percy and his friends shouted in desperate protests as the three captives screamed in agony, clutching their bodies to fight away the pain. Percy rushed forward until he was caught in the curse himself. Blinding anguish burned itself into his veins, and he couldn’t help but think that he deserved this torture for using his dark abilities on mortals.

Behind him, Harry pleaded for them to stop. Malfoy waved his hand lazily, and the screaming stopped. Percy dropped to his knees, his body utterly spent at enduring the Cruciatus Curse. Harry stumbled towards Percy’s attacker, his hand outstretched shakily…

“HARRY NO!” Jason called out behind him. Just then, the door burst open and members of the Order, including Sirius, Lupin, Moody, Tonks, and Kingsley and others, crashed into the room firing powerful spells at the Death Eaters. Chaos ensued, and Percy urged his body to roll out of the way. He joined the fray and destruction by aiming another Blasting Curse straight at Malfoy’s head. Explosions sounded around him, and he hurriedly avoided debris from the now crumbled stone benches. Jason, Tonks, and Leo were able to save the Weasley siblings and Luna from their attackers and knocked them out yet again.

Percy took a step back to observe the madness, and finally noticed the movement of shadows pouring in from the entryway. He called out to the other demigods and brought Riptide to the fight. They got the message and rushed towards the sinking darkness and attacked relentlessly. Erebus was trying to revive his puppets, and the demigods were the only ones who could hold him off. The black mass retreated slightly at the onslaught, but the tendrils slashed out, trying to catch one of it’s attackers off guard.

He had no idea how much time had passed, but he hoped that the Order and the young witches and wizards were handling their end of the fight alright. Sweat poured down Percy’s face, and his muscles ached with exhaustion as he sliced into the shadows and heard a satisfying hiss. He chanced a glance at his friends, and saw Reyna attacking with her spear, Jason striking with his double-edged sword, and Nico invading with his Stygian Iron blade. Will shot his exploding arrows at the black mass and Leo bombarded it with white-hot fireballs. Percy yelled in victory when the shadows curled up in defeat and slunk quickly from the room. Before he could celebrate, his heart shattered as Harry’s screams tore through the room.

“SIRIUS! SIRIUS!”

Percy twisted around at the despair choking his friend’s voice. He was standing in front of the veil, struggling against Lupin’s hold. “There’s nothing you can do, Harry-”

“NO! SIRIUS!” Harry’s protests were deafening, and Percy didn’t even feel himself sprint towards him. Nor did he notice Albus Dumbledore appearing in the doorframe.

Just as Harry escaped Lupin’s grip and began charging towards the veil, Percy tackled him to the ground. They crashed onto the cold stone together, both shouting.

“We have to save him! SIRIUS! SIRIUS!”

“He’s gone!” Percy tightened his hold around Harry against the ground, fighting every twist, every turn, and every push that the young wizard tried to maneuver out of his grasp. “There’s nothing you can do, Harry. He’s gone!”

The drums of war continued to echo around them, but Percy had stopped paying attention. Every ounce of his focus was devoted to keeping one of his best friends from following his godfather to the grave.


XX

Chapter Text

Order of the Olympians 

Chapter 27 

Percy yelled in victory when the shadows curled up in defeat and slunk quickly from the room. Before he could celebrate, his heart shattered as Harry’s screams tore through the room.

“SIRIUS! SIRIUS!”

Percy twisted around at the despair choking his friend’s voice. He was standing in front of the veil, struggling against Lupin’s hold. “There’s nothing you can do, Harry-”

“NO! SIRIUS!” Harry’s protests were deafening, and Percy didn’t even feel himself sprint towards him. Nor did he notice Albus Dumbledore appearing in the doorframe.

Just as Harry escaped Lupin’s grip and began charging towards the veil, Percy tackled him to the ground. They crashed onto the cold stone together, both shouting.

“We have to save him! SIRIUS! SIRIUS!”

“He’s gone!” Percy tightened his hold around Harry against the ground, fighting every twist, every turn, and every push that the young wizard tried to maneuver out of his grasp. “There’s nothing you can do, Harry. He’s gone!”

The drums of war continued to echo around them, but Percy had stopped paying attention. Every ounce of his focus was devoted to keeping one of his best friends from following his godfather to the grave.

XX

Mere seconds passed as Harry finally stopped fighting Percy’s hold, but to each of the two young warriors, seconds seemed to slip into hours. The Son of Poseidon watched as a flurry of emotions danced across his friends’ face as he came to grips with what just happened: Rage, understanding, overwhelming despair, then rage again. Percy pushed them both off of the uninviting stone floor and brought them towards one of the benches that had yet to be destroyed. He kept a strong hand wrapped around Harry’s shaking wrist, but glanced around at the waning battle in front of them.

The appearance of Dumbledore had apparently been the beginning of the end. He handled five Death Eaters on his own while the other members of the Order, along with the demigods and D.A. members, successfully disarmed and trapped those who remained. His eyes focused on a particular nasty duel near the entryway between Bellatrix and Mad-Eye-Moody. Each were flinging frantic curses at one another, and Percy winced at the uncontrollable shrieking of laughter that escaped the woman’s mouth. She was certifiable. Her last spell hit it’s mark, and Mad Eye was flung across the room, cracking his head against the furthest wall.

Harry must have sobered up enough to understand the witch’s next moves. The second Bellatrix moved towards the doorway to escape, The Boy Who Lived snatched his arm from Percy’s grip.

“Harry-no!” Percy cried, racing after his friend.

“SHE KILLED SIRIUS!” bellowed Harry. “SHE KILLED HIM-I’LL KILL HER!”

The young wizard tore through the room, leaping over the restrained bodies of the Death Eaters and pushing past anyone who got in his way. Percy called out to Will and Nico and they fell at Percy’s heels as they raced behind Harry into the circular room. Before they could reach the door that both their friend and his prey had disappeared behind, the walls fluttered to life and spun once again.

Nico growled in frustration as the room came to a halt, “Where’s the exit!?” The room seemed to have been waiting for them to ask. The door right behind the demigods flew open, and the corridor toward the elevator stretched in front of them. Percy didn’t have time to question the room having a mind of its own and sprinted down the corridor. His face paled as the elaborate elevator doors closed, the undeniable mask of hatred Harry wore disappearing behind them.

