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Harry Potter and the Greek Gods

Chapter Text

HARRY'S POV

I sat by the window staring out at the passing cars, their lights bright against the setting sun. I missed my friends. I missed the wizarding world. It felt like I was trapped in a world that didn't understand me. My friends had written to me over the summer, but it constantly felt like there was a gaping hole in their story, like a puzzle with pieces that didn't quite match. And despite the fact that Voldemort was back, I hadn't heard a thing from Dumbledore.

I sighed heavily. Why was everyone ignoring me? Just as I was ready to hide back in the cool shadows of my room, a screeching call from the window made me lookup. Hedwig was sitting on the window frame. I hurried over and let her hop inside, taking the note from her leg. I unrolled it eagerly, only to be disappointed. It was only an old scrap of parchment with the words 'Be kind to strangers' written on it with slanted handwriting- Dumbledore's handwriting I realised. I eagerly turned it over, expecting there to be something on the back. Nothing. And so I spent the next hour poking and prodding at it, trying every magical and non-magical way to attempt to extract more from it.

Finally I gave up, chucking the note on my nightstand along with my glasses. It had been a sweltering day and I was tired- not that I had actually done anything that day aside from listen in on the news for any sign of Voldemort, but there was none. No proof for the ministry that Voldemort was indeed back. Fudge had no reason to believe me, aside from the fact that Cedric Diggory had clearly been murdered, and not by me.

 

PERCY'S POV

It felt like only yesterday we had been at war with Gaia, but it had been months. We had had all sorts of adventures since then, especially me and Annabeth, even if we kept them a secret. But none of them were as exciting or as dangerous as our international adventures. It had felt nice to recount them to Sadie and Carter and then to Magnus. I missed the Argo II, the nights where you could hear Leo working in the engine room, us all being so close. I recalled blissfully the night on our way to Rome where Annabeth and I snuck down to the stables and fell asleep in each other's arms. The coach had been so mad. And then there was the time-

"Hey Seaweed Brain." Annabeth said.

"Huh?" I replied, lifting my head from the hot sand.

"I was saying that we should go to meet Magnus soon."

"Sounds good to me."

Annabeth hadn't been intending on telling me about Magnus, but I got suspicious with all the 'family trips' to Boston and mysterious phone calls, so eventually she told me.

"Come on." Annabeth stood up, her blonde hair shining in the sun, and offered her hand to me.

I took it gratefully, kissing her on the check before we started the walk up to the cabins to fetch our things. As we neared them, Clarisse strutted up to us.

"Chiron wants us in the Big House."

"Why?" Annabeth asked warily.

"Didn't say," She shrugged, "Just to be quick."

We exchanged a glance and then tore off towards the Big House. When Chiron says that, you listen. Clarisse followed grudgingly, quickly outpacing us. We rushed into the main room to see the other five from the seven, Nico and Calypso already waiting. Chiron was standing at the front of the table. Everyone was silent.

"What's going on?" Annabeth asked immediately.

Chiron hesitated before answering.

"There's a new prophecy."

Chapter Text

PERCY'S POV

"What do you mean another prophecy?" I demanded.

"Exactly what I said."

"Great," I muttered, collapsing on a chair.

Annabeth sat down beside me, and then Clarisse beside her.

"What does the prophecy say Chiron?" Annabeth inquired.

"We would like to know that too," Leo added.

 

"Seven of prophecy venture afar

Joined by three who are quite bizarre.

To a place blessed with magic

And haunted by fear.

A great threat looms

The end is near

Twelve moons must pass

Before they can leave

Divine hosts and ghosts will follow

They are never at ease

Boy blessed of lightning

Will find no justice

Instead uncover a secret

Buried in darkness

Storm approaches the horizon

Heroes none the wiser

Beware, spirits say,

Before death explodes like a geyser."

(I don't know. Just roll with it. I suck at poetry.)

 

We all just sat there in stunned silence.

"So... we should all just avoid geysers from now on?" Leo joked breaking the silence.

We were so desperate not to worry, that that one comment made us all burst out laughing uncontrollably.

"Do not take this lightly," Chiron warned. "What does it mean? 'A place blessed by magic'?" Annabeth asked.

"Yeah, it could mean Camp Jupiter, Camp Half-Blood, Olympus, Brooklyn-" I trailed off.

"Brooklyn?" Jason raised an eyebrow.

"I feel like there is more to sentence," Chiron said softly.

"Nope," I replied quickly. "I feel like I'm missing something."

Annabeth frowned, "Why Brooklyn? If anything I thought you would say Boston."

The other eight demigods (Or seven demigods and one former immortal) just stared at them.

"Remember," I hinted, "Sadie? Carter?"

"Ohhh. Right. Yes."

"Wait, why Boston? And who are those people?" Frank seemed to speak for everyone else.

"I feel it is prudent the two of you disclose everything you know to your friends soon." Chiron told them firmly, "But as for the 'Place blessed by magic', I believe it is time for Hecate to tell you everything."

"Tell us what?" Clarisse demanded.

"About the wizarding world."

 

HARRY'S POV

It was the day after I received Dumbledore's note. I was skulking in the bushes outside an open window so could listen to the muggle news. Usually, I would listen from inside, but Uncle Vernon had caught me and thrown a temper tantrum. So now I was sulking in the bushes. Luckily I could still hear the TV fairly well. I heard the familiar news intro play and began to pay attention. Nothing. The whole summer, not a single hint of trouble on the muggle news. The most entertaining segment was that about a silly waterskiing parrot. Impressive, but not really what I was looking for.

Growing bored, I go to stand up, but a noise like a firecracker goes off. I jump, bumping my head of the windowsill and causing a vase to fall down and smash. I can see my Uncle Vernon get up and stride towards me, his face turning red. My eyes widen and I bolt down the road. I don't really know where I run, just away from the stuffy house. By the time I'm puffed enough to stop, I realise I'm almost at the park.

The sun is going down. I sigh. That means I would have to head back soon. Dejected, I walk into the park with my head down, hoping no one recognises me. Dudley had spread a bunch of nasty rumours about me that people were afraid not to believe. Speaking of Dudley, him and his little gang were beating up another poor kid. I sit down on the swing and look around. Across the park, a couple of kids were staring at me intently. Probably some of the kids who thought I was a delinquent. Although one of them with striking grey eyes unnerved me. I glanced back to my cousin, still pushing around that poor kid. Maybe it was time I taught him a lesson.

Chapter Text

PERCY'S POV

 Yesterday Chiron had explained everything he knew about the wizarding world to us, and it still kinda blew my mind that it even existed. He gave us a day to pack, and then this morning transported us to London to become acquainted with the boy we were being sent to protect. We were to spend the day there, and then at night, we were to meet some named Dumbdoor or something at Grimmauld Place. Anyway, all of us except Annabeth were waiting at the local park. Annabeth had donned her invisibility cap and went to find this Porter kid. It was almost sundown when Annabeth ran into the park. She was puffed, which meant she had to have run a long way.

"What happened?" I asked immediately, jumping up from my seat.

"I don't know exactly." She replied, "The kid was sitting under the window, but then there was a sound like a firecracker and then he just took off."

"Where is he going?" Jason inquired.

"It looked like he was heading here."

"Hey, what did Chiron say he looked like again?" Piper said, staring into the distance.

"Unruly black hair, green eyes." Jason answered, "Why?"

"Because he's here all right." Piper pointed at a kid sitting on a swing across from us.

We all turned to stare at him, and he stared back, his green eyes noticeable from even across the park.

"Is that him?" I checked.

"Yep." Annabeth nodded.

"What do we do now?" Clarisse grunted.

"We wait and we watch." Annabeth murmured.

"Maybe while we do that, you two can tell us about Brooklyn and Boston?" Nico raised an eyebrow.

"What about it?" I asked, exchanging a glance with Annabeth.

"Come on guys, it's obvious you're keeping something from us." Piper coaxed, "Just tell us."

Unfortunately, she was charmspeaking.

"Fine." Annabeth sighed.

The demigods (Plus Calypso) all turned their attention to me and Annabeth.

"A while back, we met two kids named Carter and Sadie Kane. Together we kinda maybe killed a god." I muttered.

The expressions on the other's faces ranged from 'wait what' to 'WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL'.

"What.. how.... why... who?" Clarisse stuttered.

"Add when to that sentence and you'll have completed the five Ws." Leo joked although the expression on his face remained that of shock.

"Sadie and Carter, they're magicians." I explained.

Now everyone just looked down right confused.

"Like.. bunny rabbit out of a hat magicians?" Hazel wondered.

"Egyptian magicians." Annabeth clarified.

Aside from me, Jason and Calypso seemed to be the only ones who knew what she was talking about.

"I thought they were extinct." Jason gasped.

"Only if you kill off every remaining pharaoh bloodline. Starting with actually finding them." I smiled.

"I too thought they were all gone." Calypso admitted, "I knew they existed, but I believed they fell with Egypt."

Annabeth and I shook our heads. "They're alive and kicking." Annabeth replied.

"I feel like I'm missing something." Piper frowned.

"Egyptian magicians. They channel the power of their gods to do magic." Jason explained.

"I'll say that I understand that." Leo muttered.

"What about Boston? You mentioned Boston too, didn't you?" Frank asked.

"Uh, yeah. That's slightly more complicated." Annabeth stuttered.

"More complicated than Egyptian Magicians?" Hazel pointed out.

"True." Annabeth conceded, "Boston is where my cousin lives. Or lived. Technically he's dead."

"What do you mean, 'technically'?" Clarisse narrowed her eyes.

"Well, he died. To a fire giant. But, he went to the afterlife. His afterlife."

"You've lost us." Piper said, speaking for all of them.

"Magnus is the Son of Frey. He died, went to Valhalla, had adventures in the mortal world. Also, Norse gods exist." I summarised.

Now everyone looked REALLY confused.

"I think I need to lie down." Piper said faintly.

"Um, guys?" Calypso interjected, "Our charge is leaving."

She gestured to behind them, where the kid had stood up and was following a small gang of kids out of the park.

"Those are the kids who were pushing around the little kid earlier." Hazel observed.

"Shouldn't we follow him then?" Annabeth said pointedly.

"That might be a good idea." I agreed.

Together we set off, trailing him at a distance. He waited while the gang went their separate ways, and then followed the one who looked like a pig. The kid caught up with the human-pig, and it looked like he was taunting him. He looked pretty scrawny, so it probably wasn't a good idea. Human pig's hands had clenched into fists, but nothing happened until they were in an alleyway, and human-pig said something that made the kid pull out what I assume is a wand. Or maybe it was just a stick. But then, the strangest thing happened. I'm not sure if the kid was the one doing it, but a strange darkness seemed to overtake us, and I found myself reliving my worst memories.

Chapter Text

HARRY'S POV

I'm not sure what I did, but the minute I pulled out my wand- not to use it, just intimidate my pig-headed cousin- a pair of dementors appeared out of nowhere. Dudley being Dudley completely ignored my instructions to stay put, and ran directly towards one of them. But I had my own dementor to deal with. I was faintly aware of there being other people behind the dementor, but I knew I had to defend myself, and I guess, my cousin too. Or I could just leave him to face the dementor's kiss. That would work too. My aunt and uncle would make me pay for it later though.

"Expecto patronum!" I shouted, but only a wisp of silver light appeared.

I stumbled backwards, away from the dementor and tried again, focusing as hard as I could on my happiest memories.

"Expecto patronum!" I repeated.

This time the shape of my stag appeared, but only for a moment. The dementor kept advancing. I could hear them now. The dying cries of my parents and Cedric Diggory. I closed my eyes and focused, blocking out everything but my happy memories.

"Expecto patronum!" I cried.

Finally, my stag Patronus appeared.

It chased down my dementor, and when it was gone, chased away Dudley's too. My cousin was slumped on the ground, looking terrified when I reached him.

"What?" He muttered, along with a bunch of gibberish.

I sighed and stood back. Remembering that I had seen other people behind me, I twisted my head around and sure enough, there was a group of about 10 people, all of whom seemed to be around my age, sitting on the ground. A few of them seemed to be unconscious, with the others trying to wake them up. I inhaled sharply, hoping that either they hadn't seen the dementors and my Patronus, or that they were wizards. They would have to be right? For the dementors to have affected them that badly? Either that or war heroes, but they seemed far too young for that. Looking closer, I realised that they were the same people that had been watching me at the park. I shivered. Had they been following me, or Dudley, or was it just a coincidence?

The sound of squeaking wheels made me jump. I relaxed as soon as I see that it's just my cat crazed neighbour Mrs Figg, and then I realise I'm still holding my wand with my cousin collapsed in front of me, and another ten or so people on the ground behind me. I make a hurried movement to put my wand away, but Mrs Figg stops me.

"Don't put it away, idiot boy!" She shrieked, "What if there are more of them around? Oh, I'm going to kill Mundungus Fletcher!"

I stared at her.

"What?" I stuttered.

"He left!" Mrs Figg said, still hysterical, "Left to see someone about a batch of cauldrons that fell off the back of a broom! I told him I'd flay him alive if he went, and now look! Dementors! It's lucky I put Mr Tibbles on the case! But we haven't got time to stand around! Hurry, now, we've got to get you back! Oh, the trouble this is going to cause! I will kill him!"

"But," I muttered, "You're- you're a witch?"

"I'm a squib, as Mundungus knows full well, so how on earth was I supposed to help you fight off dementors? He left you completely without cover when I'd warned him-"

"This Mundungus has been following me? Hang on, it was him! He disapparated in front of my house!"

"Yes, yes, yes, but luckily I'd stationed Mr Tibbles under a car just in case, and Mr Tibbles came and warned me but by the time I'd got to your house you'd gone, and now, oh what's Dumbledore to say? You!" She shrieked at Dudley, "Get your fat bottom off the ground, quick!"

"You know Dumbledore?"

"Of course I know Dumbledore, who doesn't know Dumbledore? But come on! I'd be no help if they came back, I've never so much as transfigured a teabag."

She reached down and grabbed Dudley's arm, pulling him up.

"Come on, I can't do this myself!" She exclaimed.

"But Mrs Figg, what about them?" I gestured to the group of collapsed teens.

"They'll be fine." She dismissed, "They've been through much worse."

"You know them?"

"Only by reputation my dear. Now we must get you back home."

 

ANNABETH'S POV

The last thing I remembered was reliving all of my worst memories, and then I collapsed. When I woke up, Piper was force-feeding me Ambrosia.

"What happened?" I murmured.

"Dementors. I think." Piper explained, helping me sit up.

I looked beside me.

Percy was rubbing his head while chewing on a piece of ambrosia. He had probably collapsed too, reliving everything that had happened in Tartarus. I shivered.

"Are you okay?" He asked, worried.

"I will be," I replied.

I looked over at Nico. He was leaning against the fence, his skin somehow even paler than normal.

"What was that?" Percy asked. "Dementors." Piper and I answered together.

"What do they do?"

"They make you relive your worst memories." Piper said quietly, "And if they can get close enough, they will suck out your soul."

"They're like Nico in a nutshell." Leo joked.

All of us except Nico mustered a smile.

"Where's Harry?" I inquired, looking around.

"He's with a member of the order. Arabella Figg." Jason said. "Good." I took a deep breath. "Are you sure you're okay?" Percy asked again. "I'm as okay as you are."

Chapter Text

PERCY'S POV

We had only just gotten to our feet when a stranger approached us. He was a very strange stranger. He had long silver hair and a long silver beard, as well as long robes and half-moon spectacles.

"Hello." He said simply.

I got the feeling with just that one word that he was a lot like Chiron. Old, wise, and probably a teacher.

"Are you Professor Dumbledore?" Annabeth asked.

He simply smiled.

"We're sorry Professor Dumbledore, but Harry was-" Piper began.

"I am aware that Harry just came face to face with dementors."

"What do we do now?" I wondered.

"You all can come with me." I froze suspiciously.

It was never a good thing when an adult said, 'you can come with me'. I generally meant that they were a monster and wanted to take you somewhere private to eat you. But everyone else seemed to trust him, so I guess it was just my nerves playing up.

"Where are we going?" Leo asked.

"The Headquarters."

"For what?" I frowned.

"The Order of the Phoenix."

"What else would it be Prissy?" Clarisse snapped.

"I thought I had left that nickname behind," I grumbled.

"I don't think you'll ever leave a nickname behind, Seaweed Brain." Annabeth teased.

"Oh, you're on Wise Girl!"

"How about we wait until we get to headquarters before we enter a full-on nickname battle?" Piper suggested.

"Fine," I conceded, "But where is this headquarters place?"

"It's a secret," Annabeth answered pompously.

"Then how come you know where it is?"

"I don't."

"What?" My jaw dropped, "You don't know something?"

"Oh, be quiet you." She rolled her eyes.

"You know, if you two would stop bickering for even a minute we would be there already," Nico interjected.

"How are we getting there?" I inquired.

"Shadow Travel," Nico said, as though it was obvious.

And it probably was. We spread out into a circle and joined hands. I was beside Annabeth and Hazel. Because of how large the group was, Nico and Hazel would have to work together to get us all there in one piece.

"Mr Di Angelo, I trust you know where to go?" Dumbledore questioned him.