“ARGH!” Percy yelled, desperately slamming into the call button. “He’s an IDIOT if he thinks he can go up against a fully trained Death Eater!”

When the lift did not return to their floor immediately, he turned to Nico. “Get us up there!”

Before the Son of Hades complied, he hesitated. “Percy...if..if Erebus or Voldemort is up there waiting..”

“Then we all have jobs to do.” He responded with finality. He had no longer had any qualms about the heavy responsibility that lay before him. Harry had become one of his closest friends, and Percy loved him like a brother. If sacrificing himself for his friend would defeat Erebus and save Annabeth, then it was a small price to pay. Even if Nico and Will couldn’t come through and bring him back, Percy was at peace with his decision. “Just in case,” He added softly, “Tell Annabeth that I love her.”

The Son of Hades nodded, grabbed onto both of their shoulders and called upon the shadows. When they reappeared, they landed on the obsidian tile of the Ministry lobby, missing a Stunning spell sent out by Bellatrix by mere inches.

Harry was taking cover behind the statues in the fountain while the madwoman was flinging herself across the wall of fireplaces trying to get a good shot at him. Percy brought up a powerful shield when a jet of green light shot their way. His jaw tightened in fury. “Trying to use an Unforgivable Curse on us?”  He shouted before shooting forward a Blasting Spell, growling when she narrowly avoided it.

“Wittle Potty has friends, does he? Good! I’ll make him watch as I kill you all!” She laughed hysterically and fired one deadly curse after another. The three demigods split up, all responding to her attacks with their own. Percy inched his way towards Harry, determined not to let the boy get more than a foot from him again. “Stupefy!” Harry shouted and didn’t wait to see if the spell hit its mark before ducking low again.

Percy ignored the fight for a second and gripped Harry tight by the front of his robes, his anger evident enough for the young wizard to stop struggling. “Don’t you dare try and pull something like that again, got it? I will always have your back!” He shook his friend one more time for good measure before setting him down.

“I-I’m sorry. I just had to stop her, she-”

“Killed Sirius. I heard you. Next time just ask for backup! Now let’s antagonize the witch, shall we?” Their bright green eyes locked and Harry matched Percy’s smirk. “Still have that prophecy?”

Harry pulled it out of his robes and clutched it tight, “Right here.”

“Do you know why Voldemort wants it so bad?” Percy asked, dodging another one of Bellatrix’s curses.

The pair checked on the duel that was still being fought and watched as Will and Nico were back at each other’s side, using all of the weapons at their disposal. Instead of his wand, Will was shooting exploding arrows to draw the witch out from her hiding spots while The Son of Hades directed the assembling skeletons to attack. The look on Bellatrix’s face as she screamed was to die for.

Harry ducked back down and studied the glass orb that had caused him so much pain. Because of this prophecy, he lost both of his parents, and now his godfather too. “No. Nor do I care.”

Percy gave his friend a sly grin and stood up, “Then let’s put on a little show for our friend.” He helped Harry up and they joined Will and Nico once they had Bellatrix cornered. Her crazed black eyes lit up when she caught sight of the prophecy in Harry’s hand.

“GIVE IT TO ME, POTTER!” She shrieked. “THE DARK LORD WILL HAVE WHAT HE DESIRES!”

Harry raised a challenging eyebrow and turned towards the demigods. “What do you think, guys? Should I give this murderer what she wants?”

Will caught onto the game and pretended to think about it for a moment, the cocked arrow never moving a centimeter from her heart. “I don’t know, Harry. She’s kind of a lunatic. But, it seems like she’s calmed down a bit.”

Even Nico seemed to want to play. “Maybe, but with that dreadful fashion sense she can’t be expected the stay sane for long. Even looking at her for this long is making my brain go fuzzy.”

Percy laughed harshly, ignoring the venomous sneer from Bellatrix. “Good point, Nico.” He turned towards Harry. “I think that makes the vote unanimous then. Smash the damn thing to pieces.”

The woman’s shrieks of protest echoed off the walls as Harry’s eyes locked onto her face, relishing in every second of her reaction. The sphere hit the ground with force and the shards of glass sprayed around their feet. A misty white figure sprung from the debris, silently whispering murmurs of the destroyed prophecy.

Percy only had a second to enjoy their small victory before Harry was clutching onto his forehead and screaming in pain.

“No!” Bellatrix bellowed on her knees. “MASTER, I TRIED, I TRIED-DO NOT PUNISH ME-!”

The demigods whirled around, their veins on fire as the direction of her words sunk in. Percy wasn’t really sure what he had been expecting. Ever since he had arrived at Hogwarts, he had only heard stories of Voldemort. How the wizard had built an army to achieve his corrupted goals, how he embodied the very essence of Dark Magic. Whatever picture he had drawn up in his mind did not compare to the man standing before them.

Tall, thin, and black-hooded, his terrible snake like face white and gaunt, his scarlet, slit-pupiled eyes staring...Lord Voldemort had appeared in the middle of the hall. But, what was worse was the pulsing black mass swirling behind him. The heavy Darkness radiated hatred, power, and frenzied rage. The King of the Shadows backed the dark wizard, and threatened to consume those who stood in their way.

“Months of preparation, months of effort...and my Death Eaters have let Harry Potter thwart me again…” His soft delivery did not match the vehemence reflected in his eyes.

Bellatrix fell to her face behind them, “Master, I am sorry! They had me trapped!”

“Be quiet, Bella,” said Voldemort dangerously. “I shall deal with you in a moment.” He turned his attention onto Harry and the three demigods who were silently waiting to see if the dark wizard would make the first move.

The slimy grin that stretched across Voldemort’s pale face unsettled Percy. “I recognize you, Percy Jackson.” The Son of Poseidon fought off a grimace as his name escaped the mouth of the snake. “Though I do not understand why, I remember your greatest fear. Your greatest nightmare.”