Nico nodded.

"Then I shall see you there." He turned, and in a flash of light, he was gone.

"What?" Leo gaped at where he had vanished.

"Wizard shadow travel," Annabeth explained.

"Oh." Leo nodded like he understood.

"Three," Nico began, "Two, one."

And we disappeared into darkness.

 

HAZEL'S POV

I had never gotten used to shadow travel. It always twists my stomach inside out and seems to leave my insides in a dozen different places. As soon as we disappeared into the void, I started to panic. What if I had done something wrong? What if we were stuck? Just as I started to really freak out, we materialised in a new place. It was a square or something, with a lot of houses. There was a sign, but I couldn't read what it said.

"Frank." I nudged him, "What does the sign say?"

"Grimmauld Place."

"What kind of a name is that?" Percy snorted.

"It's not any worse than Hogwarts." Leo laughed.

"Gather round," Dumbledore instructed.

Remembering what Chiron had told us about him, how he was the headmaster of Hogwarts, I really hoped he hadn't heard what Leo had said. We gathered around him, in a very tight huddle. Like penguins in a blizzard.

"The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix are located at Number 12 Grimmauld Place." He whispered.

I frowned, puzzled. Why was this such a big revelation? Frank seemed even more confused than me.

"Professor? The numbers, they jump from number 11 to number 13. Where's number 12?"

Dumbledore smiled, a twinkle in his eye and a look on his face that said, wait and see. So we did, and all of a sudden, like magic, the houses began to rumble and split apart. In between what I guessed was 11 and 13, and another house was appearing out of nowhere. "

Wow." Annabeth gasped.

From the look on her face, I could guess that she was probably trying to figure out how it all worked.

"Come on." Dumbledore gestured for us to follow him.

He opened the seemingly normal door, and we got our first glimpse into the top-secret headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix.

Chapter Text

LEO'S POV

For a place that was meant to be a top-secret headquarters, Grimmauld Place was depressing. It looked like where Dracula might live. The walls and the carpet were just so drab, and there were cobwebs everywhere. I shivered at the thought of all the monsters that could be lurking in the shadows.

Almost as soon as we walked in the door two people, a boy and a girl, about 15 came running.

"Harry!" They called in excitement, before stopping at the bottom of the stairs.

Clearly, they had realised that there was far more than one person waiting for them, and that none of them were called Harry. I think. It's very possible that someone had a secret name or something. Ooo, lie they did in spy movies! And Harry would be like a code name and stand for something. What do they call them? An acronym? Yeah, that.

"Who are you?" The girl asked, backing up a few stairs.

"Ah, Miss Granger, Mr Weasley, I thought you might be waiting for Harry's arrival. I can assure that he will be here by the end of the summer, but in the meantime, I'm sure you can welcome some other guests."

"Guests, professor?" The boy sounded confused.

Clearly, he hadn't been paying attention when Dumbly-door had been talking. Then again, I hadn't either.

"Dumbledore!" A red-haired woman exclaimed, hurrying down the hall.

"Hello, Molly." He said kindly.

"Are these the exchange students?" She asked, smiling at them.

"Yes. I'm sorry to drop out so suddenly, but I really must get to the ministry."

"Of course, go right ahead. I'll get them settled."

"Thank you, Molly." With a swirl of his fancy robes, he vanished out the door.

It was very awkward after Dumbly-door left. The boy and girl just kinda stood there. Staring at us.

"Why don't you come with me my dears?" Molly offered.

With a murmur of mutual consent, she led us up two flights of stairs and down a hall. There were two unmarked doors there.

"This is the girls' room," She gestured to the door on the left, "And the boys' room." She gestured to the one on the right.

"Thank you." Annabeth smiled warmly at her. "It's no problem, my dear. If you need anything I'll be down in the kitchen. Your bags are already in the rooms."

With that, she disappeared back down the hall. Percy and Annabeth exchanged a long look. They had barely been apart since Tartarus. But when Jason lead the way into their room, Percy followed. It was a nice room, rather big. There were five identical beds, except for the trunks at the end.

"I call dibs on this one!" I yelled, jumping onto the middle bed.

"It's got your trunk at the end." Jason pointed out, "Of course it's yours."

"Mine." I insisted, and promptly set my hand on fire.

"Is that necessary?" Frank grumbled.

"Sorry." I apologised quickly.

There was a knock on the door. Due to our demigod instincts, we were all super-duper paranoid and all reached for our weapons, or in my case a pack of peppermints. Stupid belt.

"Who is it?" Frank called, being the only one polite enough not to kill first, ask questions later.

"Ron." Came the muffled reply.

We all breathed a sigh of relief and quickly stashed our weapons (or breath mints) away before we let him in.

 

PIPER'S POV

The room was nice, bare, but bare was nice. Each bed was identical, made neatly. The only difference were the trunks at the end of the beds.

"This is one of the larger rooms," Hermione commented.

I jumped. I hadn't realised that she had followed us in.

"Sorry if I scared you." She apologised, having noticed.

"It's fine." I shook it off.

"It's Hermione, right?" Annabeth asked, sitting down on her bed.

Hermione nodded.

"Just checking. What can you tell us about the Order?"

"You don't know what it is?" Hermione said suspiciously.

"We weren't told anything outside of here, too easy for us to be overhead," I soothed her, "Dumbledore was going to tell us everything when we got here, but he had something else to attend to."

"Yeah. I guess that makes sense."

I breathed heavily. It was clear charmspeak didn't work as well on the wizards.

"The Order of the Phoenix was established in the last wizarding war, to fight You-Know-Who. It's like an underground spy group, except with wizards."

"Who's in the order?" Calypso inquired thoughtfully.

"Lots of people. Mrs Weasley, Mr Weasley, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Tonks, Lupin..." Hermione continued listing a whole bunch of people with odd-sounding names.

It wasn't until Annabeth next spoke that I realised why they sounded so odd.

"Why do you call them by their last names?"

"I guess it's just a formality," Hermione shrugged, "We've had quite a few of them as professors too, so I guess that also comes into it."

"Dinner!" I heard a faint call coming up from the ground floor.

"We should go," Hermione said, walking towards the door.

"Food." I agreed.

Chapter Text

H ERMIONE'S POV

Our American guests were odd. Very very odd. They had been at Headquarters for a week now, but they still kept to themselves, whispering in small groups and stopping abruptly when any of us came too close. Sometimes at night, when I can't sleep, I can hear strange sounds coming from their rooms. Metallic sounds. Almost like they were sword fighting. Which was impossible because no one uses swords anymore, they were used in the Middle Ages. Nowadays people just use guns.

I feel like I could be good friends with some of them, especially Annabeth, but they're so wary of us. They jump when we enter a room quietly. I wonder what happened to them to make them so scared. Aside from that though, they seemed like pretty normal teenagers. It didn't take me long to figure out who was related to who, and who was dating, and then I explained it to Ron. Percy and Annabeth were dating, and so were Jason and Piper, Leo and Calypso, and Frank and Hazel. Nico and Hazel were siblings, although probably only half-siblings because they didn't look too similar. I had heard Jason mention his sister once too. The rest of them seemed like they were only children, which I suppose wasn't that odd in this day and age, but still kind of unusual for that many children over the age of ten to not have any siblings at all, at least not ones they talked about.

It was late afternoon, a week after they had arrived, and we- the Americans, Ron, Ginny, the Twins and me- were sitting in one of the sitting rooms just talking. Well, most of us were talking. Some of us were just watching creepily. Annabeth kept glancing at the clock on the wall from where she sat with cuddled up next to Percy. At 4:57 she stood up, pulling Percy with her.

"Wait, where are we going?" He asked, confused.

"You know..?" She turned to look at him.

He shrugged, and she sighed.

"To talk to...?"

He shrugged again.

"Starts with 'M', ends with 'S'." She hinted.

"Oh! Magnus."

She nodded, with a look on her face that said 'finally!'.

"Who's Magnus?" I inquired, eager to get information out of them.

"My cousin." Annabeth answered simply, "We were meant to talk to him before we came here, but we didn't get the chance."

"Oh," I said, disappointed.

It was such a normal thing to do.

"So, see you later." Annabeth waved goodbye as Percy and her left.

"Why is Percy going to talk to her cousin with her?" Ron wondered, bewildered.

"Because they can't do anything apart." Clarisse rolled her eyes.

"No," Piper chided, "Because he's friends with Magnus too."

"And you aren't?" Harry asked.

"Never met him." She shrugged.

The others murmured their agreement.

"May I interrupt?" Someone knocked politely on the open door.

It was Lupin.

"We aren't busy," Harry answered for all of us.

"I assume you have decided among yourselves who will be coming?" He asked, looking at the Americans.

They nodded collectively before Piper replied.

"Jason and Frank."

"Well, we're going now, so..."

"Right." Jason nodded, standing.

He kissed Piper on the check and followed Lupin out of the room, Frank close behind.

"Where are they going?" I asked, frowning.

"Somewhere," Piper said cryptically, before smoothly changing the conversation.

 

J ASON'S POV

Everyone else was waiting at the door for us and Remus. Nymphadora Tonks, Alastor Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, and Hestia Jones.

"Good." Moody grunted, "They're here. Now how are they travelling."

"I'll fly," I answered.

Luckily for us, Moody was one of the people who knew about us. As did Remus, Kingsley and Elphias. So, he didn't question me.

"Okay," Moody nodded, "And you?"

"I'll change into a bird," Frank replied.

"Good. You, kid, need a disillusionment charm?" Moody asked me.

I nodded mutely. Moody shuffled over and tapped me on the head with his wand. I felt something trickle down my back, and when I looked down, I was invisible.

"Now, let's not waste any more time."

We took to the air, me flying, Frank as a bird, and the others on broomsticks. We stuck above the clouds, which was a rather cold way to travel. The trip took about twenty or thirty minutes, and then we were landing in front of a very neat house. Well, they were landing. Frank and I were there to guard against any... special threats, so we stayed in the air and guarded the house, while everyone else went in. They appeared to be trying to be stealthy, which probably ended up scaring the poor boy to death.

The skies were eerily quiet tonight, with no monsters visible. So, when we once again took to the air, this time with a 15-year-old in tow, the only disturbances had been the wand sparks indicating it was safe to go. I got my first good look at Harry Potter when I circled behind him. His unruly hair and green eyes reminded me a lot of Percy, but Percy was several years older than him.

Moody kept shouting commands, and the trip on the way back took a lot longer than the trip there. When he once again suggested they double back, Tonks had had enough of it.

"ARE YOU MAD, MAD-EYE?" Tonks screamed from the front, "We're all frozen to our brooms! If we keep going off course we're not going to get there until next week! Besides, we're nearly there now!"

"Time to start the descent!" Came Lupin's voice, "Follow Tonks, Harry!"

I started to descend as well, and opposite me, I could see eagle Frank doing the same. The dive became steeper and steeper until finally, we all landed in Grimmauld Place.

"Where are we?" Harry asked no one in particular.

"In a minute," I answered him.

He jumped, and then I realised I was still invisible, then again, he was too.

"Oh, sorry kid," Moody muttered and tapped me on the head again.

A hot tickling sensation trickled down my back as the charm lifted.

"Here," Moody pulled something from his coat, "Got it."

He lifted what looked like a silver cigarette lighter into the air and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a pop. As he continued, Harry turned to me. He studied my face, and then something seemed to click.

"You're one of the kids following me that day, in the alley. With the dementors."

I grinned sheepishly.

"Yeah, sorry about that. My name's Jason Grace."

"Harry Potter."

"I know."

"I'm Frank Zhang." Frank introduced himself.

I almost jumped. I hadn't realised he had turned back, or that he was standing right beside me.

"Pleased to meet you both," Harry said, looking as though he might not really mean it.

"Come over here." Moody pulled Harry by the arm.

He took him over to a patch of grass with Tonks and Lupin and showed him a scrap of paper. Jason knew what it read. 'The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.'

Chapter Text

P ERCY'S POV

I knew everyone stared at us strangely as we left to IM Magnus, even the other demigods gave us a few odd looks. They didn't understand why we needed to talk to Magnus. Why did we, you ask? Well, it's because Magnus and his dear friends Sam the Valykree thingy and Alex the gender-fluid shapeshifter accidentally triggered Ragnarok, yes the end of the world. And we kind of wanted to know if they had managed to postpone it, or if certain death was coming for us all.

Good news, the world was not ending any time soon, so that was a relief. But Magnus' story was so long that by the time he had finished, with quite a few interruptions from girl Alex, that by the time he had finished there was a screech at the door. We said our hurried goodbyes and rushed downstairs. Quite a few members of the order were by the door, including Sirius Black, who looked like he had just pulled the curtain over his mother's painting shut. Jason and Frank were standing on either side of a black-haired, green-eyed, fifteen-year-old. Harry Potter. I recognised him from the park.  Sirius turned and said something to Harry. I didn't hear what he said, as we were still racing down the stairs.

"Hey, guys." I grinned at Jason and Frank, who smiled in return.

"Where are the others?" Jason asked, probably eager to see Piper.

I shrugged.

"You weren't with them?" Jason frowned.

Annabeth and I shook our heads.

"Were you two seriously talking to Annabeth's cousin this whole time?"

"Why do you guys always say it like that?" Annabeth sighed, "Yes, we were talking to Magnus this whole time."

"Technically Alex too." I pointed out.

"Who's Alex?" Frank wondered.

"Magnus'... friend." I smiled, realising something.

"Percy..." Annabeth said in a tone of voice that scared me, "Why did you say 'friend' like that?"

"It just occurred to me, that you know when they were telling us about... ice skating? Yeah, ice skating, they got a bit blushy and it seemed like they skated (Haha get it? Cause they were ice skating? Okie I'll stop) over something. Also, Alex was just in Magnus' room. She.. he... they didn't know we were calling."

"Alex was female." Annabeth sighed.

"I knew that." I defended myself.

"Sure you did." Annabeth rolled her eyes.

"Look, I just didn't want to offend, her, if she happened to be a boy."

Annabeth stared at me.

"You are horrible at this Seaweed Brain."

"Yeah, I am." I agreed.

"I feel like I'm missing something," Jason commented, looking from me to Annabeth.

That was when I noticed that everyone in the hallway was staring at us, looking utterly bewildered.

"Alex is Magnus' friend, and Alex is gender fluid," Annabeth explained.

"Oh." Jason nodded.

"This was an ...interesting conversation," Sirius began, "But I feel like someone should probably show Harry to his room."

"I'll do it." I offered, "He's staying with Ron, right?"

Sirius nodded.

"Okay, come with me." I smiled at him, but all he did was look at me warily.

His eyes flicked to my wrist and I realised that unlike Jason and Frank, I had taken my jacket off, exposing my SPQR tattoo. I recalled what Dumbledore had said, that it would look suspiciously like a Dark Mark and that I should probably keep it hidden at all costs. Oops.

"What's that?" Harry asked, pointing at my tattoo.

"A tattoo," I replied, stating the obvious.

"What is it a tattoo of?"

"Does it matter?" I countered.

"It does if it's a Dark Mark."

I exchanged a glance with Annabeth.

"It isn't," I assured him.

He didn't look convinced. Alastor Moody, who had been informed of what we were and nothing else was also looking a bit suspicious.

"I'd like to see this tattoo too." He growled.

I looked desperately at Annabeth, who shrugged. I sighed and held out my arm. The SPQR tattoo was there, clear as day. Everyone could see it. SPQR, a trident, and a single line.

"What does SPQR mean?" Harry wondered.

"Senātus Populusque Rōmānus." Jason, Frank and I said together.

"What?"

"The Senate and the People of Rome." Jason translated.

"Okay," Harry blinked very slowly a few times, "Why is that tattooed on your arm? With a trident and a line?"

I had no idea what to say, luckily my Wise Girl came to my rescue.

"Our school in America, it has two campuses, and both mark every year there a different way. One camp, which is slightly more disciplined, marks it with a line on an arm, along with their motto and the icon of whatever house you're in. The other commentates each year with another clay bead added to a necklace." Annabeth fingered her's.

"Oh, well, why does he have both?"

I almost sighed. This kid asked a LOT of questions.

"I spent time at both camps."

"Oh. That makes sense, I guess. Who else was at the tattoo camp?"

I almost sniggered. No one had ever called Camp Jupiter the tattoo camp before. I could see the others trying not to laugh as well.

"Jason, Hazel and I," Frank answered as he was the first to calm down.

"Well, now that that is sorted out, why don't you go and see Ron and Hermione?" Sirius asked Harry, in the 'adult' way that really meant it wasn't a question.

Harry nodded eagerly, and this time followed me and Annabeth up the stairs, without asking any more questions, thank the gods for that. As we walked up, I exchanged a long look with Annabeth. Already I could tell, this kid was going to be high maintenance.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

After everything that had happened at dinner, when the adults had to tell us, or more specifically the wizard children about what the Order was doing, Mrs Weasley was patrolling the corridor. This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that Percy, Annabeth or Nico, sometimes all three, wake up screaming from nightmares in the middle of the night. Nico has his own ways of coping with it, but Percy and Annabeth, their way of coping was each other. And with Mrs Weasley being on patrol, there was no way for Annabeth to sneak into the boy's room or Percy to sneak into the girl's like they usually did. I could see Annabeth's shadow, as her bed was beside mine, and her grey eyes were wide open. She wasn't going to sleep. I wanted to comfort her, but I also didn't want to be caught by Mrs Weasley. She was nice but scary at times.

Eventually, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until probably between midnight and 1, when I heard the door open and close quietly. Looking at the bed beside mine, I realised that Mrs Weasley must've finally gone to bed, and Annabeth had snuck into the boy's room. I smiled, happy that she could finally sleep, and rolled over, falling back asleep.

 

F RANK'S POV

It was around dawn when I woke up to the sound of the birds chirping. I yawned, stretching. It was strange not to have to be up so early in the morning like we usually did at Camp Jupiter. I glanced over to the far side of the room, where I saw something that made me smile. Annabeth had obviously been able to sneak in last night after Mrs Weasley went to bed, and her and Percy were curled up together. I tiptoed out of the room to grab an early shower and get changed.

I banged into Harry in the hallway on the way back. My hair was still wet and sticking up strangely.

"Sorry," I mumbled.

When he didn't say anything, I realised he was staring at my SPQR t-shirt.

"Uh..." I stuttered.

"I guess your 'school' likes putting its logo on a lot of things, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess." I shrugged awkwardly, desperate to get back to my room.

"What's your 'school' like?"

"It's... strict. Disciplined."

"Do you learn a lot?"

I nodded.

"How come you are all different ages, but I heard you're all going into the same year, my year, at Hogwarts?"

"Um... we don't go by age, at our schools. We go by the amount of time we've spent there. Some of us have been there since we were really young, others haven't."

It was Harry's turn to nod.

"Hey, um, I need to get back to my room..." I trailed off.

Harry simply nodded again, returning to his room, while I returned to mine, relieved I hadn't given anything away.

 

L EO'S POV

I thought that the whole point of living at the headquarters was that we could sleep in, not be woken up at 8 in the morning to clean. I mean 8 in the morning, come on, who was usually up before then? Apparently everyone except me. Freaks, the lot of them. Clearly, they do not understand what the words 'sleep' and 'in' mean when they're put together.

So when I- apparently finally- went into the kitchen/dining room for breakfast, everyone else was already finished.

"Where have you been Leo?" Calypso chastised.

"Sleeping." I replied in a 'duh' voice.

"All this time," Percy said doubtfully.

"Yeah, man. I need my beauty rest."

The demigods all snorted. The wizards sat there staring at us like old men. Or women.

"So, Annabeth, Percy," I began, sitting down, "How did you like 'talking to Annabeth's cousin' for like an hour yesterday?"

"Why do you people always say it like that?" Percy groaned, "We were talking to Annabeth's cousin."

"For an hour," I answered dubiously.

"Yes."

"About what?"

"I dunno... stuff." Percy stuttered.

"What kinda stuff? Like baseball games?"

"Uh..." Percy glanced at Annabeth, who rolled her eyes.

"Starts with 'R', ends with 'K'. Any of you who pay attention will know what I'm talking about."

Around the table, I could only see Jason, Piper, Hazel, Frank and Nico looking like they knew what she was talking about. I pouted as I scoffed down my food, knowing that none of them would just straight out tell me.

After breakfast, Mrs Weasley had us separate into little groups and clean different rooms. I was with Calypso- thank the gods- Harry, Ron, Frank, Hazel and Death Boy. Calypso, Frank and Hazel got to work immediately, like good children. I messed around, really wanting to set fire to something, Nico sulked in the corner, and Harry and Ron were whispering in another corner like those teenage girls you see in movies. Nothing interesting happened until lunchtime unless you count Calypso practically yelling at us to help. When we took a break for lunch there was a commotion downstairs, causing us all to rush out of our various rooms to see what it was. We were all hanging over the balcony when the real threat took us by surprise, and suddenly I was covered in dust. I looked up, coughing, to see the others doing the same, with most of them glaring at the red-headed twins behind us.

"I'm going to get them back for that," I smirked.

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

The last day of summer came quicker than anticipated. We weren't allowed to go to Diagon Alley just yet, for 'safety reasons', so Molly Weasley had gotten us all our supplies- using our money of course. Now it was the morning of the 1st of September, and everyone was up and in a hurry very quickly. I could hear Frank and Percy trying to get Leo up next door as I finished packing my trunk.

"They're going to be trying to wake him up for a while," Piper commented from her spot on her neatly made bed.

"Definitely." Calypso agreed.

"I hope we aren't late." Hazel worried.

"It'll be fine," Clarisse waved them off, "And if it isn't, I'm gonna beat that elf into a pulp."

"That's my boyfriend you're talking about." Calypso reminded her.

"You aren't objecting." Clarisse pointed out.

Calypso shrugged.

"Breakfast time," Hermione called, knocking on the door, "Leave your trunks, the others will bring them down."

The sound of receding footsteps told us that the witch had gone back downstairs. We exchanged a glance before we made for the door.

"She seems nice," Hazel observed as they filed out the door.

"She seems like Annabeth," Clarisse grunted.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." I objected.

"Oh yeah? Are any of your 'other friends' like you?"

"It has been determined that Carter and Samariah are the most like me." I sighed.

"I stand corrected."

"On what?" Ron asked as we had entered the dining room at that point.

"On whether or not Annabeth could bear to be friends with someone like her," Clarisse smirked.

I rolled my eyes.

"Yeah, Sam and Carter," Percy replied, not realising that I had already answered the question.

I smiled as the other girls laughed and sat down beside him, kissing his cheek.

"What?" He asked, looking around earnestly.

The other girls waved him off and sat down as well. He looked at me, still confused, but I just smiled.

"Eat up," Mrs Weasley instructed, "You have a long day ahead of you."

 

LEO'S POV

I wandered along behind Mrs Weasley, Lupin, Ginny, Hermione and Calypso. I was staring wistfully at all the machines around me, knowing I wouldn't be seeing any of them for a long time.

"Hurry up Leo," Calypso called back.

"McShizzle can only walk so fast while maintaining his magical aura of superiority." I defended myself pompously.

Calypso sighed and rolled her eyes, but I saw the glimmer of a smile on her face.

"Come on." She repeated, darting forward to grab my hand and pull me along behind her.

"I'm not a dog, sunshine." I yelped.

"Don't call me sunshine." She ordered.

"You got it, sweets." I winked.

I mean, she couldn't see me wink, but it was still cooler than not winking. Apparently Calypso didn't share the same opinion, however, as she sped up so I really did feel like a dog. Note to self: don't make your girlfriend mad if she can reach your arm.

Soon after we reached Kings Cross Station, which looked like a perfectly normal train station- until they dragged us through a wall. I mean, a wall? How would that even work? It shouldn't work, logically. Gods, this magic thing was really messing with my head.

On the other side, the platform was full of kids, and as the steam and crowd cleared I laid eyes on a scarlet red steam engine. There were dozens of carriages, many full of children waving goodbye to their parents.

"Go along now children." Mrs Weasley, told us, hugging us all goodbye in turn, before hurrying off to say goodbye to the others.

"Come." Hermione gestured for us to follow her.

We struggled through the crowd, finally reaching the train and clambering on board. Lucky for us the others had snuck onboard just behind us.

"Where are we going to find a carriage big enough for all... fourteen of us?" Annabeth asked.

Fred and George had vanished already. Something about meeting up with some friends.

"Somewhere, hopefully." Hermione frowned.

We began to shuffle along the corridor, dragging our luggage behind us.

It took a while to find a clear carriage. When we reached the end of the train we found a carriage with only two people inside, both of which the wizards and witches seemed to recognise.

"It will have to do." Hermione sighed.

Twelve of us wriggled inside. Hermione and Ron left to go to some special carriage, but it was still crowded. I ended up on the ground along with Nico. I guess because we were small it was okay to bully us. I leant back against the wall, fiddling with something I had pulled from my tool belt. I wasn't really paying attention when the two new kids were introduced. Loony something or rather, and Neville Longbottom. What an amusing name. Wizards really loved to torture themselves, didn't they? I was, however, paying attention when the train began to move, the whistle blowing merrily. I could hear the goodbyes echoing from parents and students alike, and felt a pang of jealously. My mum would never do that. I shook my head, trying to clear my head. Cheer up, I told myself, you're going to wizard school.

 

Chapter Text

HARRY'S POV

After spending hours stuck in an enclosed environment with the American Exchange students, I decided that I never wanted to do that again. It appeared that each and every one of them had ADHD, even Annabeth and Hazel who seemed so calm compared to some of the others *cough* Leo *cough*.

When we finally reached Hogwarts, they spilled out the carriage almost immediately, all looking very relieved to no longer be confined to such a small space. I was about to ask them if they were taking the carriages with us when I noticed that there was a spooky addition to them this year. Dark, skeletal horses. They reminded me of Nico.

"What are those?" I asked blankly, pointing at them.

"What are you on about mate? There's nothing there." Ron frowned.

"Harry, are you feeling alright?" Hermione worried, looking concerned.

"I'm fine. Can't you see them? They're pulling the carriages."

"The carriages are pulling themselves like always," Hermione told him.

Her and Ron send him worried glances before heading over to the nearest carriage.

"Don't worry, you're not crazy. I can see them too." Luna assured me dreamily, drifting past me.

Somehow that isn't comforting, I thought but followed her nonetheless.

 

PERCY 'S POV

None of the Hogwarts students paid us a second glance as they hurried past us. We had no idea where to go, and there didn't appear to be anyone to ask. Except for the other students of course, but they weren't any more likely to know than us.

"First years! First years over here please!" A woman called, her voice rising over the crowd.

"Should we go over to her?" Calypso asked, struggling to be heard above the train.

Mummies of agreement rose from the group and we began to battle through the crowd to reach the teacher.

She was a stern-looking woman but seemed kind at the same time. A crowd of eleven-year-olds surrounded her.

"You must be the exchange students, yes?" She inquired once she noticed us.

"Yes," Annabeth answered promptly, "Do we follow you to the school?"

"That is what Professor Dumbledore told me. Come along now."

The first years began to make their way down a well-trodden path, us following behind. After a minute or so we arrived beside a large lake, with small wooden boats drifting by the shore. My face lit up, but I could see Jason, Nico and Hazel visibly pale. My dad might not try to kill them, but he wasn't necessarily going to make the trip easy for them.

When the teacher told us that it was four to a boat, instead of ending up with Annabeth like I would have liked, I ended up with Hazel, Nico and Jason all in my boat. Oh well. Even if Dad decided to make like harder for them, the worst thing that could happen was that I could get dumped in the lake.

The boats set sail of their own accord, a fact I found to be very interesting. I leaned over the side of the boat with the intention of catching a glimpse of some of the sea life. I was met with a lovely view of a kelp forest, with only flashes of movement that could have been anything.

I was so focused on trying to see what the sea animals were that I didn't get my first glimpse of Hogwarts the way everyone else did. Instead, I heard the gasps of awe and amazement as the boats turned a corner, and Annabeth rambling about how beautiful it was.

"Look at the architecture, it's magnificent. The way the towers are built, the window frames..."

I lost focus after that, as she went on to say some words I wasn't even sure were actually words. Eventually, we stopped inside a small cove. The teacher hopped off the boat first before turning to face us all.

"Welcome to Hogwarts."

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

We were ushered from the small cove to the grand entrance hall of Hogwarts. I was continuously ranting about how beautiful the castle was to Percy, and I could tell that he was trying to pay attention, which was sweet, but most of it was going over his head. Percy wasn't as dumb as some people thought, but there were certain things he just didn't have any interest in, and therefore didn't know anything about.

A wise looking woman met us in the hall. She introduced herself as Professor McGonagall. She instructed us to wait in the hall while the first years were sorted. The moment she left along with the cluster of eleven-year-olds I turned to my friends, a dozen different words trying to come out of my mouth simultaneously. There was a long list of things they had all been told but had likely forgotten. Well, some of them had likely forgotten.

"And remember, Chiron told us to spread ourselves out among the houses. We have to be all over the school." I finished, looking around the group to ensure no one had fallen asleep.

A few of them nodded, indicating that they had heard everything that I had said. Others, like Leo, looked far too preoccupied with the hall. I held back a sigh and opened my mouth to chastise him, but the doors reopened before I got the chance to. I whirled around to see Professor McGonagall standing in the doorway.

"It's your turn." She informed us.

I shot a warning look at my friends before leading us forward. Things were going too well at the moment. Something was bound to go wrong, or someone was going to screw something up or tell someone else something they shouldn't.

My worries vanished the moment I stepped into the great hall. It was amazing. The room was filled with dozens of floating candles, and the ceiling was nonexistent. Instead, you could see the ink-black night sky dotted with hundreds of twinkling lights.

A familiar constellation caught my eye. I smiled sadly at it, glancing at Percy, who, given the glistening tears in his eyes, had seen it too. Hey Zoë, I thought, Bob says hello. I hadn't known the huntress very well, but I knew that she had had a big heart, despite her tough exterior.

I was jolted back to reality by Percy's hand on my arm, silently telling me that we had stopped. I was suddenly very aware that there was a room with several hundred teenagers staring at us. No doubt their headmaster had told them who we were.

Professor McGonagall had ascended a set of steps to where a stool with an old hat was lying. She now held a roll of parchment in her hands. She straightened her glasses before she read out the first name.

"Chase, Annabeth."

I held my head high as I walked up the steps. I glanced questioningly at the professor, not feeling any less bewildered when she indicated the stool with the old hat on it. Nevertheless, I went over to it and sat down, cautiously placing the hat on my head.

Well, well, well, what do we have here?

I flinched, looking around me before realising that the voice was inside my head- and it was coming from the hat.

Who are you?

The better question is who are you. You see, it is my job to place students in the houses best suited to them, even if I don't always agree with the practice. You are one of the most interesting ones I've seen yet.

Thank you, I guess.

But where to place you? Very intelligent, I see, but also very cunning and resourceful. Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Brave as well. You'd make a good Gryffindor.

I shifted slightly, feeling uncomfortable with the way the hat was sorting through my memories like they were books for anyone to pick up and read.

I'm afraid I simply can't decide. Where do you want to be?

I scanned the room. Green and silver- Slytherins. They were cunning and ambitious. Resourceful too. It seemed perfect for me, but everything I had heard from Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys had put me off. We needed these people to trust me, and they wouldn't if I was a Slytherin.

As for the other two, I was sure that Gryffindor would attract most of my friends, but Ravenclaw seemed like a better fit for me than Gryffindor. It would also put eyes and ears in a different house.

How about Ravenclaw?

I was sure the hat had heard my entire internal debate, but he didn't comment on it. Instead, he spoke aloud.

"Ravenclaw!" He called out.

The blue and bronze house erupted into cheers. I felt the heat rise to my cheeks as I scurried off, leaving the hat on the chair and nodding at my friends as I passed.

I sat down beside the ditzy looking blonde from before in time to hear the next name called.

"Di Angelo, Nico."

 

Chapter Text

NICO'S POV

I held my head high as I ascended the steps to the old hat. I didn't trust it, but it wasn't like I had much of a choice. I turned to sit down, suddenly realising that the entire school was staring at me. I shifted uncomfortably, not liking the attention, but I didn't have much time to dwell on it before the hat was placed on my head.

Another one? Well, isn't this my lucky day.

I resisted the urge to look around me for someone whispering in my ear. I knew that the voice was in my head, but that didn't make it any less unsettling.

Can we just get this over with?

So impatient these days. But I suppose it is my job.

There was a brief pause in which nothing seemed to happen until I felt an odd sensation like my head was a book that someone had stolen and was skimming through. I gritted my teeth. Of course, this would happen. It took every ounce of self-control not to rip the hat off my head then and there. We had to keep up appearances. Although if this hat went poking somewhere it really shouldn't, then all of that would go out the window. I wasn't going to have my privacy violated in such a way just for the sake of a quest.

So many things, you are. Cunning and resourceful, like a Slytherin. Brave, loyal and kind, no matter what you want others to think, like a Gryffindor or a Hufflepuff. I suppose now, the choice is up to you.

I glanced around the room. The red, the yellow and the green tables were the ones the hat had pointed out. I immediately shied away from the Hufflepuffs. As much as I liked Will, I definitely couldn't handle living with an entire house of people like him. The Gryffindors didn't seem like the right place for me either. It would be an entire house of Percys and Jasons. I didn't need that. And that only left...

Slytherin

"Slytherin!" The hat called aloud.

The professor removed it from my head a moment later and I basically bolted. I really did not like that hat.

 

JASON 'S POV

Almost immediately after Nico left, Professor McGonagall called my name. I did exactly what Annabeth and Nico had done and climbed the stairs to sit on the rickety stool.

Hello.

Hello.

I didn't know why I replied to the hat, maybe instinct, but it took a moment for me to realise that I was talking to a hat. In my head. I was just lucky that it wasn't the strangest thing I had ever encountered.

Ohhh, finally, an easy one.

What do you mean 'easy'?

Brave, chivalrous, loyal, a true Gryffindor.

I didn't get a chance to reply before the hat spoke aloud.

"Gryffindor!"

The red table erupted into cheers as I stood and made my way over to them.