He couldn’t help it this time, Percy flinched at the memory of his time under Erebus’ spell. It would make sense that Voldemort would have access to this, as the being who spoke it into being had latched itself onto the dark wizard.

But..Voldemort didn’t understand why.

He didn’t know.


Percy couldn’t help the sharp laugh that earned him nervous glares from his friends. “You wouldn’t. Understand it, that is.”

Voldemort’s scarlet eyes narrowed. “What do you mean by that, you useless child?”

“You wouldn’t understand how you know what my living nightmare is because you are nothing but a puppet!” He spat the words out with venom.

A jet of green light flew towards them, but Percy was ready with a powerful shield. At the force of the blow, it flickered, but stood strong. “I am nobody's puppet!”

Percy brought his free hand forward and capitalized on the familiar pull in his stomach, calling to his element resting in the nearby fountain. A rumble shook the room, and a wave of water enveloped itself around the dark wizard. He dropped his shield, pushed Harry toppling towards Nico, and dove out of the way as a hissing fire whip broke free of it’s watery prison and flung itself towards Percy.

He seized the mountain of water around him and created six fluid tentacles, each thrashing out in either attack or defense as Voldemort turned to give him all of his attention. “What kind of magic is this!?” He howled. A flash of green shattered two of Percy’s extensions.

“You could never understand. Your master only lets you see what he wants you to see!” The Son of Poseidon answered, whipping out a jet of water towards his enemy. Voldemort deflected it easily and continued to bombard Percy with powerful spells. After several minutes of the back and forth, Percy was running out of energy to keep up.

“I have no master! I am the greatest wizard this world has ever known!” The snake bellowed, pouring his hatred of Percy’s comments into his attacks.

Just as he was about to drop the column of water and summon his wand, three jets of red energy entered the fray, deflecting Voldemort’s latest curse. The snake turned towards the onslaught and backed up to the fountain. Harry caught Percy as he let go of his element and sagged slightly. Will and Nico stood protectively to his left, wands continuing to fire offensive spells. The Son of Poseidon shook off his exhaustion and pushed off from Harry’s support with a grateful nod.

The shadow circling around the dark wizard suddenly flared upwards, radiating pure energy, causing the demigods to stumble slightly. “You have fought well, brave demigods.” The hiss boomed, sending tremors along the obsidian tile beneath their feet. The shadows curled along a frozen Voldemort’s feet, and seemed to be address The Son of Hades. “How does it feel, Mr. di Angelo, to duel against your own flesh and blood?”

Nico didn’t so much as blink. “That thing is nothing to me!”

Earth-shattering laughter filled every breathable air pocket. “Does the fact that I’m using the only person alive that shares your DNA to destroy the wizarding world upset you? Family can be such-”

“HE IS NOT MY FAMILY!” The Son of Hades bellowed. Percy was completely and utterly confused, and he looked to his friends for understanding. Harry was deathly pale, but Will just sported a frown of discontentment. “MY FAMILY IS RIGHT HERE!” Nico gestured towards the friends next to him. His wand stretched into his Stygian Iron sword and he pointed it towards Erebus. “Voldemort is nothing but an abomination. We will destroy your hold on him, and then tear both of you to shreds.”

The Darkness shook with laughter again, but retreated far enough into the pulsating shadows to reveal the dark wizard once again. Voldemort shook with fury, his scarlet slits narrowed in concentration. He raised his wand towards the foursome, and Percy’s heart went rigid as he inherently knew that this curse would not, or could not, be deflected.

This curse would be coming straight from the heart of Darkness, and none of them would have the power to stop it. The snake shouted in uncontrollable fury, “AVADA KEDAVRA!”

As the words escaped Voldemort’s lips, Percy was moving. The sounds of the world around him came to a standstill, and a deafening ringing was all he could hear as he flung himself in front of Harry. He crashed into the boy he considered close enough to be his brother, completely smothering the young wizard’s body with his own, and waited for the crash of Darkness to overwhelm him.

But it never came.

XX

Nico di Angelo braced himself for the undeniable Killing Curse to come the moment Voldemort raised his wand. His breath hitched as the image of Percy’s lifeless body flashed within the confines of his mind, and he fought hard to focus on the steps he could take to bring back his friend.These thoughts brushed by in no more than two seconds, the time it took for his eyes to lock onto the dark wizard’s, and realize with a jolt that Voldemort’s wand wasn’t pointed at the Boy Who Lived.

A flash of green light rocketed towards him, and Nico didn’t have time to register the flurry of gold that suddenly impeded his view. He shook violently, blinking open his fathomless dark brown eyes to reveal a cackling Voldemort. Before he could understand why the dark wizard’s killing curse didn’t do him in, he brought his gaze down, and what he saw made every muscle in his body constrict.

Will Solace lay motionless on the cold black tiles, his brilliant blue eyes no longer reflecting the playful nature of the Son of Apollo. The laughter crinkles that normally donned his handsome features were twisted in determination, now frozen in time. Nico’s brain couldn’t grasp the sight of his boyfriend lying lifeless at his feet. His body, however, understood the nightmare before him.

Nico dropped helplessly to his knees, ignoring the sharp jolt of pain that shot through his system when they collided with the floor. His blood ran cold, sending every inch of his body into an agonizing vibration. Nico’s vision blurred as hot tears pushed their way to the surface, and he wrenched his eyes towards the maniacal dark wizard standing before him.

“Why?” His small voice sounded utterly broken as it escaped his lips, but he paid it no mind.

The scarlet slit-pupiled eyes narrowed and his gaunt face constricted, “Why? I can’t begin to fathom why this boy stopped me from killing you.” Voldemort’s scowl deepened, and his voice boomed. “But I ALONE shall possess the blood of Salazar Slytherin. That right belongs to me, and me ALONE!”

An unparamounted wrath buffeted Nico’s soul. Never before had he felt such utter rage, such incredible hatred, and such agonizing misery. The screams that fell out of his mouth echoed against the surrounding walls, and soon the entire lobby was crumbling. A large crack snaked its way along the black tile, separating Harry and the demigods from Voldemort and the primordial deity pulsing behind him.  Hundreds of skeleton hands arose from the now widening abyss, pushing the mass of long-dead warriors towards the surface. Without prompting, the warriors of the Underworld hurtled themselves at the dark wizard, who’s eyes flickered in unbelieving fear.