 

PERCY'S POV

I ascended the stairs as Jason descended them. The teacher barely had time to call out my name before I sat down. The hat was placed on my head just like it had been placed on the others. By now I could guess what was probably going to happen, but it didn't make it any less unnerving when it did.

How many more of there are you?

Percy did a quick headcount in his head.

After me? Six.

Just my luck. Extra work. Luckily your minds are much more exciting than that of eleven-year-olds.

Thanks... I think.

Hmm, now what do we have here?

I held back a shiver as I felt the hat come through my mind.

Not a Ravenclaw I wouldn't think, and yes, resourceful like a Slytherin, but you lack their other traits. Gryffindor or Hufflepuff then. Loyal, kind, brave, fair, a good friend, you'd fit either. So like I've said many times tonight, it's now up to you. Red or yellow?

I looked between the two of them. They both had their pros, and honestly, I was tempted to pick Hufflepuff, but then I remembered why we were here. Harry Potter had something to do with it, and we needed to get closer to him. Annabeth had said we needed to spread out amongst the houses, but even if we were spread evenly, they'd still be more people in two of the houses. No doubt people like Hazel and Frank would end up in Hufflepuff, so in this case I decided to listen to my gut rather than my girlfriend. Which was probably a bad idea, as that almost always ended in disaster, but it was a choice I made and I would have to live with the consequences.

Gryffindor.

"Gryffindor!" The hat shouted again.

I grinned as the red table erupted into another round of cheers.

 

CLARISSE'S POV

I aimed a kick at Prissy as I passed him, but he managed to dodge and instead of falling flat on his dorky face he shot me a cocky grin. I scowled at him, muttering threats under my breath. I may mildly tolerate him, but that didn't mean I had to be nice to him.

The hat was plonked down on my head unceremoniously. I had no doubt that was because the teacher had seen my attempt to trip that Kelp Head up.

An angry one. Fun.

Do your job and get out of my head.

Even in your thoughts you still manage to radiate anger. Intriguing.

I'll throw you into the fire hat.

Okay, okay. Well, not a Ravenclaw, that's for sure. They tend to have more tact than that. Cunning and resourceful, like a Slytherin. A bit of ambition too. A kind heart balances it out, no matter what act you put on. You've been hurt. Brave, stupidly so sometimes. Reckless. You'd make a good Gryffindor. The choice is now in your hands.

Which one punches things?

The Gryffindors tend to be more rough and tumble.

Then I chose that one.

"Gryffindor!"

And so I stood, cracking my knuckles while grinning maniacally at my new comrades. This year was going to be better than I thought.

 

Chapter Text

HAZEL'S POV

"Levesque, Hazel." Professor McGonagall readout.

Frank gave me a reassuring nod as I climbed the stairs to the stool. I sat down nervously, the hat placed on my head a moment later.

Hello.

Hi? 

Don't worry, I'm in your head.

You're supposed to sort me, right?

That is what it says in the job description. Now, you, you are an old soul. Quite literally. Gentle and kind, in a way that is rare these days. Brave, there's no doubt about that, but in this case, I think that Hufflepuff might be the best fit.

I recalled what Annabeth had said about the house. They were the ones with the yellow and black flag with the badger. The kind ones.

That sounds nice. Thank you.

Spoken like a true Hufflepuff. 

"Hufflepuff!"

The yellow table cheered loudly as I stood up and hurried over to them, flashing my friends a soft smile as I passed them.

 

PIPER'S POV

"McLean, Piper."

My hands fell back to my sides from where the had been fiddling with the harpy feather at the end of my braid. Almost instinctively I climbed the stairs and sat down on the stool, staring ahead as the professor placed the old hat on my head.

There would be three of you left after this, no?

Three after me.

I responded automatically before I realized that the voice I was hearing, I was the only one hearing.

Don't worry, you're not crazy. I'm just here to sort you.

It feels like I'm going to end up getting heavily judged.

It is not my job to judge, simply to tell the truth.

There's often not much of a difference in my experience.

I guess we'll see about that. Cunning, resourceful, courageous, loyal, determined, creative, quick-witted. So many places you could go. Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. The choice is yours child.

Not Gryffindor. There are already too many of us there. Frank will probably end up in Hufflepuff, and Leo in Ravenclaw. Slytherin is the smartest choice.

Indeed. Now, was that so hard.

I didn't get a chance to respond.

"Slytherin!"

 

CALYPSO'S POV

"Nightshade, Calypso."

I blinked back a tear when the professor called out the last name I had elected to use. I had been told that it was the one, my sister, Zoe had used. Although we hadn't always seen eye to eye, I still remembered her fondly and it had been upsetting to learn of her death.

I shook myself from my thoughts and scurried up the steps, sitting down and allowing the professor to place the hat on my head.

You know, I'm regretting calling that other girl an old soul, you're much older.

So you can talk aloud and inside people's heads. Fun.

Impatient, are we?

I'm tired of waiting for other people.

Fair enough. Let's get on with it then. You're quite inspired, resourceful, fiery. Curious too. You'd be a good fit for Ravenclaw. More than the other houses at least.

That's encouraging. Ravenclaw it is then. 

"Ravenclaw!"

 

LEO'S POV

I winked at Calypso as I passed her on the stairs. She rolled her eyes but smiled begrudgingly nonetheless. I grinned, pleased with myself. 

I half skipped over to the stool and sat down very dramatically, causing several students to laugh. I could almost hear the teacher roll her eyes as she put the hat down on my head.

Quite the flair for the dramatic I see.

Hey, I could have set myself on fire.

That is something I would like to witness, but I have a feeling the professors would disapprove. 

That's never stopped me before.

I have a feeling you'll be making a fair few trips to the headmaster's office.

Who says I'm going to get caught?

Oh dear, you're just like the Weasley twins. But not a Gryffindor I would think. No, you're much more inventive and creative. 

Like a Ravenclaw?

Yes. Is that your choice? Because you do fit the other houses as well, even Gryffindor, but I don't think the staff would ever forgive me if I put you with the Weasley twins. 

Ravenclaw. Definitely. I can't annoy my girlfriend if I'm not in the same house as her.

I pity your girlfriend.

"Ravenclaw!"

 

FRANK'S POV

"Zhang, Frank." Professor McGonagall readout.

I was already heading towards the stairs. I was the only one left to be sorted, as my surname was the only one that began with 'z'. 

The hat was placed down on my head like I had seen it be put on my friends'. 

The last one. I hope this is quick. As exciting as you people are, it's time for my nap.

Uh... okay.

I'm kidding. A hat doesn't need to sleep. Doesn't mean I don't like to, but I don't need to. And I most certainly don't have a designated nap time. I'm not a temperamental small child. 

I simply found myself nodding.

Right, let's get to it, shall we?

Okay.

That wasn't really a question. Now, you're a kind person, a loyal friend. Brave, no question about it. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. But you aren't rash like a lot of Gryffindors. I'm inclined to say Hufflepuff, but the final decision is yours to make.

Hufflepuff.

Hazel.

"Hufflepuff!" The hat called out.

I stood and took off the hat, smiling at the cheering yellow table, which included my beaming girlfriend.

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

The two prefects for Ravenclaw house, Padma Patil and Anthony Goldstein took us along with the first years, which we technically were on a brief tour through the castle, although it was only the landmarks on the way to Ravenclaw tower.

The door was opened by answering a riddle. I could see Leo look alarmed at the prospect, along with quite a few of the first years. I rolled my eyes and exchanged a look with Calypso. Things had been strained between us at first, but we were becoming friends. Slowly but surely. I think Percy had been madder at her than I had been, but at the same time, he still felt a lot of guilt about how everything had gone down.

The Ravenclaw Common Room walls were hung with blue and bronze silks, the domed ceiling painted with stars. I had a feeling I knew who had suggested the starry sky in the Great Hall now. The carpet was midnight blue, which in most rooms which simply look foul, but this room managed to pull it off. There was also a statue of a woman who I assumed was Rowena Ravenclaw herself, wearing a delicate-looking diadem.

I studied it for a long moment, my eyes lingering on the diadem. Calypso nudged me, indicating that we should follow Padma. I followed quietly, but couldn't resist a glance back at the statue. Something about it seemed important, I just didn't know what.

Calypso and I ended up in the Year 5 girls' dorm. Two extra beds had been set up, and our trunks were already there. In addition to Padma, there were four other girls in the dormitory. One introduced herself as Isabel MacDougal. She was a subdued looking girl whose attention quickly turned back to her book. Lisa Turpin was another, who returned to chatting with Padma after introducing herself. Sue Li didn't pay much attention to us, as she was busy sketching on a piece of parchment. The last girl was Amanda Brocklehurst, or Mandy as she insisted we call her. She bounced around us as we got ready for bed, talking animatedly about everything and anything.

It was mildly irritating, but it was good to know that some people in the castle were happy to have us here.

 

HAZEL'S POV

Hannah Abbott and Ernie MacMillan were the prefects for Hufflepuff, Frank and I quickly learnt. Along with the first-year students, we were treated to a guided tour to the Hufflepuff Dormitory. It was down in the basement, and we passed a painting of fruit that Hannah noted was the entrance to the kitchens.

Ernie tapped the rhythm of 'Helga Hufflepuff' on the barrel two from the barrel, middle of the second row. It vanished, revealing a tunnel that led to the Common Room.

It was a very cozy looking room, with plants seemingly everywhere, and plenty of comfy sofas and chairs that a few students were already relaxing in. The view from the windows was one of dandelions and rippling grass. The room as a whole was large, round and had low ceilings. It was the kind of place that made you feel at home.

Ernie and Hannah directed the first years towards their own dorms, before guiding Frank and me towards the fifth year dorms. One girl was already asleep when we got inside, but the others greeted me warmly. Hannah settled down next to Megan, patting the spot next to her.

"Come on. The first night we always spend catching up. Well, except for Allie, but she has to get up really early, so she always the first asleep."

"Thanks." I smiled, a warm feeling in my chest.

I hoped the rest of my friends were having a good time as I was.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

After spending only a night in the Slytherin dorm, I could already understand why they got a bad rep. Sure, some of them were nice, but most acted like entitled brats. I mostly stuck by Nico because the other Slytherins seemed to avoid him.

The only girl in my dorm that didn't seem like a brat was a girl named Ashley. She had brown hair and glasses and looked fairly innocent. She was actually a master pickpocket who took great joy in messing with people for no particular reason, but, once again, she wasn't a stuck-up prat, which was a win in Piper's book.

I sat next to Ashley- making sure to keep an eye on my valuables- during my first class of the day, which was Transfiguration. Professor McGonagall was the head of Gryffindor house, but she didn't seem to let it interfere with the way she treated other houses.

I had double Potions with Gryffindors second. The moment Nico and I entered the classroom we made a beeline for the table that Clarisse, Percy and Jason were sitting at. We got some disgusted looks from the other Slytherins, but to be honest I didn't care.

"Settle down." The teacher- Professor Snape- ordered as he slammed the door behind him.

The classroom quieted down immediately. 

"Before we begin today's lesson," said Snape, sweeping over to his desk and staring around at them all, "I think it appropriate to remind you that next June you will be sitting an important examination, during which you will prove how much you have learned about the composition and use of magical potions. Moronic though some of this class undoubtedly are, I expect you to scrape an 'Acceptable' in your O.W.L, or suffer my... displeasure."

His gaze lingered on a nervous-looking Gryffindor boy.

"After this year, of course, many of you will cease studying with me. I take only the best into my N.E.W.T Potions class, which certainly means that some of us will be saying goodbye."

At this, Snape glared at Harry, who glared back just as intensely. As she watched, the professor's eyes shifted to Percy and Clarisse, who were most definitely not paying attention.

"You will most certainly fail if you don't listen." He declared pointedly.

I nudged Clarisse under the table. She whirled around to scowl at me.

"What is it, McLean-"

"I believe what your classmate is telling you, Miss La Rue, is that it would be wise to pay attention to me." Snape snapped.

He stared at Clarisse and Percy a moment longer before continuing on with the instructions for the class. I made sure to listen to every word of it. There was no way I was failing any of my classes.

 

JASON'S POV

By the end of the day, I was beginning to see that this was going to be a very long year. Hogwarts may be a magical school, but it was still a school, something which both Clarisse and Percy had complained about many times during the day.

We had double Defence Against the Dark Arts last, with the new professor. I wasn't one to make snap judgements about someone, but I had a feeling that she wasn't a very good person.

When we entered the classroom, she was already seated at her desk, fluffy pink cardigan and all. Everyone was silent as we sat down.

"Well good afternoon!" She said false-cheerfully when we were all seated.

A few people mumbled a 'good afternoon' in reply, myself included.

"Tut, tut. That won't do, now, will it? I should like you, please, to reply 'Good afternoon Professor Umbridge'. One more time, please. Good afternoon class!"

"Good afternoon Professor Umbridge." We chanted back at her.

"There now, that wasn't too difficult, was it? Wands away and quills out, please."

The class exchanged gloomy looks. Professor Umbridge drew out her own wand and tapped the board, words appearing on the board. They read 'Defence Against the Dark Arts; A Return to Basic Principles'. Jason could only read them because of the spell on his glasses. The rest of his friends, excluding Frank, were using special quills and had charms that allowed them to read better, although not perfectly.

"Well now, your teaching in this subject has been rather disrupted and fragmented, hasn't it? The constant changing of teachers, many of whom do not seem to have followed any Ministry-approved curriculum, has unfortunately resulted in your being far below the standard we would expect to see in your O.W.L year. You will be please to know, however, that these problems are now to be rectified. We will be following a carefully structured, theory-centred, Ministry-approved course of defensive magic this year. Copy down the following please."

She tapped her wand on the board again, producing three bullet points under the heading 'Course Aims'. For a few minutes, the room was full of the sound of scratching quills on parchment. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Percy seeming to drift in and out of consciousness, but he was probably just bored.

Following the copying of the course aims, Professor Umbridge instructed the class to read the first chapter of the book. It was incredibly boring. Jason only managed to get a page through it, which took almost ten minutes, when he spotted Hermione with her book closed and her hand high in the air.

As the minutes passed, more and more people were simply watching Hermione instead of reading. It was then that Professor Umbridge decided to call on her.

"Did you want to ask something about the chapter, dear?"

"Not about the chapter, no."

"Well, we're reading just now. If you have other queries, we can deal with them at the end of class."

"I've got a query about your course aims."

Professor Umbridge raised her eyebrows.

"And your name is?"

"Hermione Granger."

"Well, Miss Granger, I think the course aims are perfectly clear if you read them through carefully. 

"Well, I don't. There's nothing in there about using defensive spells."

There was a brief silence in which most of the class turned to frown at the course aims still written on the board.

"Using defensive spells? Why I can't imagine any situation arising in my classroom that would require you to use a defensive spell, Miss Granger. You surely aren't expecting to be attacked during class?"

And so began the slew of outraged questions from Gryffindors, and Percy and Jason trying to stop Clarisse from doing anything rash. It continued until Harry and Professor Umbridge began to argue back and forth, and Harry uttered a name that made everyone go white in the face and look around nervously.

"Ten points from Gryffindor, Mr Potter."

I didn't think that was fair. All Harry did was tell the truth. Sure, he wasn't as polite as he could have been, but he didn't deserve to be called a liar or to have points taken away.

"Now, let me make a few things quite plain. You have been told that a certain dark wizard is back from the dead-"

"He wasn't dead," Harry interrupted, "But yeah, he's returned."

"Mr-Potter-you-have-already-lost-your-house-ten-points-do-not-make-matters-worse-for-yourself." Said Professor Umbridge in one breath, "As I was saying, you have been told a certain dark wizard is at large again. This is a lie."

"It is not a lie!" Harry replied angrily, "I saw him, I fought him!"

"Detention, Mr Potter. Tomorrow evening. Five o'clock. My office. I repeat, this is a lie."

...

So, Harry got detention for the rest of the week and got sent to Professor McGonagall's office. The only thing I learnt in that lesson was that if it was necessary, the combined effort of Percy and I could stop Clarisse from brutally murdering someone.

Chapter Text

HARRY'S POV

On Tuesday at five to five, I said goodbye to Ron, Hermione, Jason and Percy and headed off to detention. When I knocked on the door I was greeted with a sickeningly sweet 'come on' and then was assaulted by a violently pink office.

It was unrecognisable. The surfaces had all been covered in lacy covers and cloths. There were several vases of dried flowers, and on one of the walls resided the most hideous collection of ornamental plates I had ever seen, each one displaying a large technicolour kitten with a different coloured bow.

They were so foul that I stared at them, transfixed until Professor Umbridge spoke again.

"Good evening, Mr Potter."

I started and looked around. I hadn't noticed her at first because she was wearing a luridly flowered set of robes that blended only too well with the tablecloth on the desk behind her.

"Evening, Professor Umbridge."

"Well, sit down." She instructed, pointing towards a small table draped in lace beside which she had drawn up a straight-backed chair.

A piece of blank parchment lay on the table, apparently waiting for me.

"Er," I said, without moving, "Professor Umbridge. Er- before we start, I- I wanted to ask you a... a favour."

Her bulging eyes narrowed.

"Oh, yes?"

"Well, I'm... I'm in the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and I was supposed to be at the tryouts for the new Keeper at five o'clock on Friday. I was- I was wondering whether I could skip detention that night and do it another night instead."

I knew before I finished that it was no good.

"Oh no." Said Umbridge, smiling widely, "Oh, no, no, no. This is your punishment for spreading evil, nasty, attention-seeking stories, Mr Potter, and punishments certainly cannot be adjusted to suit the guilty one's convenience. No, you will come here at five o'clock tomorrow, and the next day, and on Friday too, and you will do your detentions as planned. I think it rather a good thing that you are missing something you really want to do. It ought to reinforce the lesson I am trying to teach you."

I clenched my fists, channelling my anger into that instead of Umbridge. Angelina would have my head if I missed practice if I had detention. It didn't help that she was watching him, still smiling widely, as if to see whether he would start shouting again.

With a massive effort, Harry looked away from her, dropped his schoolbag beside the chair and sat down.

"There," said Umbridge sweetly, "We're getting better at controlling our temper already, aren't we? Now, you are going to be doing some lines for me, Mr Potter."

I reached down to get my quill out of my bag.

"No, not with your quill." She added, " You're going to be using a rather special one of mine. Here you are."

She handed me a long, black quill with an unusually sharp point.

"I want you to write 'I must not tell lies'."

"How many times?"

"Oh, as long as it takes for the message to sink in. Off you go."

She moved over to her desk, sat down, and bent down over a stack of parchment that looked like essays for marking. I raised the quill to begin, before realising what was missing.

"You haven't given me any ink."

"Oh, you won't be needing any ink."

I placed the tip of the quill on the parchment and wrote: I must not tell lies.

I let out a gasp of pain as the words appeared in what appeared to be shining red ink, while the same words appeared on the back of my hand. Yet even as he stared at the shining cut, the skin healed over again, leaving the place where it had been slightly redder than before. I looked up at Umbridge. She was watching me, her toadlike mouth stretched into a smile.

"Yes?"

"Nothing."

I looked back down to the parchment and continued to write out 'I must not tell lies' again and again, feeling the words cut into my hand every time, and every time it healed slower.

Darkness fell outside Umbridge's window. I didn't ask when I would be allowed to stop. He didn't even check his watch. I knew she was watching for signs of weakness and I wasn't going to show any, not even if I had to sit here all night.

"Come here." She ordered, after what seemed like hours.

I stood up. My hand was stinging painfully. When I looked down I could see that the cut had healed, but that the skin was still red.

"Hand." She said.

I extended it. She took it in her own. I repressed a shudder as she touched it.

"Tut, tut. I don't seem to have made much of an impression yet. Well, we'll have to try again tomorrow evening, won't we? You may go."

I left her office without a word. I walked slowly up the corridor, then, when I had turned a corner so I was sure she wouldn't hear me, I broke into a run.

Chapter Text

JASON'S POV

I was the first one up in the boy's dorm, as usual. I had gotten ready for the day before the sun had begun to peek through the curtains. I studied my classmates for a moment, wondering whether or not to wake them up, or at least Percy, but I decided against it. Instead, I wandered down to the Common Room, which was almost entirely empty, aside from a few students who seemed to have fallen asleep there. 

I sat down cautiously in one of the armchairs next to the fire with a book one of my professors had recommended. 

I had barely gotten a few pages in before I heard footsteps. I glanced up to see Hermione descending the stairs from the girl's dormitory looking exhausted, but ready for the day nonetheless. 

"Hi." She mumbled, slumping down on the couch across from me.

"Hi." I replied, "Is something wrong?"

"No, everything's fine. I just didn't get much sleep last night."

"Why not?" I asked, having already started to view Hermione, Harry and Ron as my charges.

"We stayed up late talking to..." She trailed off.

"Who?" I pressed.

She glanced around and then leaned closer before answering.

"Sirius."

I nodded, reminding myself to tell Percy and Clarisse about it later, and hopefully the others as well if we got time. Cross house friendships or relationships weren't always widely accepted.

"What did you talk about?"

"That's a long story."

"I've got time."

That was all it took to get Hermione to recount the events of the last few days, including Harry's detentions, Ron's brother's letter and their talk with Sirius. By the time she was finished, the Common Room was flooded with people, including Ron, Harry, Percy and Clarisse. 

Once she did finish, we headed down for breakfast. While the rest of us dug into breakfast, Ron and Percy especially, Hermione anxiously awaited the arrival of the owl carrying her copy of the Daily Prophet. I was busy muttering a prayer to the gods under my breath, instead of burning food for them. They had given us a pardon from it, at Hecate's insistence, but we still had to honour them. 

I looked up when Hermione gasped in surprise and horror. The front page of the Daily Prophet displayed a large photo of Professor Umbridge, smiling widely at the camera. The headline read 'MINISTRY SEEKS EDUCATIONAL REFORM; DOLORES UMBRIDGE APPOINTED FIRST EVER HIGH INQUISITOR'.

"Umbridge- High Inquisitor?" Harry muttered, his toast dropping from his fingers, "What does that mean?"

Hermione began to read aloud:

"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. 'The Minister has been growing uneasy about the goings-on at Hogwarts for some time,' said Junior Assistant to the Minister, Percy Weasley. 'He is responding to concerns voiced by anxious parents, who feel the school may be moving in a direction they do not approve of.' This is not the first time in recent weeks that the Minister, Cornelius Fudge, has used new laws to effect improvements at the wizarding school. As recently as 30th August, Educational Decree Number Twenty-two was passed, to ensure that, in the event of the current headmaster being unable to provide a candidate for a teaching post, the Ministry should select an appropriate person. 'That's how Dolores Umbridge came to be appointed to the teaching staff at Hogwarts,' said Weasley last night. 'Dumbledore couldn't find anyone so the Minister put in Umbridge, and of course, she's been an immediate success-"

"She's been a what?" Harry interrupted loudly.

Hermione hushed him and continued to read. All Jason could do was sit there and listen in disbelief to the lies the article was spouting. 

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

A few weeks into the school term, during a Care of Magical Creatures lesson, Jason and Percy cornered me. Ashley shot me a mischievous look as they did so, but I waved her off, instead focusing on my boyfriend and friend. 

"What's going on guys?" I asked quietly. 

"Okay, what do you think about learning Defense Against the Dark Arts outside of school?" Percy wondered.

"I'd say that we're barely learning anything during school," I replied. 

"What Percy is trying to say is that Hermione came up with an idea for Harry to teach us all Defense Against the Dark Arts as a sort of extracurricular."

"First of all, I have a feeling it's going to be less 'extracurricular' and more 'secret society'. Second, what do you mean by 'us'?"

"Whoever wants to learn," Jason answered. 

"I'm guessing not any Slytherins outside of Nico and me though." 

"They don't trust them, sorry Pipes." Jason apologised, "We could barely get them to let us ask you two."

"It's fine." I assured them, "Sounds good. Is there a meeting I need to know about?" 

"It's at a place called the Hog's Head, the next Hogsmeade visit," Percy informed her.

"Got it." I smiled.

Percy ran off to talk to Nico, but before Jason could follow I pulled him in for a quick kiss when I was sure Professor Grubbly-Plank wasn't watching

 

NICO'S POV

The Hogsmeade rolled around on the first weekend of October. Piper and I left together, heading straight for the Hog's Head. 

It was a dingy little bar on the outskirts of town. A battered-looking sign hung over the door, with a picture of a hog's severed head on it.

Inside wasn't much better. It was comprised of one small, grimy room that smelled faintly of goats. The windows were so dirty that very little light shone through. At first glance, the floor seemed like it was made of condensed earth, but a closer look told me that it was actually stone covered by layers of filth.

There were a few odd people in the bar, like someone who was covered head to toe in bandages, and another person who was wearing a veil. Luckily we weren't alone there, as Hermione, Harry, Ron, Percy, Jason and Clarisse were already there. 

"Hi, guys." Percy waved.

The other Gryffindors echoed his greeting as we sat down beside them. 

"Who else did you say is supposed to be meeting us?" Harry asked, glancing towards the door.

"Just a couple of people." Hermione replied, "I told them to be here about now and I'm sure they all know where it is- oh look, this might be them now."

The door of the pub had opened. A thick band of dusty sunlight split the room in two for a moment and then vanished, blocked by the incoming rush of people. 

First came a cluster of Gryffindors I vaguely recognised, followed by a few Ravenclaws including Annabeth, Leo and Calypso, and then more Gryffindors, then Frank and Hazel accompanied by people I had never seen before, with Ginny Weasley thrown in the mix. Lastly came the Weasley twins with their friend, Lee Jordan. 

"A couple of people?" Harry asked Hermione hoarsely.

"Yes, well, the idea seemed quite popular." Hermione said happily, "Ron, pull up a few more chairs, won't you?"

The barman had frozen in the act of wiping out a glass with a rag so filthy it looked as though it had never been washed. Possibly, he had never seen his pub so full.

"Hi," said Fred, reaching the bar first and quickly counting his companions, "Could we have... thirty-two Butterbeers please?"

The barman glared at him for a moment, then, throwing down his rag irritably as though he had been interrupted doing something important, reached under the bar and started passing up dusty Butterbeers.

"Cheers," replied Fred, handing them out, "Cough up everyone, I haven't got enough gold for all of these."

I watched the chattering group rummage through their robes to find coins, sipping on my own Butterbeer, as out of the corner of my eye I saw Harry and Hermione arguing in low voices. 

After a few minutes, Hermione stood up to address the group.

"Er. Well- er- hi." 

The group seemed to focus on her now, but eyes still darted back to Harry.

"Well... erm... well, you know why you're here. Erm... well, Harry here had the idea- I had the idea that it might be good if people who wanted to study Defense Against the Dark Arts- and I mean, really study it, you know, not the rubbish that Umbridge is doing with us. I thought it might be good if we, well, took matters into our own hands."

She paused, glancing sideways at Harry.

"And by that, I mean learning how to defend ourselves properly, not just in theory but doing the real spells-"

"You want to pass your Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L too, though, I bet?" A boy piped up.

"Of course I do," said Hermione at once, "But more than that, I want to be properly trained in defence because... because Lord Voldemort is back."

The reaction was immediate. Several kids shrieked and spilled their Butterbeer, some twitched, others shuddered. All of them, however, remained fixated on Harry.

"Well... that's the plan anyway," said Hermione, "If you want to join us, we need to decide how we're going to-"

"Where's the proof You-Know-Who's back?" Another boy asked aggressively. 

"Well, Dumbledore believes it-" Hermione began.

"You mean Dumbledore believes him." He interrupted, pointing at Harry.

"Who are you?" Ron asked rather rudely. 

"Zacharias Smith, and I think we've got the right to know exactly what makes him say that You-Know-Who is back."

"Look, that's not really what this meeting was supposed to be about..."

"It's okay Hermione."

Harry paused for a moment before continuing.

"What makes me say that Voldemort's back? I saw him. But Dumbledore told the whole school what happened last year, and if you didn't believe him you won't believe me, and I'm not wasting an entire afternoon trying to convince anyone." 

"All Dumbledore told us last year was that Cedric Diggory got killed by You-Know-Who and that you brought Diggory's body back to Hogwarts. He didn't tell us exactly how Diggory got murdered, I think we'd all like to know-"

"If you've come to hear exactly what it looks like when Voldemort murders someone, I can't help you. I don't want to talk about Cedric Diggory, all right? So if that's what you're here for, you might as well clear out."

He cast an angry look in Hermione's direction.

"So... like I was saying... if you want to learn some defence, then we need to work out how we're going to do it, how often we're going to meet, and where we're going to-"

"Is it true you can produce a corporeal Patronus?" A girl with a long plait interrupted. 

"Yeah," Harry said.

"A corporeal Patronus?" She insisted.

I set a questioningly look at Annabeth, who was the most well-informed out of all of us, but she simply shrugged. 

"Er- you don't know Madam Bones, do you?" Harry asked awkwardly.

"She's my auntie. I'm Susan Bones. She told me about your hearing. So- is it true? You can make a stag Patronus?"

"Yes," Harry said.

"Blimey, Harry!" Lee Jordan exclaimed, looking impressed, "I never knew that."

"Mum told Ron not to spread it around. She said you got enough attention as it was." Fred grinned.

"She's not wrong," Harry mumbled, causing a few people to laugh. 

"And did you kill a Basilisk with that sword in Dumbledore's office?" A boy from before demanded, "That's what one of the portraits on the wall told me last year."

"Er- yeah, I did."

A few people cheered quietly.

"And in our first year," The nervous Gryffindor boy said to the group, "He saved that Philological Stone-"

"Philosopher's." Hermione hissed.

"Yes, that, from You-Know-Who." The boy finished.

"And that's not to mention all the tasks he had to get through last year, getting past dragons and merpeople and things..." A pretty Asian girl said, smiling at Harry.

Percy whistled, even though I knew he had been through worse, we all had. It was still fairly impressive for a boy like Harry- I guess.

"Look," He said, causing everyone to fall silent, "I don't want it to sound like I'm trying to be modest or anything, but I had a lot of help with all that stuff."

"Not with the dragon you didn't. That was a seriously cool bit of flying." Another boy pointed out.

"Yeah, well-"

"And nobody helped you get rid of those dementors this summer." Susan Bones added.

"No, no, okay, I know I did bits of it without help, but the point I'm trying to make is-"

"Are you trying to weasel out of showing us anything?" Zacharias Smith said.

"Here's an idea," Ron said loudly, "Why don't you shut your mouth?"

"Well, we've all turned up to learn from him, and now he's telling us he can't really do any of it."

"That's not what he said." Fred snarled.

"Would you like us to clean out your ears for you?" George inquired, pulling a long and lethal-looking metal instrument from inside one of his bags.

"Or any part of your body really, we're not fussy about where we stick this." Fred continued. 

"Yes, well," said Hermione hastily, "Moving on, the point is, are we agreed that we want to take lessons from Harry?"

And despite the previous objections, we were.

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

At ten to seven, I ushered Leo and Calypso out of the Ravenclaw Common room. Despite the enactment of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four, we had been told this morning the time and location of the first meeting of the Defense Against the Dark Arts club, or society, or whatever it was going to end up being called. 

I was slightly ahead of Leo and Calypso, who seemed to be playfully arguing about something or rather. Honestly, it just made me miss Percy. We hadn't seen each other as much as we would have liked. If it hadn't been for Calypso sleeping in the same room, I probably would have woken up the other kids in the dorm because of my nightmares. Luckily she kept an eye out for me.

Even so, I still struggled to sleep at night, sometimes just staying up all night studying or doing homework instead. I knew Percy had the same problems, and I had a sneaking suspicion Nico had them to some degree, but he was far less open about that, and, well, most things.

"Is this it?" Calypso asked, jolting me from my thoughts.

Her and Leo had pulled ahead of me and were currently standing outside a grand door. I glanced around, checking to see if the statue that was meant to be there was there. 

"Yes." I nodded, spotting it.

"What do you think we'll learn?" Calypso asked as Leo opened the door, playfully bowing and waving her through first. 

She rolled her eyes but went through anyway. I followed behind, Leo following behind me. 

It was a room I had never seen before, and it seemed perfectly equipped for what we were doing. There were cushions, overflowing bookcases, and an assortment of what I assumed where magical artifacts. 

It looked as though we were some of the last to arrive. I made a beeline to where the other demigods were, sitting down beside Percy. Leo and Calypso sat down beside me, Leo earning a light slap from Calypso when he kept talking over Harry. 

"Harry's leader." A fellow Ravenclaw, Cho Chang declared, bringing me- along with most of the other demigods, who had been distracted by Leo's antics- back to the conversation at hand. 

"Yes, but I think we ought to vote on it properly." Hermione said, "It makes it formal and it gives him authority. So- everyone who thinks Harry ought to be leader?"

Every single person in the room put their hand up, even the Hufflepuff boy that kept arguing with Harry back in the Hog's Head.

"Er- right, thanks." Harry said, his face flushed, "And- what Hermione."

"I also think we ought to have a name." The bushy-haired girl said brightly, "It would promote a feeling of team spirit and unity, don't you think?"

"Can we be the Anti-Umbridge League?"A Gryffindor girl asked hopefully.

"Or the Ministry of Magic are Morons Group?" Fred suggested.

"I was thinking, more of a name that didn't tell everyone what we were up to, so we can refer to it safely out of meetings."

"The Defense Association?" Cho said, "The DA for short, so nobody knows what we're talking about?" 

"Yeah, the DA's good," Ginny smirked, "Only let's make it stand for Dumbledore's Army, because that's the Ministry's worst fear, isn't it?" 

There was a good deal of appreciative murmuring and laughter at this.

"All in favour of the DA?" Hermione said bossily, kneeling up on her cushion to count, "That's a majority- motion passed."

She stood and pinned the parchment with all their names on it to the wall, and wrote 'DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY' across the top in large letters.

"Right," said Harry when she sat down, "Shall we get practising then? I was thinking, the first thing we should do is Expelliarmus, you know, the Disarming Charm. I know it's pretty basic, but I've found it really useful-"

"Oh please," Zacharias Smith said, rolling his eyes, "I don't think Expelliarmus is exactly going to help us against You-Know-Who, do you?"