Voldemort shot forward powerful curses towards his new unnatural enemy, but soon a formidable opponent made himself known. Dumbledore joined the army of the dead in their assault on the Dark Lord, firing off impressive spells, and soon the two were thrown into a mighty duel, with Voldemort continuing to fend off the swarms of decaying skeletons.

Nico was deaf to the battle that had ensued, focusing instead on Will’s handsome face cradled in his arms. The streams of free-flowing tears fell around them, and his grief kept him unaware of Percy’s cries. The Son of Poseidon’s hands gripped his shoulders, and Nico was snapped out from his haze of misery. The bright seaweed green eyes that he once dreamed about locked onto his own, and suddenly his ears started working again. He was bombarded by the sounds of war and his name being called.

“Nico!” When Percy and Harry saw the sound register in Nico’s eyes, they audibly sighed in relief. “Listen to me, we can bring him back. We can bring him back!”

Nico heaved in a deep breath of understanding, and nodded towards his friend. Percy moved towards Will, and the Son of Hades stiffened considerably. His friend held up both hands, showing him that he was reaching for the pulsing Time-Turner wrapped around Will’s neck. It shuddered in his hand, and Percy’s eyes found Nico’s again. “Are you ready for this? You won’t have a lot of time.”

The look on Nico’s face grew cold again, and Percy nodded, holding up the Time-Turner. “Harry, I’m sorry, but you won’t remember this.” He explained, keeping his grip tight on Nico and twisting the golden hourglass backwards three times, as instructed by Chronos.

Hurried, bright flashes of light snapped around them, and it took a lot of concentration for Nico not to vomit once he was deposited on the black tiles of the Ministry lobby. Within seconds, Harry was pushed towards him, and Nico blinked at the as he struggled to figure out what was happening. Percy was controlling the wave of water from the fountain and brought it crashing down on Voldemort. Those seaweed green eyes found his and he shouted, “GO!” before a burning whip of fire escaped from the watery prison.

Nico turned and stopped dead in his tracks as he watched Will, alive and well, ushering Harry away from the fight ensuing. The Son of Apollo gave him a strange look with furrowed brows, “What are you waiting for?” The utter joy that flushed through Nico’s veins was replaced by the primal need to save his boyfriend, and the Son of Hades concentrated hard, using a mixture of Apparition and Shadow-Travel to bring him to his desired destination.

His feet landed on the familiar plush rug, and a surprised gasp brought his attention forward. Professor Dolores Umbridge was half-out of her desk chair, confusion and anger evident across her face. “Mr. di Angelo! Where in Merlin’s name did you and your band of blood traitors and detestable students run off to!? And how did you get into my office!?”

But Nico wasn’t listening. He whispered “nostos” and his wand extended into his Stygian Iron Blade. Umbridge’s face twisted in horror as she raised her own wand. “What do you think you are doing!?” He didn’t answer, and instead began to advance on his prey. Before he took his second step, however, a disconcerning thought made him freeze in place.

She was mortal.

His blade would pass right through her.

He couldn’t save Will.

Disbelief shuddered through his veins as he stared at the horrible excuse for a woman. How could they have overlooked such an important detail? They had been so wrapped up with everything else going on, they failed to remember that Umbridge wasn’t truly a monster from their world. A monster-yes, but a mortal one.

Nico blinked in disbelief as he realized that he wouldn’t be able to bring back his boyfriend. A soul for a soul. Her wretched, blackened soul for Will’s pure, unblemished one. She deserved to die. She deserved  to feel the wrath of his father.

So he prayed. He cried out to Hades, every fiber of his being pleading to his father to give him the tools to bring Will back. During his realization, Professor Umbridge had fired from her wand, but all curses and spells were deflected by Nico absentmindedly. He advanced forward, his thoughts never leaving Hades, until he had successfully disarmed the horrible woman. She was now cowering in the corner, and Nico didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do next.

“You called?” A deep voice boomed behind him, and Nico twisted around to see the Lord of the Underworld standing in his sharp pin-striped suit, looking as disheveled as Nico had ever seen him. The dark circles under the god’s eyes were now prominent, and his pale face was stricken white from obvious exhaustion.

“I-” Nico started, his voice cracking without his permission.

“I know.” The simple statement was all that came out of Hades’ mouth, and he silently approached his son and the High Inquisitor.

“What is the meaning of this!?” Umbridge shrieked, attempting to push up from her cowardly position, but with a flick of the god’s hand, she crashed right back down.

Hades gestured towards the blade resting in Nico’s grip, and for a moment their eyes locked. Nico could see the understanding in his Father’s eyes, as well as a silent promise that he would ensure that Will would survive this day. A perfectly manicured, but wrinkled hand touched the tip of Nico’s sword, and it suddenly vibrated with power.

“A soul for a soul.” Hades spoke clearly, encouraging his son to do what must be done.

Resolution reverberated within Nico’s being, and he didn’t even hesitate as he twisted around, driving his Stygian Iron Blade through Dolores Umbridge’s heart. A permanent look of hatred and disbelief settled on his old Professor’s face, and he was surprised when he didn’t feel so much as a twinge of guilt. A quick pulse of white light brightened the room before it returned to normal, and Nico pulled his blade from the woman’s chest. It now radiated a different type of energy, one that Nico knew came from holding a soul.

“I will take care of things here. Go, my son.” Hades said darkly. Nico turned towards his father, thanking him with a simple nod before pulling the shadows and magic around him one more time.

XX

Will Solace gripped tightly to Harry’s arm as they watched Percy battle the greatest dark wizard of all time. His bright blue eyes soared around the dark Ministry lobby, desperately searching for his boyfriend, who had disappeared a few minutes ago. “We have to help him!” Harry shouted, and Will agreed. Right before they fired off their spells, the shadows deposited Nico di Angelo by his side.