"I've used it against him," Harry admitted quietly, "It saved my life in June."

Smith opened his mouth stupidly. The rest of the room was very quiet. 

"But if you think it's beneath you, you can leave?" Harry continued. 

No one moved. 

"Okay. I reckon we should all divide into pairs and practice." 

Everyone leapt to their feet and began to partner up.

"I don't want to go with him," Clarisse complained when she realised her and Nico were the only ones of the ten without a partner. 

Frank and Hazel exchanged a glance before Frank stepped forward.

"I'll go with you." He offered, "Hazel can go with Nico."

Clarisse looked him up and down with a huff. It was weird to think that the two were technically siblings.

"Fine." She agreed.

With that sorted, we all split off.

"Have you seen anything suspicious?" I asked Percy as we made our way to a clear spot.

"I don't know what counts as suspicious in this place, but I don't think so. This seems like a normal year, except for, you know, Voldemort and Umbridge. What about you?"

I shook my head. 

"I wish we could IM Chiron." Percy sighed as we took our places facing each other, drawing our wands. 

"He told us not to." I reminded him.

"I know, it's just... we have no idea what we're doing."

"Well, I do. Expelliarmus."

Percy jumped in surprise as his wand went flying out of his hand and hit the wall. 

"My point." I grinned.

"Oh, you're on." 

 

Chapter Text

PERCY'S POV

The next few weeks passed quickly thanks to the addition of the DA. It was annoying at first because they had to work around the Quidditch practices for three different teams, but Hermione made gold coins- galleons, I think they're called- that have numbers on the bottom that change when Harry sets the date. 

Everyone was very impressed about her being able to cast something called the Protean charm, which Annabeth explained was a difficult spell usually not taught until Year 6 or 7. 

The meetings were put on hold as the first Quidditch match of the season, Gryffindor vs. Slytherin neared. In the days leading up to the game, it became apparent just how competitive the students and teachers of Hogwarts were. Professor McGonagall didn't give them homework the week of the match, and Professor Snape turned a blind eye to all the reports of Slytherins attempts to hex Gryffindor players. 

When the day of the match finally rolled around, everyone was up and in the stands bright and early. I sat beside a group of Gryffindors including Hermione and Neville, as well as the other demigods, including Piper and Nico, who had managed to sneak over from the Slytherin side. 

Luna Lovegood was there too, with a rather peculiar hat that they had a good laugh about. 

The match started after a very tense handshake between the two captains. Ron headed for the goals, and Harry zoomed around the pitch looking for the little gold ball. The twins' friend Lee Jordan was commentating.

"And it's Johnson- Johnson with the Quaffle, what a player that girl is, I've been saying it for years but she still won't go out with me-"

"JORDAN!" McGonagall yelled.

"Just a fun fact, Professor, adds a bit of interest- and she's ducked Warrington, she's passed Montague, she's- ouch- been hit from behind by a Bludger from Crabbe... Montague catches the Quaffle, Montague heading back up the pitch and- nice Bludger there from George Weasley, that's a Bludger to the head for Montague, he drops the Quaffle, caught by Katie Bell, Katie Bell of Gryffindor reverse-passes Alicia Spinnet and Spinnet's away, dodges Warrington, avoids a Bludger- close call, Alicia- and the crowd are loving this, just listen to them, what's that they're singing?" 

As Lee paused to listen, the song rose from the Slytherin section of the stands:

"Weasley cannot save a thing,

He cannot block a single ring,

And that's why Slytherins all sing:

Weasley is our King.

Weasley was born in a bin

He always lets the Quaffle in

Weasley will make sure we win

Weasley is our King."

"-and Alicia passes back to Angelina!" Lee shouted, trying to block out the words of the song, "Come on, now, Angelina- looks like she's just got the Keeper to beat! She shoots- she- aaah...."

The Slytherin Keeper saved the goal, throwing it to another player who zig-zagged past Alicia and Katie. The singing grew louder and louder as he got closer to Ron.

"Weasley is our King,

Weasley is our King,

He always lets the Quaffle in,

Weasley is our King."

Cheers rose from the Gryffindor section of the stands in support of Ron, but it didn't matter. The song had already gotten into his head. 

He missed. Slytherin scored. 

 

PIPER'S POV

"I'm sorry about them." I apologised to my friends as we left the stadium.

Gryffindor had won in the end, thanks to Harry catching the Snitch, but it had been a devastating match. 

"It's not your fault," Jason reassured me.

The others began to all chime in, agreeing with him, but Hermione interrupted us. 

"Harry and the twins have been suspended from the Quidditch team!" She exclaimed, still short of breath from running to catch up with us.

"What? Why? What happened?" Percy asked.

"Malfoy was bitter they lost the match, so he came over and kept taunting them until they attacked him. McGonagall broke it up, and I think they would have gotten off with just detention- all of them- but then Umbridge interfered."

Clarisse muttered a string of very explicit insults that made Hazel's eyes widen and even made Hermione look taken aback. 

"For once, I agree with her," Percy said.

Annabeth nodded, a dark look on her face.

"What's the big deal?" Leo wondered, "Like, it's not the end of the world, right? Oh, shoot, that didn't happen again, right? Did we miss it? Because I hate to miss apocalypses, they make my life so much better."

Hermione frowned, opening her mouth to respond, probably about the end of Leo's comment, but Annabeth interjected before she could say anything.

"It means that Umbridge is gaining power, and she's playing favourites." 

"Annabeth's right," Hermione agreed, "This is only going to get worse from here on out."

 

Chapter Text

JASON'S POV

Shortly after the disastrous quidditch game, the fifth year Gryffindors and Slytherins had their first lesson of the year with Hagrid. 

It seemed to be an unusual lesson right off the bat, as the man we learnt was Hagrid had some sort of dead animal slung over his shoulder- that made Piper gag- and he led them into the depths of Forbidden Forest, causing many of the students to murmur worriedly. 

When we stopped in a clearing, Hagrid dropped the cow to the ground.

"Gather roun', gather roun'." Hagrid encouraged them, "Now, they'll be attracted to the smell of the meat but I'm goin' ter give 'em a call anyway, 'cause they'll like ter know it's me."

He turned and let out an odd, shrieking cry, that would have made most of the students laugh at him if they weren't so terrified. I wasn't terrified, but I was apprehensive. It might be a monster of sorts, and they would certainly come for the demigods, and then our cover would be blown. 

A few minutes passed in which Hagrid called out twice more. Finally, the same creatures that had been pulling the carriages emerged, with the same blank, white eyes and black skeletal body with matching wings. It began to tear flesh from the carcass. 

I visibly relaxed, and I could see several of my fellow demigods doing the same. Except for Clarisse, who looked more disappointed than anything. 

"Why doesn't Hagrid call again?" Ron asked quietly.

I frowned, exchanging a bewildered glance with my girlfriend. It was then I noticed that a lot of the other students were still looking around in confusion as well. Aside from the demigods, Harry, Neville and a Slytherin boy, it seemed as if no one could see them.

"Oh an' here comes another one!" 

And Hagrid.

"Now, put yer hands up, who can see 'em?"

Harry put his hand up first.

"Yeah... yeah, I knew you'd be able ter Harry."

Neville and the demigods slowly raised their hands too.

"An' you lot as well, I knew that. Neville, eh? An'-"

"Excuse me," Malfoy said in a sneering voice, "but what exactly are we supposed to be seeing?"

Instead of answering, Hagrid pointed to the carcass on the ground. The whole class stared at for a few seconds before several people gasped or squealed. 

"What's doing it? What's eating it?" A Gryffindor girl demanded.

"Thestrals." Hagrid replied proudly, "Hogwarts has a whole herd of 'em in here. Now, who knows-?"

"But they're really, really unlucky." The same girl interrupted, "They're supposed to bring all sorts of misfortune on the people who see them. Professor Trelawney told me once-"

"No, no, no." Hagrid chuckled, "That's jus' superstition. They aren' unlucky, they're dead clever an' useful. Course, this lot don't get a lot of work, mostly jus' pullin' the school carriages unless Dumbledore's takin' a long journey an' don' want ter apparate- an' here's another couple, look."

Two more horses came out of the trees, one passing close to the girl, who shivered and pressed herself against a tree. 

"I think I felt something. I think it's near me!" She cried.

"Don' worry, it won't hurt ya. Righ', now, can anyone tell me why some o' yeh can see 'em and some can't?"

Only Hermione raised her hand.

"Go on then," Hagrid said, beaming at her.

"The only people who can see Thestrals," She said, "Are people who have seen death."

"That's exactly right," Hagrid said solemnly, "Ten points ter Gryffindor. Now, Thestrals-"

"Hem, hem."

Professor Umbridge had arrived. She was standing a few feet away from us, wearing her green hat and cloak again, her clipboard at the ready. Hagrid, who had never heard Umbridge's face cough, was staring concernedly at the closest Thestral, evidently thinking that it was it that had made the sound. 

"Hem, hem."

"Oh, hello," Hagrid said, smiling, having located the source of the noise.

"You received the note I sent to your cabin this morning? Telling you that I would be inspecting your lesson?" Umbridge said in a slow, loud voice. 

"Oh, yeah." Hagrid said brightly, "Glad yeh found the place all righ'. Well, as yeh can see- or, I dunno, can you? We're doin' Thestrals today-"

"I'm sorry?" Umbridge said loudly, cupping her hand around her ear and frowning, "What did you say?"

Hagrid looked a little confused. 

"Er- Thestrals." He said loudly, "Big- er- winged horses, yeh know?" 

He flapped his gigantic arms hopefully. Professor Umbridge raised her eyebrows and muttered as she wrote something on her clipboard.

"Has... to... resort... to... crude... sign... language."

"Well, anyway... erm, what was I sayin'?"

"Appears... to... have... poor... short... term... memory," Umbridge muttered loud enough for everyone to hear. 

A lot of Slytherins looked as though Christmas had come a month louder, while a lot of Gryffindors, Harry and co. especially, seemed to be seething.

"Oh yeah," Hagrid said, throwing an uneasy glance towards Umbridge, "Yeah, I was going to tell you how come we got a herd. Yeah, so we started off with a male an' five females. This one," He patted the mane of the first horse who appeared, "name o' Tenebrus, he's my special favourite, firs' one born here in the Forest-"

"You are aware," Umbridge said loudly, interrupting him, "That the Ministry of Magic has classified Thestrals as "dangerous"?" 

"You know, anything could be dangerous in the wrong hands. I don't know what she's trying to get at." A voice hissed in my ear.

My eyes widened as I turned around, my mouth open to reply when I found a hand clamped over it. 

"We need to talk." My sister declared quietly, "Now." 

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

Because we were standing towards the back of the group, and everyone was preoccupied watching Umbridge and Hagrid with expressions varying from outright glee to untamed fury, I was the only one who noticed Thalia's arrival. 

She nodded at me with a slight smirk on her face from where she had her hand over Jason's mouth. She stepped back, motioning for us to follow her. I obeyed immediately, but Jason glanced back at the others before following. 

None of us spoke until we were well out of earshot from the rest of the group. 

"What are you doing here Thalia?" Jason asked, studying his sister closely.

Nothing looked off, but her mere presence here was worrying. 

"Wait a second." She replied, slipping between the trees with ease.

Jason and I exchanged nervous glances but didn't say anything. 

A few moments later, we emerged in a clearing. It seemed like the Hunters had been here for a while, as they had tents set up and a small fire crackling in a pit. Several wolves were circling the area, eyeing us warily as we neared the camp. The Hunters themselves also seemed unusually wary of us. 

"What are you doing here?" Jason asked again.

"We need a safe place to stay for a little bit. Chiron suggested here." Thalia answered briskly, turning to face us. 

Her blue eyes were stormy and guarded, but they had an underlying tone of nervousness. 

"Why here?" I wondered, glancing around the camp and then looking away once I met the eyes of a particularly aggressive-looking Hunter. 

"There are magical wards on the boundaries like the ones at Camp Half-Blood," Thalia explained.

"Why didn't you just stay there?" Jason asked, "I mean, it's good to see you, but this is Europe. Aren't you guys based in the US?"

"We travel." Thalia shrugged, "And as for Camp Half-Blood, how well does that usually work? We don't know how long we'll need to stay, so it's better that we have our own space." 

"Why do you need a safe place?" I asked, concerned for their safety. 

Thalia glanced around and flicked her wrist, which seemed to be a nonverbal command for the Hunters to stop staring and get back to whatever they were doing. All except for the Hunter I had noticed before, who made a beeline straight for us, her wavy brown hair falling over her face as she did so. 

"Several Hunters have vanished over the past few weeks." Thalia replied, "We have no idea who's behind it, but they're ruthlessly effective. Usually, we would have had Lady Artemis to help, but she's still busy dealing with Apollo on Olympus."

"Pompous twat who doesn't deserve her help." The other Hunter- having reached us- declared, before Thalia could do so. 

The daughter of Zeus nodded in agreement. 

"Who are you?" I asked, shifting slightly as I felt her piercing gaze land on me. 

"Storm." She replied shortly.

"I'm Piper." 

"I'm Jason."

"I know." 

When we stared at her in surprise, she shrugged it off.

"You're legends." 

"Storm is the reason we got permission to stay here," Thalia explained. 

"Wait, Dumbledore knows you're here?" I asked in surprise.

Storm rolled her eyes, a look of distaste flitting across her face. 

"Unfortunately." She muttered.

I frowned at that. There was clearly some sort of history there. Maybe they had known each other when they were younger? But that would make her... 

"You're a witch." I realised.

"I was. I guess I still am. I just haven't done magic in decades." 

I studied her more carefully now. She didn't seem like a witch. She looked younger than me, maybe fourteen or fifteen. She had light olive skin and grey eyes which were probably how she got her name and was wearing jeans, black boots, a white t-shirt with a faded image on it, and a leather jacket. She also had a quiver swung over her back, and although there wasn't a bow in sight, I had a sneaking suspicion that it was hidden in the bow-shaped charm on her necklace. 

If she had gone to Hogwarts in her youth like it seemed, her accent had either faded over time or she was remarkably good at hiding it. 

I glanced from her back to Thalia. 

"Why are you telling us this?" I questioned, wondering why they had chosen now to make themselves known.

"As a warning, I guess. I know you haven't had any contact with Chiron, and you should know about what's going on. It might be limited to the Hunters, but, I don't know, it feels like it's bigger than that." Thalia cautioned them. 

"We'll keep an eye out," Jason promised.

"Good. Now, get back to class before anyone notices you're gone. The last thing we need is someone poking around the forest." Thalia ordered. 

"Yes ma'am." I joked, trying to lighten the mood.

Thalia rolled her eyes playfully.

"Scram." She smiled for the first time. 

We bid her farewell and vanished back into the forest. I could feel the Hunters watching us as we left, even after the clearing was out of sight. If I looked carefully I could see the flashes of colour and subtle noises the hidden Hunters made. I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be watching us to make sure we got back safely, or if they didn't trust us. 

It was only once we had slipped back into the crowd of students in the clearing- earning several pointed looks from some of the other demigods, who had clearly noticed our disappearance- that I felt them retreat into the relative safety of the dense forest.

Chapter Text

PERCY'S POV

Christmas was fast approaching, and with it, the school holidays. We already knew that we were spending Christmas at a place called the Burrow, which was where the Weasleys lived, at the invitation of Mr and Mrs Weasley. It seemed like it would be crowded, but also fun. 

I was just disappointed that I couldn't spend Christmas with my mum, Paul, and Estelle. It was a few days before the start of the school holidays that I was woken from a restless sleep by a scream. 

I jolted awake immediately, but for a few brief, terrifying moments, I thought that I was stuck in my dream. Then another scream rang through the air, and I was able to snap myself out of it. 

Jason was already fumbling for his glasses as I scrambled out of bed. The other four boys in the dorm were stirring as well, with Dean Thomas already looking around in confusion. 

It didn't take a genius to realize that it was Harry who was screaming. I hurried over to him, Ron joining me a moment later in an effort to shake him awake. 

"Harry. Harry!" Ron half-yelled at the sleeping boy. 

A few more tense moments passed, with Harry's jerking body throwing the blankets everywhere, and then he opened his eyes. They were glazed over for a moment before they cleared. I stepped back, exchanging a glance with Jason as Harry groaned, clutching his head in his hands. 

Then, for good measure, the black-haired boy rolled over and threw up. 

"He's really ill. Should we call someone?" Neville asked fearfully. 

No one responded. Harry pushed himself into a sitting position, taking heaving breaths.

"Your dad," He panted, "Your dad's... been attacked..." 

"What?" Ron asked, bewildered.

Jason and I caught on a lot quicker but didn't get the chance to say anything before Harry continued. 

"Your dad! He's been bitten, it's serious, there was blood everywhere."

"I'm going for help." Neville decided nervously, running from the dormitory. 

"Harry, mate, you... you were just dreaming," Ron said, seeming to be trying to convince himself. 

"No." Harry replied furiously, "It wasn't a dream... not an ordinary dream... I was there, I saw it... I did it." 

I could hear Dean and Seamus exchange muted words, and I shot them a sharp look, quieting them. I knew how it felt to have these kinds of dreams, and they weren't helping. 