He could tell that something was off immediately. The features across his handsome face seemed to have aged considerably, and he clung tightly to his blade, which now seemed to have a strange power radiating from it. Before he could question his whereabouts, Nico quickly pulled him in for a kiss. They had certainly kissed before, but the Son of Hades took his breath away with this one. It was like his boyfriend was pouring every ounce of emotion he was feeling into it, and Will’s heart shattered at what he felt. What could have happened to make his misery so much more prominent?

Nico then released him and changed the blade to his wand, following Harry’s direction and assisting Percy in his fight. They managed to push Voldemort back against the fountain where they had the advantage before Erebus finally made his debut. The unadulterated power that broadcasted itself onto the foursome made his knees weak, and he struggled to stay standing. The monster in question revealed the relation between Nico and Voldemort, which made his heart constrict.

“MY FAMILY IS RIGHT HERE!” Nico gestured towards the friends next to him, which filled Will with such pride for his boyfriend. His wand stretched into the Stygian Iron sword and he pointed it towards Erebus. “Voldemort is nothing but an abomination. We will destroy your hold on him, and then tear both of you to shreds.”

As the primordial diety’s laugh echoed off the black walls, Will’s hand flew towards his neck to ensure that the Time-Turner was ready to use, as he knew the next curse could not be stopped. His breath hitched as he realized the object was absent from it’s resting place, but he didn’t have time to question what happened to it.

Voldemort’s scarlet slits focused on Nico, and Will instinctively knew that Erebus had allowed the snake to hear their conversation. The dark wizard might want Harry Potter dead, but he desired to hold onto his power above all else. Someone else sharing the blood of Salazar Slytherin was the biggest threat to that power. As Voldemort uttered the words to the Killing Curse, Will didn’t think twice about his movements.

Will Solace loved Nico di Angelo more than anything, including his own life. His heart wouldn’t-couldn’t handle the idea of Nico simply not existing anymore. Without another thought, he leaped in front of his boyfriend, ready to catch the jet of green light headed his way, and for the Darkness to overcome him.

But it never came.

XX

Even though Percy knew the Killing Curse wasn’t coming towards Harry, he still put himself in front of the Boy Who Lived. If anything, to shield him from what was about to happen.

He watched as Nico twisted his blade directly in front of a sacrificing Will, intercepting the flash of green. A single pulse of pure white energy escaped the collision, throwing everyone backwards twenty feet. Percy groaned at the impact, but suddenly screamed in unbelievable pain as the Time-Turner slung around his neck burned with pure energy. Percy heaved it off of him, and not-so-gracefully threw it onto the black tile, watching it shatter into a hundred pieces. A booming laughter shook the earth around them, and he clung to Harry’s arm next to Nico and a living, breathing, Will Solace.

Shadows had once again engulfed Voldemort. Erebus pulsated with fury and confusion as the white-hot energy from the Time-Turner and the swirling intensity that came from Nico’s sword twisted around a lone figure who had appeared in the center of the room.

The familiar kaleidoscope eyes crinkled in laughter as he absorbed the magic dancing around him. Chronos seemed to quiver as the newfound energy worked its way into his system, and he smiled as if welcoming an old friend. The room, however, was not as sturdy as Father Time. The statues frozen in the Fountain shattered from the pressure coming off of the man, and cracks began snaking their way down the surrounding walls.

The primordial deity turned towards Harry and the demigods. After a moment of fascination, he bowed towards the foursome, who were too utterly shocked to respond in any fashion.

“Thank you, Percy Jackson, Nico di Angelo, Will Solace, and Harry Potter. Thank you for the sacrifices and sufferings you undertook to assist me in defeating the Dark Prince. Please give Miss Chase my humble gratitude as well.” The voice that escaped Chronos’ mouth was full of hope, joy, and confidence.

An uncontrolled rage ripped across the hall, “YOU WILL DEFEAT NO ONE!” The Darkness pulsated from his place in front of the fountain, growing larger and stronger by every passing moment. It seemed to constrict for a second before springing to life towards the glowing white Chronos. Every inch of the Ministry lobby was being devoured by shadows, and they quickly overtook the elder primordial deity.

Percy grabbed hold of his friends, holding his breath as the darkness flung itself towards them. It didn’t work. It didn’t work. We lost, Percy closed his eyes in defeat, thankful that he would at least die with his friends by his side.

Right before it reached the foursome, a bright light shattered through the shadows, dissolving every ounce of Darkness that it came into contact with. A horrid screech echoed around them as the light began to overtake it’s enemy, thrusting it deeper and deeper into the broken black tile until they were left only with a glowing Chronos with a pleased little smile resting on his ancient face and a frozen Voldemort lying in front of the golden fountain.

The kaleidoscope eyes turned towards Harry and the demigods once more and winked before dissolving in a brilliant display of bright colors.

XX

Percy blinked a few times to bring his surroundings into focus. After a quick glance around he confirmed that yes, they were still in the Ministry of Magic and yes, Harry, Nico, and Will were still by his side. His eyes widened as he watched a figure in the distance twitch to life.

Voldemort was now on his feet, his scarlet slit-pupils narrowed as he raised his wand towards the foursome. Percy flinched, the snake might not have the full power of Darkness behind him anymore, but he was still an incredibly powerful wizard that was greatly feared in the wizarding world. Before he could take another step in their direction, a great commotion of people ranging from members of the Order of the Phoenix, the Hogwarts students, the demigods, and even a flurry of members of the Ministry of Magic, appeared in the room.

At the sight of the dark wizard, everyone froze in their advancements. Voldemort sneered at the newcomers before casting a venomous glare towards the foursome, grabbing hold of Bellatrix, and apparating from where he stood. All at once shouts and screams of the ‘Dark Lord’s return’ could be heard. Roaring green flames sprang to life as swarms of people entered the Atrium through floo powder.

Percy was brought to his feet with the help of Jason, who smothered him with a tight hug followed by Reyna, Leo, Hermione, and Ron. His friends did the same to Nico and Will, and Harry was bombarded by the young witches and wizards.

“I saw him, Mr. Fudge, I swear, it was You-Know-Who!”

“I know, Williamson, I know, I saw him too!” gibbered Fudge, who was wearing pajamas under his pinstripe cloak and was gasping as though he had just run miles. “Merlin’s beard-here-here!-in the Ministry of Magic!-great heavens above-it doesn’t seem possible-my word-how can this be?”

“If you proceed downstairs into the Department of Mysteries, Cornelius,” said Dumbledore, walking forward so that the newcomers realized he was there for the first time, “you will find several escaped Death Eaters contained in the Death Chamber, bound by an Anti-Disapparition Jinx and awaiting your decision as to what to do with them.”

‘Dumbledore!’ gasped Fudge, apparently beside himself with amazement. “You-here-I-I-” He looked wildly around at the Aurors he had brought with him, and it could not have been clearer that he was in half a mind to cry, “Seize him!”

“Cornelius, I am ready to fight your men-and win again!” said Dumbledore in a thunderous voice. “But a few minutes ago you saw proof, with your own eyes, that I have been telling you the truth for a year. Lord Voldemort has returned, you have been chasing the wrong men for twelve month, and it is time you listened to sense!”

Percy had to agree with the powerful wizard in front of him. These people really needed to just accept what they had seen.

“I-don’t-well-” blustered Fudge, looking around as though hoping somebody was going to tell him what to do. When nobody did, he said, “Very well-Dawlish! Williamson! Go down to the Department of Mysteries and see...Dumbledore, you-you will need to tell me exactly-the Fountain of Magic Brethren-what happened?” he added in a kind of whimper, string around at the floor, where the remains of the statues from the Fountain now lay scattered.

“We can discuss that after I have sent these young witches and wizards back to Hogwarts.” said Dumbledore. “I will be returning to my position as Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as I can imagine that post is no longer occupied by your High Inquisitor,” he said, shooting a wink in Nico di Angelo’s direction, “you will tell your Aurors to stop searching for my Care of Magical Creatures teacher so that he can return to work. I will give you…” Dumbledore pulled a watch from  his pocket and glanced at it, “half an hour of my time tonight, in which I think we shall be more than able to cover the important points of what has happened here.”

The elder wizard brought out a Portkey from the pockets of his robes and motioned for all of his students and demigods to latch on. They complied, and his eyes twinkled as he made eye contact with everyone around him. “One...two...three…

Percy experienced a sensation of his insides being thrust outwards as a whirlwind of colors enveloped him and his friends as they were removed from the Ministry of Magic and deposited on the floor of the Headmaster’s office.

XX

Percy’s knees buckled when he hit solid ground again, and it took all of his control not to collapse in the middle of Dumbledore’s floor. A fresh ray of sunlight filtered through the Headmaster’s window, and Percy had only a few seconds of breathing in their accomplishment before he was bombarded with a spell of blonde curls and a familiar scent of vanilla.

The Son of Poseidon choked out an incomprehensible greeting, he couldn’t help it, he was completely overcome with emotion at having Annabeth in his arms again. Percy ran his hands along her face, arms, and waist before he was satisfied that his Wise Girl was indeed in front of him before planting kisses wherever he possibly could. Her sweet, life-giving laugh sounded and she pulled away from him before crashing her lips against his. He inhaled every part of her that he could, and thanked the gods, Chronos, and Dumbledore that she was alright.

A cough sounded behind them, and while he was perfectly fine with ignoring it, Annabeth reluctantly broke their contact and turned to find everyone staring at them. She didn’t look the least bit embarrassed though, and instead moved to hug Piper (who he just now noticed was in the room as well) Reyna, Jason, and Leo before moving on to embrace each member of the Golden Trio.

The second his girlfriend had let go of Harry, he brought her back into his arms and snaked an arm around her waist. The determined look on his face and the power radiating from him sent a clear message: If anyone wanted to separate them again, they would have to face his wrath.

Percy locked eyes with Dumbledore, who was smiling fondly at them. He moved to sit down in the chair behind the mahogany desk and waited for the group of students to quiet down. “Miss Granger, can you and Mr. Weasley escort Mr. Longbottom, Miss Weasley, and Miss Lovegood down to the infirmary?” The young witches and wizards began to protest before Dumbledore held up a firm hand gave them no room to argue.

That left a very guilty looking Harry with the demigods.

Percy clapped his free hand on his friend’s shoulder, and kept it there even though the young wizard tried to shrug him off. “You probably have a lot of questions about what happened tonight, Harry.”

The familiar bright green eyes matched his, and he scoffed. “That would be the understatement of the year, Percy.”

The Son of Poseidon sighed and looked towards the older wizard. “You know that Voldemort was backed by Erebus, correct?”

Harry nodded slowly, waiting for Percy to continue. “We’ve been working with Chronos, the one you saw take in all of that energy, to defeat Erebus. He was the only one who could get the job done.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” he asked, sounding more than a little hurt.

Percy absentmindedly rubbed Annabeth back, letting the feel of her soothe him. “The plan was...complicated. It would have been too much for you to handle, and we needed to make sure that you were safe. I’m sorry.”

The young wizard nodded before closing his eyes. Percy’s heart dropped when he remembered all that Harry had lost tonight.

“I know what you are feeling, Harry,” said Dumbledore very quietly.

His bright green eyes snapped open. “No, you don’t,” said Harry, and his voice was suddenly loud and strong.

Percy cocked his head, wondering about the sudden flash of anger that overwhelmed his friend.

“There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry. “On the contrary...the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.”

“My greatest strength, is it?” said Harry, his voice shaking, no longer looking at Dumbledore. “You haven’t got a clue...You don’t know…”

Percy immediately understood the tremble in his voice and recognized that his friend was about to go off the handle. Apparently Annabeth understood that too, because they were both in front of him in a flash.

“Harry.” He said quietly, prompting the young wizard to look at him. Will and Nico were standing close as well, knowing that what he needed was support from them. The other demigods stood off to the side to give the friends much needed space.