"Harry, you're not well." Ron said nervously as Harry retched again, "Neville's gone for help."

"I'm fine." Harry choked, although he was shaking uncontrollably, "There's nothing wrong with me, it's your dad you've got to worry about- we need to find out where he is- he's bleeding like mad- I was- it was a huge snake."

Harry tried to get out of bed, but Ron pushed him back. Harry didn't try to get back up again. Jason and I retreated to our corner of the room. 

"What was that?" I asked.

"I don't know." Jason replied helplessly, "It seemed similar to demigod dreams, but he's not a demigod. What do you think?"

"What? Why me?" I asked, my eyes widening. 

If I was supposed to be the expert on this, we were screwed, because I had no idea what was going on. 

"You have more experience with dreams." 

"Right." I sighed, "Well, this isn't my kind of thing. Annabeth would be more of an expert on this. Then again, that's true for most things."

"We can ask her in the morning. I'm sorry for bringing it up." 

"It's fine." I shrugged it off.

"I'm here if you want to talk?" Jason offered.

I hesitated for a moment before replying.

"I mean, it would be like how it is for anyone with something like PTSD. It's just, well, harder because, you know, we have prophetic dreams sometimes as well. So sometimes I'll be dreaming of something, and I'll think that it's a vision of the future instead of a flashback to the past, and that really freaks me out, you know?" I stumbled over my own words.

I had never really talked about it with anyone- except for Annabeth, of course.

"I get it. I get them sometimes as well, so do the others. Nowhere near as bad as you two, but, we've all been through some horrible things, and it takes its toll." 

I nodded in agreement.

Just then, we heard Neville's voice from the hallway.

"Over here, Professor."

Moments later, Neville entered with Professor McGonagall. 

"What is it, Potter? Where does it hurt?" She asked briskly.

"It's Ron's dad." Harry replied, sitting up again, "He's been attacked by a snake, and it's serious, I saw it happen."

"What do you mean, you saw it happen?" Professor McGonagall frowned.

"I don't know... I was asleep and then I was there." 

"You mean you dreamed this?' 

"No." Harry responded angrily, "I was having a dream at first about something completely different, something stupid... and then this interrupted it. It was real, I didn't imagine it. Mr Weasley was asleep on the floor and he was attacked by a gigantic snake, there was a load of blood, he collapsed, someone's got to find out where he is..." 

Professor McGonagall was staring at the young wizard as though horrified by what she was seeing. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. 

"I'm not lying and I'm not mad!" Harry shouted, "I tell you, I saw it happen!"

"I believe you Potter," Professor McGonagall said curtly, "Put on your dressing gown- we're going to see the headmaster."

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

We had almost made it to Christmas. The year was half done, and we hadn't messed anything up yet, I thought proudly as I ate breakfast at the Ravenclaw table. 

Leo and Calypso were sitting opposite me, squabbling playfully about something or rather when I noticed Percy enter the Great Hall. His eyes found me immediately, but they didn't look as bright as usual. 

I frowned, putting my fork down. He reached us swiftly, placing his hand on the table beside me and leaning over. He didn't dare to sit down, as just that was garnering some odd looks from other Ravenclaws. 

"Harry and the Weasleys are gone." He informed us in a low voice. 

My eyes widened, and Leo looked like he almost set himself on fire by accident. 

"What?" He frowned, "I thought you people said this place was safe? You liars." 

I rolled my eyes. 

"What happened?" I asked calmly. 

"Harry had a dream. He was screaming and writhing in his sleep, and when he woke up he said that Mr Weasley had been attacked. McGonagall came and took him and Ron to see Dumbledore, and then this morning we found out that the other Weasleys were gone as well." Percy explained, "McGonagall pulled Jason, Clarisse and I aside and told us that they had been taken to you-know-where and that we'd be joining them when the term ended, and to tell you guys." 

Just then, a group of young Ravenclaws passed us, giggling.

"That might be my cue to leave." Percy sighed.

He kissed my forehead quickly and then darted back to the Gryffindor table. 

"Ooo." Leo teased, earning a smack on the head from Calypso.

I smiled slightly as I resumed eating my breakfast, but my mind was still fixated on the dream. What did it mean? Was Harry some sort of seer? There were so many unknowns. 

One thing was for sure though- it spelled bad things for the future.

 

PERCY'S POV

Christmas at Number 12 Grimmauld Place arrived quickly. The morning was filled with presents, great food and bright colours, but for us demigods, it was tinged with sadness. Several of us had families we would prefer to spend Christmas with, and the others were used to Christmas at Camp, whether that be Camp Jupiter or Camp Half-Blood. 

In the late morning, we all set out to visit St Mungo's. It was the first time I had heard of it, but Harry and the Weasleys had been before, to see Mr Weasley. We were going this time as well, even though I didn't really know why. Did they just not want to leave us at headquarters?

No matter the reason, we still spent a hilarious amount of time trying to figure out the British- or Muggle- transport systems. When we eventually did arrive at the entrance to St Mungo's, I honestly believed that they were just trying to prank us- and then the mannequin moved. 

And then, poof, we were in a waiting room that looked similar to muggle ones, except for all the magical flourishes, like the oddly named magazines on the end table and some people with rather... odd maladies. 

Once Mrs Weasley had gotten directions to Mr Weasley's new ward, we were led through a winding series of passageways, lined with portraits of dead wizards spouting what sounded like nonsense. 

Eventually, we reached Mr Weasley's ward, we all had to crowd in. He was propped in bed with the remains of a turkey dinner on his plate, looking rather sheepish. 

"Everything all right, Arthur?" Mrs Weasley asked once they had exchanged gifts. 

"Fine, fine," Mr Weasley replied, a little too heartily, "You- er- haven't seen Healer Smethwyck, have you?" 

"No," Mrs Weasley said suspiciously, "Why?" 

"Nothing, nothing." Mr Weasley said airily, "Well, everyone had a good day? What did you get for Christmas? Oh, Harry- this is absolutely wonderful!"

Mr Weasley beamed as he showed off Harry's gift of fuse-wire and screwdrivers. Mrs Weasley didn't seem satisfied with his answer, peered at her husband's bandages as he leaned over to shake Harry's hand. 

"Arthur," She said sharply, "You've had your bandages changed. Why have they been changed a day early? They told me they wouldn't need doing until tomorrow."

"What?" Mr Weasley said, looking rather frightened and pulling the sheets higher up his chest, "No, no, it's nothing- I-"

He seemed to deflate under Mrs Weasley's piercing glare.

"Well- now, don't get upset, Molly, but, Augustus Pye had an idea... he's the Trainee Healer, you know, lovely young chap and very interested in... um... complementary medicine... I mean, some of these old Muggle remedies... well, they're called stitches, Molly, and they work very well on Muggle wounds-"

Mrs Weasley made an ominous noise somewhere between a shriek and a snarl. 

And then everyone left to go get some tea.

 

= = = 

 

We left St Mungo's sometime later, with Mrs Weasley still red in the face. The trip back was far more subdued, at least partially due to us learning about the state of Neville's parents. 

I was trailing at the very back, with Annabeth. We weren't talking, just relishing in the presence of the other. We didn't have many classes together at Hogwarts, and we were in separate houses. The most time we spent together was in the DA. 

A sudden strangled cry from behind me broke the silence, and I whirled around, reaching for Riptide. I didn't have a chance to do anything, however, before the world went black. 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

The first thing I did when I woke up was reach for my dagger. 

It took me until my hand closed around its hilt to realise that instead of being in your typical monster lair, I was in an old fashioned looking apartment- and that a family blonde was sitting on a chair opposite me, twirling the pink ends of her hair between her fingers. 

"Sadie?" I asked, my voice slightly raspy. 

The girl looked up and smiled, getting to her feet.

"Good, you're awake."

"What's going on?"

"Well, we, uh, kinda kidnapped you two," Sadie admitted.

"We? Two?" I questioned, before studying the room and finding Percy slumped over in a chair on the other side of the room. 

"Carter, Zia, Walt and I," Sadie answered.

"Who are Zia and Walt?" 

"Walt's my boyfriend. Pretty sure I've mentioned him to you before, he's the host of Anubis. And Zia is Carter's girlfriend. She's waaaay out of his league, and she's the host of Ra, or, sometimes she is." 

"Right, now, circling back to what you said before, why did you kidnap us?" 

"We needed a quick way to get only you two away from the people you were with."

"And you couldn't have thought of any other way?" 

"Well, maybe with a little more time. But I kinda jumped the gun a little bit." 

"Sadie." I sighed, "Do you know how much our friends are going to be freaking out?" 

"I do now. But- in my defence, this is really important." 

Just then, across the room, Percy jolted awake. He looked around wildly before his eyes settled on me, and he visibly relaxed. 

Then his eyes shifted to Sadie. 

"What's going on?" 

"She kidnapped us," I explained before Sadie could say anything, "Brought us to who knows where, for some unknown reason." 

"Okay, first of all, we kidnapped you. Second, this is my grandparents' apartment. We managed to convince to spend the afternoon elsewhere. And I'm getting to the third." 

"I'm listening," Percy said, standing and moving to sit beside me. 

"Oi, Carter!" Sadie yelled, "They're awake."

I could hear several sets of footsteps make their way through the apartment towards us. Moments later, Carter Kane appeared, followed by a girl, who I assumed was Zia, and a boy, who I assumed was Walt. 

"Did you tell them everything?" Sadie asked her brother, gesturing at the two other magicians.

"Yes. I can't believe you saddled me with that job, of all things." Carter grumbled. 

"Clearly I'm just smarter than you." 

Carter scoffed. 

"We should explain what's going on to them." The girl cut in. 

"Right." Sadie said, shooting her brother a snarky look, "Guys, this is Zia and Walt. Zia and Walt, this is Percy and Annabeth." 

The four of them muttered muted greetings. 

"We have a problem." Carter started. 

"I think they figured that out, Sherlock." Sadie hissed. 

He ignored her. 

"Some of our magicians, from all across the world, have been-"

"Vanishing." I finished for him.

"Yeah, how'd you know?" Sadie frowned.

Percy and I exchanged a gloomy glance.

"A few weeks ago, the Hunters of Artemis told us that some of their hunters have been vanishing as well, seemingly into thin air," I explained.

"That's not good." Zia murmured. 

"Way to state the obvious," Sadie said.

"No, if it was just affecting one group or another, that would be one thing. But it's affecting both. Whoever is behind it has knowledge of both magicians and demigods, which means that there's a higher chance of them being of divine power." 

I felt cold dread fill me. If they knew of Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, what were the chances that they knew of the Norse as well? Granted, Magnus was already dead, but I made a mental note to IM him when we got back to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, and Chiron as well. 

"This on top of the wizards," Percy grumbled.

"Wizards?" Sadie seemed to choke on air. 

I elbowed Percy, but the damage was already done. All four magicians were staring at us in shock. 

"That is a long explanation," I said. 

"We've got time." Carter fired back, "And I don't think you can just leave it at that, can you?"

When neither Percy nor I responded, he continued.

"It's not like we're going to tell anyone or freak out. Well, too much. We're Egyptian magicians, descended from ancient Pharaohs. We've seen a lot of weird and unexplainable things."

"Yep," Sadie agreed - looking as though her brain was about to explode - before glancing towards what I assumed was the kitchen, "Anyone want a Ribena?" 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

Aside from our surprise visit with the Kanes and their friends - which was very hard to explain away - the rest of the holidays passed without incidence. That didn't mean that no one was on edge, though, because everyone was. 

The demigods because, through their interactions with the Hunters, the Magicians, and their limited contact with Chiron and Reyna, they knew that demigods were vanishing all over the world. It was worrying, to say the least, and no one seemed to know who was behind it. 

But without any leads, there wasn't much they could do. 

The morning of our return to school was chaotic, to say the least, but somehow we all managed to get out of headquarters. I didn't know how they intended on getting us back to school. I was surprised when we stopped on the edge of the street outside of Grimmauld Place. 

I frowned, studying the area, as Lupin flung out his right arm. 

There was a loud bang, and then a violently purple, triple-decker bus appeared out of nowhere, screeching to a stop. 

"Holy Zeus." Percy cursed, flinching back.

The obligatory eerie thunderclap followed, and Percy muttered a hurried apology that he definitely didn't mean. 

A gangly young man appeared at the top of the steps.

"Welcome to the-"

"Yes, yes, we know, thank you," Tonks said swiftly, "On, on, get on." 

She began to shepherd the kids on to the bus, seeming to mutter a threat to the conductor after he cried out Harry's name. 

"I've always wanted to go on this thing," Ron said happily.

"Ah, what is this thing?" Leo interjected, looking both intrigued and annoyed. 

"The Knight Bus." Ron replied eagerly, "It's wicked, isn't it?"

"It breaks the laws of physics, but yeah. I'll think it's cool when I get my own." Leo answered, studying the bus with chilling enthusiasm. 

I almost shuddered just thinking of the damage Leo could do with a bus like this- or any bus at all, for that matter. 

The inside of the bus was filled with mismatched chairs bunched hazardly around windows. Some disgruntled looking passengers were picking themselves off the ground, along with their belongings.

"Looks like we'll have to split up." Tonks said briskly, "Fred, George, Ginny if you take those seats at the back... Remus can stay with you. Percy, Frank, you see those seats just in front of them? Take those. Clarisse-"

Tonks almost flinched back as Clarisse practically growled at her.

"- and Nico, those at the very front."

The eight of them split off to their respective seats, Nico and Clarisse looking less than happy about the arrangements. We proceeded to the next floor, where Tonks went with Harry, Ron and Hermione, leaving Calypso, Piper, Hazel and I to take a cluster of four seats, and Leo and Jason to go up to the very highest level of the bus. 

The bus set off again with a bang, throwing our seats back. 

"People chose to do this?" Piper grumbled. 

"Well, the bus does seem pretty full." I reasoned.

"Wizards are cuckoo." Calypso decided, clinging onto the seat. 

"Poor Nico." Hazel sympathised. 

"I feel like if he and Clarisse have a bad enough spat, we'll all end up facing the consequences." Piper pointed out.

"Why'd you put that image in my head?" Calypso groaned, looking a little green as the bus shook again, indicating it had jumped to a new location. 

"Are you okay, Calypso?" Hazel checked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." The girl dismissed, although she didn't look it, "I'm just not used to a lot of new inventions... like cars or buses. They smell funny." 

"That's because of the fumes they emit," I explained, jumping on my chance. 

I could see Piper roll her eyes playfully, but I ignored her, barrelling on about the science behind petrol fumes for another two jumps until we reached Hogsmeade. To my surprise, Calypso seemed quite intrigued.

It was a pleasant surprise. Despite being in the same house, we didn't interact much. I had to admit, I was a little bitter about the curse, but I had to put it behind me. You didn't survive by focusing on the past, and you certainly didn't make friends by doing the same.

Chapter Text

HARRY'S POV

I was beginning to hate sleep.

The moment I slipped into unconsciousness, I appeared somewhere else. I was moving, but I had no control over my body. 

It took me a moment to recover from the sheer panic that gripped me and get a good look at my surroundings. I was on top of a mountain. The sky overhead was dark and stormy, and whenever there was a flash of lightning I swear I could see a bulky figure in the distance, and when the rain quieted, I could hear faint yells. 

I shivered involuntarily. This place was creepier than the graveyard Voldemort had come back in, and that was saying something. 

By now I had stopped moving. I sat - or rather, stood - in silence. I don't know how long I waited there, but I started to get impatient. I had to remind myself that if this was another dream like the one about Ron's dad, it was probably best that nothing was happening. 

But, of course, that couldn't last. The sound of a slight scuffle punctured the relative quiet of the mountaintop. Moments later, two cloaked figures emerged, dragging a boy about my age between them. He wasn't making it easy.

I wanted desperately to help, but I couldn't move. I could only watch as he was dragged to an ominous-looking altar. A third figure appeared from the shadows. They too were in all black, but they lacked the belts and - oddly enough - swords of the other two. 

The boy lunged towards them, seeming to try to go on the attack. The figure didn't so much as flinch.

"Nilo Florez, son of Tyr. You are brave, I'll give you that, but stupid." 

Their voice boomed out, so I could hear even from where I was several metres away. 

The boy - Nilo - spat at the figure's feet, wriggling in his captors' grasp. The figure only laughed. It was a cold laugh, one that sent chills up my spine. 

As the figure turned his back, reaching for something, Nilo made his move. He lurched to the side, throwing off his cloaked captors, and then pulled a sword from one of their sheaths. He swung it wildly, but with precision, slicing one across the chest and sending them sprawling backwards. He turned to the other one. 

Unfortunately for him, they were prepared and drew their own blade. They clashed with a loud clang, the sound of metal hitting metal. 

I was no swordsman, but I could see that they were both well trained. Every move was countered, and neither seemed to be getting the upper hand. But, as both Nilo and I seemed to have forgotten, they were not the only people on this mountaintop. 

My face mirrored the shocked expression on Nilo as the glinting tip of a blade appeared in his chest. He looked down, letting out a shuddering breath as blood trickled from his mouth. Then his legs buckled, and he fell to the floor, the sword still stuck in his now lifeless body. 