Annabeth took his hand in hers. “Harry, it’s not your fault. It’s not.” He tried to pull away from them, but the two demigods held on. “It’s not your fault, and it’s okay to feel this way. This is what makes us human. “

He was suddenly very angry again, ready to shout and scream and tell the world that  he didn’t want any of it, that he just wanted it to end if he was going to keep losing people that he loved, but Percy wasn’t having any of it. The Son of Poseidon wrapped his arms around Harry and held on for dear life as Harry thrashed around. Soon he was joined by Annabeth, then Will and Nico. The demigods kept the Boy Who Lived within their grasp until all he could do was cry. The tears flowed freely, and Percy held on tighter with every heave and hiccup that followed.

After a few minutes of letting himself feel the pain of yet another loss, Harry seemed to quiet down and slowly the demigods released him. Percy and Annabeth kept a hand on him, letting him know that they weren’t going anywhere.

“Harry, I owe you an explanation,” said Dumbledore, and Percy couldn't agree more. “An explanation of an old man’s mistakes. For I see now that what I have done, and not done, with regard to you, bears all the hallmarks of the failings of age. Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young…”

He sighed and pushed off from his chair, making his way towards the window where the sun was now rising in the sky. “I began to suspect a connection between Lord Voldemort and yourself the night I found you in your crib in Godric’s Hollow. After you witnessed the attack on Mr. Weasley, my suspicions were confirmed: That you had access to his mind.”

“This is why I had Professor Snape teach you Occlumency. I believed it could not be long before Voldemort attempted to force his way into your mind, to manipulate and misdirect your thoughts, and I was not eager to give him more incentives to do so. I feared the uses to which he would put you, the possibility that Voldemort might try and possess you. Harry, I believe I was right to think that Voldemort would have made use of you in such a way. On those rare occasions when we had close contact, I thought I saw a shadow of him stir behind your eyes...I was trying, in distancing myself from you, to protect you. An old man’s mistake…”

“It is time,” he said, “for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry.”

Harry moved to sit down in the chair opposite Dumbledore, and the four demigods moved protectively around him.

“You need to know why Voldemort sought after the prophecy so desperately. Why he went after you in Godric’s Hollow in the first place. Why..why you have put in his path every year since you have arrived at Hogwarts.”

I know you have long been ready for the knowledge I have kept from you for so long, because you have proved that I should have placed the burden upon you before this. My only defense is this: I have watched you struggling under more burdens than any student who has ever passed through this school, and I could not bring myself to add another-the greatest one of all.”

The son of Hecate took a deep breath before continuing. “Voldemort tried to kill you when you were a child because of a prophecy made shortly before your birth. He knew the prophecy had been made, though he did not know its full contents. He set out to kill you when you were still a baby, believing he was destroying the chances of you one day fulfilling the terms of the prophecy. He discovered, to his cost, that he was mistaken, when the curse intended to kill you backfired. And so, since the return to his body, thanks to Erebus, he has been determined to hear that prophecy in its entirety. This is the weapon he has been seeking so assiduously since his return: the knowledge of how to destroy you.”

“I understand that the prophecy is smashed.” Percy and Harry nodded together. “This was only a recording. I was the one Professor Trelawney recited it to. It reads…”


“The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches

born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies

and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal,

but he will have the power the Dark Lord knows not

and either must die at the hand of the other

for neither can live while the other survives

the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…”

After a few moments of silence, Harry asked, “But...but that could have been anyone. Right?” His voice cracking slightly.

Annabeth hummed her disagreement, drawing everyone’s attention. Her brow was furrowed in concentration. “Voldemort came after you, Harry. He gave you your scar...effectively fulfilling the prophecy. It might not have always referred to you, but by Voldemort trying to prevent it, he set the whole thing in motion. It’s what made you the Chosen One of our prophecy.”

Percy brought out his own glass sphere, and examined the mixture of colors swirling together inside. Reyna, Jason, and Leo all took a step forward to see it for themselves. He looked up at Dumbledore, “How do I get it to reveal the prophecy to us?”

The corner of the old wizard’s mouth twitched. “Why, you simply ask for it, Mr. Jackson.”

Percy only shot an eyebrow upwards in reply before stretching his hand outward. “Show us the prophecy.” A great burst of light filled the room, illuminating every shiny object in sight and bringing soft twinkles around them. The mix of colors morphed together revealing a familiar scene. Rachel Elizabeth Dare stood in front of Camp Half Blood, her eyes giving off a milky white reflection.

“Is that your Oracle?” Harry asked, and Annabeth nodded her confirmation.

Chills fired throughout his veins as he watched Rachel give off the prophecy that brought him and his friends here.

“Poseidon’s Prize shall lead the Charge

To Protect the Chosen One from the devil at Large

The Darkness shall fall by the Rising Sun

While Wisdom’s daughter come Undone

The Inquisitor’s soul the Iron Blade shall reap

Lest the Ghost King’s Revenge runs deep”

As the smoke dissipated, they were left with a waft of a dying campfire, reminding Percy of home. Nobody spoke for a few minutes, taking in the information that Dumbledore had presented and the consequences of the two prophecies.

“What was the end of mine?” Harry asked. “Neither can live…”

“...while the other survives.” Annabeth finished

Percy cringed as Harry began putting everything together. “So...so does that mean that...that one of us has got to kill the other one..in the end?”

The room seemed to hold its breath while waiting for Dumbledore’s reply. “Yes.”

A silver tear escaped the old wizard’s twinkling eye, and he sighed deeply. “I cannot thank you all enough for what you have done for young Harry here, for our school, and for me. Because of your valiant efforts, we at least have a chance. The wizarding world now knows that Voldemort has returned, and every witch and wizard will be divided. There will still be betrayal, heartbreak, and bloodshed, but now we will not be fighting the personification of darkness, merely a powerful wizard who wishes to put the world under his thumb.” A weary smile danced across his face. “I believe my mother wishes to speak with you as well.”

The hand on Harry’s shoulder stiffened, and he looked at the Son of Poseidon in confusion. Before Percy could explain, a cloud of smoke morphed itself into the goddess, newly refreshed and giving the demigods her usual condescending smirk. “My dears, it looks like you have been busy.”

Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled at the sight of the goddess. “Harry, this is the Goddess of Magic, Lady Hecate.” The young wizard’s eyes widened, and he sprung from his chair, looking between Percy and Annabeth for confirmation.

The Son of Poseidon resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the goddess. “He’s right. She’s the one who sent us here.”

“Er..it’s er..nice to meet you?” Harry said with little confidence. Percy couldn’t blame the guy, he wasn’t sure how to act when he talked to his first immortal being either.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Harry Potter. I see great things in your future.” Her wicked smile unsettled Percy, but he pushed it away and coughed, trying to draw her attention away from his friend.

Hecate gave out a short laugh, “Ah, Mr. Jackson. I’m so glad to see that you fulfilled your destiny and saved our little piece of paradise..yet again. I guess that means you’ll be expecting some kind of reward?”

Percy shook his head quickly, the last time the gods offered him a reward he had to turn down immortality. The goddess pursed her lips, “No? Well then, the least I can do is return you back to your normal selves.” With a flick of her wrist, a dark mist enveloped Percy and Annabeth. When it melted away, he was at his full height with all of his muscle definition back. He smiled at Annabeth, who was still shorter than him, but looked much more like the woman that he was used to.

He nodded his thanks to the goddess before sending his demigod friends a wink. Hecate followed his gaze and seemed to just now realize that they were there. “Ah, and for the four young warriors that fought bravely alongside my heroes, a special thanks. I will return each of you to your homes.”

Reyna bowed slightly to the goddess before moving to give Nico a hug, who didn’t even flinch at the contact. She moved on to Will, Percy, and Annabeth to do the same. Jason and Leo shook everyone’s hands, and Piper held Annabeth a bit tighter than normal, obviously happy to see her best friend well again.

Percy’s heart sank an inch when he watched Hecate send them all away with a flick of his wrist, but he knew he would be joining them soon. She turned towards the remaining demigods, “I assume you would like a bit more time, yes?”

All of them agreed unanimously, they weren’t quite ready to leave Hogwarts behind. She bade her son goodbye before shooting a wink in Percy’s direction. When she was gone, Dumbledore turned towards the five students in front of him. “Harry, I am so sorry that you have to endure the suffering of things that are not your doing. You are so young, and I wish you did not bear the responsibility that has been laid upon you.”

Harry dropped his head before looking at his friends. “Let’s go see how the others are doing.” They nodded and followed the Boy Who Lived out of the Headmaster’s office.

XX

Percy, Annabeth, Will, and Nico had accompanied the Golden Trio to the train station in Hogsmeade. After their discussion with Professor Dumbledore, the group had gone to check in on Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, and Luna. A few broken ribs, a shattered ankle, and a bloody nose was fixed up rather quickly thanks to Madam Pomfrey. Harry wasn’t quite ready to tell them what the prophecy meant, so they kept quiet about that.

The final Feast in the Great Hall was bittersweet, but they were all able to spend some quality time with their friends before they departed. Ernie and Hannah promised to write to Will at Camp Half-Blood, and Blaise had offered to let Nico know if the Slytherins were planning anything horrible against the Golden Trio in retaliation for the events at the Ministry. Harry, Ron, and Hermione tried to soak in the time they had left with Percy and Annabeth, as the five had grown extremely close over the year.

Once they had finished their food, Percy had asked Harry to go on a walk with him. The young wizard followed him out to the Black Lake, and they both chose to ignore the hushed comments from passerby’s regarding the return of You-Know-Who, the reinstatement of Dumbledore, and even the sudden growth spurt of the two Gryffindor exchange students.

As they sat down on the rickety platform, they were quiet for while. The sun touched the tip of the lake, breaking forth a new stream of colors before them. “Everything is going to change now, isn’t it?”

The corners of Percy’s mouth tugged upwards, “Yeah, but change can be good. Everyone knows now, so they can’t accuse you of lying anymore.”

Harry sighed, “I guess. But...but now I don’t have anybody. Sirius was the closest thing I had to..to real family.”

“Harry.” Percy said, drawing the young bright green eyes to his own. “Sirius might be gone, but you will never be alone. You have Ron and Hermione, who will always be there for you. You have people who love you unconditionally, never forget that. And,” He said, giving his friend a light punch on the arm, “you’ll always have me, Annabeth, Nico, and Will. You still have that coin we gave you?”

Harry smiled, the sunset reflecting in his eyes, and pulled out the Golden Drachma. “You call me if you need anything, okay? I know you have a lot to prepare yourself for, just don’t forget what we taught you, and continue working hard. Make the people around you stronger, and for the love of Poseidon, listen to Hermione Granger. She’s almost as smart as Annabeth.” He said with a wink, and the two boys who had become brothers laughed out loud.

Percy heart warmed as he remembered their conversation, and felt astronomically better about leaving his new friends. After they loaded their luggage, the Golden Trio came to wish the four demigods goodbye.

Hermione hugged each of them tightly, and begged for Annabeth to send her any notes or books that she finds interesting in New Rome. Ron embraced them as well, and had an especially hard time saying goodbye to Percy. The Son of Poseidon laughed and gave him a Golden Drachma too, reminding him that they will keep in touch.

Harry promised Will a race on their broomsticks next time they saw each other, and blushed deeply when Annabeth kissed him on the cheek. Harry’s smile widened when he shook Nico’s hand and heard a familiar hoot in the tree above him. Bianca was whistling goodbye to her new friend in the bright dawn of morning, relishing in the sunshine on her wings. At the sight of his pet overcoming her fears, Nico pulled Harry in for a quick hug, telling him that Sirius is enjoying his time in Elysium, and that he was very happy.

The young wizard’s lip trembled at the thought, but brightened knowing that his godfather was in a better place. Percy wrapped his arms around his friend and held on tight for longer than he planned. When the train whistled and smoke escaped the engines, indicating it was time for departure, he finally released Harry. “Don’t forget what I said, okay?” The Boy Who Lived nodded, wiping the unwelcome tears from his eyes and turning on his heel towards the bright scarlet steam engine.

The demigods waived excitedly as the train jerked into motion, and within a few minutes it was completely out of sight. They were left in a peaceful silence, and Percy draped his arms around his friends’ shoulders before leading them towards an awaiting magical goddess.

“Let’s go home.”