The figure hovered behind him. I couldn't see their face, but I had a horrible suspicion that they were smiling. 

"Well, that could've been neater. No matter, it has the same effect. Tell your Dark Lord that this sacrifice was a success. And then set about bringing me another." 

The last words were an order to the remaining cloaked captor. They dipped their head to the figure and then disappeared in a flash - apparition. 

As the figure turned their back, the scene began to fade back into darkness, and I awoke with a start to find Ron and Percy hovering over me. 

They both looked concerned, but I shook off their worries as I sat up.

"Harry, mate, what happened?" Ron asked worriedly. 

"Was it another dream?" Percy asked, an edge in his voice.

I nodded shakily.

"I don't... I don't..." I stuttered.

How did I begin to put into words what I had just witnessed? 

"What happened?" Ron pushed.

Any other time, I probably would have snapped at him, but they needed to know. I couldn't keep this to myself, certainly not when I couldn't make anything of it. 

So, I braced myself, opened my mouth, and began to recount to a silent room what I had seen. 

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

I knew something was up the moment I saw Percy enter the Great Hall. 

His eyes sought me out immediately, which wasn't unusual, but the moment my gaze locked with his, I knew something was up.

Instead of him coming over to the Ravenclaw table again, I slipped away to join him. I wasn't sure if Calypso or Leo noticed, as they were busy playfully bickering again, but they wouldn't question me if they did. 

"Harry had another dream," Percy whispered to me the moment I was within range. 

I grabbed him by the sleeve and practically dragged him out of the hall, away from prying eyes and ears. 

Once we were far enough away - several corridors down in an empty classroom - I let go of his arm.

"Explain," I ordered, crossing my arms over my chest.

"He said that he was on a mountaintop," Percy replied, not looking even a little fazed, "And then two people dragged someone to an altar, and then a third appeared. The boy tried to fight, and took down one, but was killed." 

"That's got to be traumatic for a kid that's not used to them." I sympathised. 

"Yeah," Her boyfriend agreed, but he looked preoccupied, "But, Annabeth-"

"What?" I asked, my tone suddenly sharper and warier. 

"He recalled something that one of them had said to the boy."

"Stop beating around the bush."

"Harry said that the boy was called Nilo - and then was referred to as a son of Tyr. I'm pretty sure that's a god, but do you-"

"Tyr was - is - the Norse God of Justice, amongst other things," I replied, my mind whirling. 

"Oh. Oh - Annabeth, Harry also said the boy was called a 'sacrifice'." 

"That's not good."

"I got that much."

"No, Percy, that's not good, because that's what's been happening to the missing demigods." 

"They're dead? All of them?"

"Probably. But what are they being sacrificed for? Who to? And who's doing it?"

Percy shrugged helplessly. 

"I don't know. Only they would, I guess. And it's not like we can talk to them."

"That's it!" I exclaimed, snapping my fingers in a eureka moment, "That's it, Percy."

"Uh, what?"

"A child of a Norse god, who died in battle. What are the odds he'd end up-"

"In Valhalla." He finished, looking excited, "Can you ask Magnus?" 

"I'm out of drachmas," I admitted.

"So am I. Do you think the others have any?"

I shook my head. I knew for a fact that we had used up our supply over the holidays, IMing all sorts of people. 

"We could go to Dumbledore." Percy suggested, "See if he has any." 

"Or, we could go to him for permission to go to Boston and see Magnus in person. That might work better." 

"Do you think he'll let us?" 

"This goes beyond missing a few classes, Percy. This is a matter of life and death." 

= = =

"I will allow you to go." Dumbledore agreed, once Percy had recounted Harry's dream (in greater detail) to him. 

We exchanged a triumphant glance, but our victory was cut short by what he said next.

"However, only one of you can go." 

"What!" Percy exclaimed.

"I'm sorry, Mr Jackson, but it's no secret that you two are dating, and if you are both missing from class - no matter whether or not I've given my permission - it will look suspicious."

I fought down the colour rising in my cheeks. Percy looked as if he was having about as much success with that task as I was. 

"Annabeth can't go alone." Percy pointed out.

"So, I'm the one going?" I checked.

"He's your cousin." 

"Just double-checking."

"I can make sensible plans," Percy grumbled, although I could tell his annoyance was faked. 

"He's right, sir, it's dangerous to go out alone," I said, turning back to Dumbledore.

"I will permit you to take one of your other friends." He smiled at us sympathetically, "I am sorry."

"It's fine," I reassured him. 

"Who would be the best to take?" Percy wondered.

"One of the girls, probably. Hazel would be a good choice."

"Yeah, daughter of Pluto and all that." 

"My thoughts exactly. Also, she has Arion, and she can shadow-travel."

"Good point."

"I shall send for Miss Levesque, then." Dumbledore said, standing from his desk, "You can wait here, Miss Chase." 

= = =

"I've never been to Boston before," Hazel said, looking around.

We were currently sitting outside a small cafe, waiting for my cousin to arrive. I wasn't sure whether or not he'd be alone, he had just said that he was coming when he texted me back, but I had warned Hazel about both Samariah and Alex. I didn't want her to get freaked out if we had to fight, and she saw their abilities. 

They had been very surprising for me when I had first seen them, and we couldn't risk that happening in a battle. 

"Before I came looking for Magnus, I hadn't been since I was a kid," I commented, sipping my milkshake. 

"What made you come looking for him?" Hazel asked, "I mean, why then specifically."

"I heard that my aunt - his mother - was dead." 

"Oh."

"Yeah. He'd been living on the street for a while by then. His mother had been killed by magical wolves."

"Magical wolves?"

"That's what Magnus said. I don't know anything else about it, or what happened to her." 

"I'm sorry."

"It's fine. I can't really remember her."

"Still, she was your aunt." 

I shrugged it off, glancing down the road. To my relief, a familiar sixteen-year-old was strolling down the street towards us. I almost rolled my eyes in annoyance at his laid back attitude, but that wasn't fair on him. I hadn't exactly properly conveyed the reason for our meeting over text. 

I stood as he neared us, pulling him in for a hug which he returned. He looked happier from when I had last seen him, which I had a sneaking suspicion Alex and the opening of the Chase Space had something to do with.

"I'm surprised you're alone," I commented as we both sat back down.

"Sam and Alex are busy training, and my other friends are busy doing... something else. I don't know."

I nodded.

"Oh, Magnus, this is Hazel. She's one of the friends that I've mentioned."

"Good to meet you." 

"You too." She replied, studying him. 

"I know I don't look like I'm dead." He said as if he had been reading her mind. 

"Sorry." Hazel squeaked, her cheeks flushed.

"It doesn't bother me. I'm used to people asking what it's like to be dead." Magnus joked.

"I used to be dead." She offered.

"You did?" He asked in surprise, "How are you... you know?"

"Uh... that's a long story. In short, my half-brother had a lot to do with it. My dad is also the Roman God of the Dead."

"That's Pluto, right?" He checked, glancing at me.

I nodded, taking this opportunity to seize control of the conversation.

"Magnus, have there been any new souls in Valhalla recently?"

"Well, yeah."

"We're looking for one in particular. Nilo Florez, a son of Tyr. Sound familiar."

"Yeah. How did you know?" 

I exchanged a glance with Hazel. I had filled her on the way here, so she wasn't in the dark about it. 

"That's a long story. We need to talk to him about how he died."

"This is important." He realised, "Like really important."

"Yes. It's a matter of life and death. Can you bring him here?"

"I can try."

"Tell him we want to stop what happened to him happening to anybody else."

"Okay." Magnus agreed, standing up, "I might be a little bit though."

"That's fine." I assured him, "Do you want us to order anything for you?" 

"As a reward for all my hard work?"

"If that's what you call it."

Magnus laughed. 

"A strawberry milkshake would be nice." 

 

= = =

 

Magnus didn't take as long as he had predicted. His milkshake had barely arrived when he reappeared, an unfamiliar boy about his age trailing behind. 

They sat down opposite us. Magnus went straight for his milkshake, flashing me a grateful smile, whilst the boy eyed us warily.

"You're Nilo Florez?" I checked.

"Yes." He replied, glancing between me and Hazel, "You want to stop them, right?"

"Yes. They're targeting demigods and magicians from all over the world, including our friends. We want to help."

"Good. What do you need to know?" 

"Everything," I answered immediately, "Start from the beginning."

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

Despite the fact that things were most definitely not normal, we were being forced to continue as if they are.

Sure, our lives would never have been considered 'normal', but they had certainly taken a sharp turn for the weird - even for us - recently. 

I wasn't sure when exactly it had happened. It could have been when we were first sent to Hogwarts, or when we had found out about the existence of Norse and Egyptian gods, or when the Hunters had arrived at Hogwarts, or more recently when Annabeth and Hazel returned from Boston with alarming tales of kidnapping and demigod sacrifices, which hinted at an even darker new reality: Voldemort and his minions working side-by-side with an unknown, powerful deity. 

We hadn't been able to figure out who yet, as we had practically nothing to go off of. In one of our rare interactions with Chiron, he warned us to focus on the task at hand and leave the researching to him and the demigods at Camp Halfblood and Camp Jupiter.  

Of course, none of us had really listened to him, but it wasn't like we had gotten anywhere with it anyway. 

"What are you thinking about?" Jason asked, coming over to kneel beside me. 

We were at a DA meeting, practising Patronuses. I had repeatedly tried and failed to do the spell. Every good memory I thought of kept getting invaded by my worst memories. If I tried to think of my dad, I would remember the time he was kidnapped and almost killed because of me. If I tried to think of my friends, I would think of all the times we came close to dying, and so on and so forth. 

I had kind of just slunk off to the corner to calm my jittery nerves. I didn't think anyone was paying attention to me, but apparently Jason had been. 

"Just... everything that's going on. And how none of it should be happening." I admitted. 

Jason smiled at me sympathetically and was about to say something in reply when we realised that the room had grown steadily quieter. Harry was talking to a small creature - a house-elf, like Kreacher, except less grumpy - while holding him firmly in place.

I wasn't sure what they were saying, but it seemed serious. I got to my feet, tugging Jason along with me. 

Just in time for the house-elf to start howling and banging his feet on the floor. 

"Yes, Harry Potter, yes!" The elf screeched. 

Harry straightened up and looked around the room, before bellowing: 

"WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? RUN!"

All semblance of order vanished in that instant as everyone bolted for the door. I lost Jason in the crowd, but that wasn't my main concern. 

Luckily, I managed to escape the room and down several floors through a series of hidden passageways the Weasley twins had been kind enough to show us. I was joined by several Hufflepuffs, including Hazel, as well as Nico. I only had to assume that the others were safe. They were probably faster and better at avoiding trouble than most of the wizards. Frank probably had it the easiest, being able to shapeshift. Wait...

I slowed down, letting the Hufflepuffs speed away. Thankfully, Nico and Hazel seemed to get the message and stayed with me. 

"What is it?" Nico half-snapped. 

"Can you shadow travel within Hogwarts?" I asked, glancing behind us. 

"Within the walls, yes. Not inside from the outside or vice versa, though." Hazel answered. 

"Right, well, Hazel, get back to your common room. Nico, can you get us back to the Slytherin one?"

He nodded, exchanging a glance with his sister before she closed her eyes and vanished. Nico clasped my wrist, and a moment later I felt an eerily familiar - but still unnerving - feeling take over my body. I squeezed my eyes shut as we disappeared. 

A moment later, we reappeared outside the Slytherin common room. My stomach was doing backflips, but we had gotten away. 

"I didn't want to get spotted," Nico explained before I had even voiced my question about why we were outside the common room instead of in. 

"Makes sense. Thank you, Nico."

He nodded curtly in response. We stepped up to the wall to say the password, but a sharp voice interrupted us.

"What are you two doing out here?" 

We whirled around, finding Malfoy with Crabbe and Goyle poised on either side of him. Nico's face seemed blank, but my mind was already in action. 

"We were studying in the library and got lost on our way back. Why? What's going on?" I lied smoothly.

"You'll find out about it in the morning." Malfoy sneered, before turning away and striding back up the hallway, clearly on the prowl for more wayward DA members. 

Nico shot me a grateful look, which I figured was about as close as he got to a proper thank you. 

 

LEO'S POV

After the fiery destruction of the DA, the next few weeks passed irritatingly slowly, with a growing pile of unfinished homework. 

Those weeks had been very interesting weeks. Starting with Dumbledore's (supposedly very dramatic) exit, the cancelling of Harry's occlumency lessons (which I only learnt about once I found out that they had stopped), the return of Montague, who was in quite a rough shape, much to the delight of Fred and George and careers advice meetings, which the demigods were thankfully allowed to skip. Granted, not quite as exciting as the publishing of Harry's interview in the Quibbler several weeks before the end of the DA, but still quite exciting. 

"Valdez." 

I looked up from where I was fiddling with several spare wires to find the twins grinning at me. It was Fred that had spoken. 

"We have a proposition for you." George continued, "A fabulously destructive one."

"Consider me intrigued." I declared. 

"We want to go out with a bang," Fred said.

"I thought you used up all your fireworks?"

"Oh, we did, but we had something else in mind." George grinned.

"Like?"

The twins exchanged a mischievous glance. Fred was the one who spoke next, leaning forward with a gleam in his eyes. 

"What do you think of an indoor swamp?"

Chapter Text

CALYPSO'S POV

Despite being without some of their best players being out of commission, Gryffindor won the match against Ravenclaw. 

It was lucky that I hadn't been all that invested in the outcome of the match, as a lot of Ravenclaws seemed to have lost money from bets made on it. Leo was one of the ones who had raked in the most from it, having bet that Gryffindor would prove to be victorious. 

He hadn't expected to make so much from it - he admitted as much to me - but he certainly wasn't complaining. Luckily, most Ravenclaws quickly forgot all about it as we were swamped with studying leading up to our O.W.Ls. 

A lot of the other demigods - namely Leo and Clarisse - weren't bothering to study. Their argument was that it didn't matter what the outcome of the exams was, they had no use for them, which was technically true, but it looked quite suspicious to everyone else. 

Time seemed to slip away in the days approaching the exams. We hadn't had much time to gather and discuss everything that was going on. It was arguably more urgent, but we simply didn't have the time. Besides, tensions between the houses were at an all-time high, and it was hard to talk to someone from another house without facing lash back. 

We got to talk a bit in class, though, and Leo would sometimes relay information from them. He had also made a killing in a flourishing black market trade of what were essentially magical ways to cheat. Most of them, of course, were fake. But that apparently wasn't common knowledge, as Leo always seemed to be in short supply.

When Exam Week finally arrived, the halls were filled with a fragile tension exacerbated by the obvious hostility between certain houses. 

Our first exam was Charms Theory, followed in the afternoon by its corresponding practical exam. I did fairly well on them both, not as well as Hermione or Annabeth, but enough for at least a passing grade. 

The next day was the Transfiguration Theory and Practical exams, which I also did passably well in. 

Wednesday was Herbology, which I knew I passed with flying colours, and then on Thursday, we had Defense Against the Dark Arts, which I also excelled at. In addition to the DA, defensive and offensive spells that been what I had focused on, at the suggestion of Annabeth. As demigods, any extra trick we could throw at monsters was greatly appreciated. Even though I wasn't technically a demigod, I still had to worry about the same threats. 

On Friday, I only had Ancient Runes. Unsurprisingly, I was good at that class. After all, some of what they called 'ancient', I had grown up with. I spent the rest of the weekend studying for Potions, on Monday. Potions was one of my favourite subjects, aside from Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures, as it reminded me of my old life on Ogygia. Sure, I had been trapped there, but it had been a nice prison, and it had been my home. 

Not that I would go back.

Tuesday was devoted to Care of Magical Creatures, which was both fun and easy - at least for me. Some of the others seemed to struggle. Like Clarisse, who got burnt by a Fire Crab and then managed to break its shell. 

We had our Astronomy Theory paper on Wednesday morning, followed by Divination, both of which I thought went reasonably well. Then on Wednesday night, we had our practical Astronomy exam. 

We all convened at the Astronomy tower at eleven o'clock. We all set up our telescopes and began to fill in our star charts as two of the examiners, Professors Tofty and Marchbanks, walked amongst us. 

I ignored the stab in my heart when my eyes fell on a constellation that Annabeth and Percy had pointed out to me - one of a huntress running through the sky. Zoe and I had parted on less than good terms, but she had still been my sister and the fact that I would never see her again hurt. 

About halfway through the exam, the front doors of the castle flew open, shedding light on a portion of the grounds. I glimpsed five or so shadows before they shut again. I exchanged a glance with Piper, who was standing not too far down from me, but I kept working. There was no real reason to stop, after all. 

Then the barking started. I thought I was just hearing things at first, but when I looked around several other students also seemed baffled. My eyes caught on a light, and with a start, I realised that the lights in Hagrid's cabin were on. The barking seemed to be emanating from there. 

I looked back down at my work as one of the professors passed. I kept my eyes on the chart until a roar echoed through the grounds. 

"Try and concentrate, now, boys and girls." Professor Tofty said softly. 

Moments later, once most people had heeded his words, a loud BANG rang through the castle. Now everyone was looking at Hagrid's cabin. His door had burst open, revealing him standing there shouting and brandishing his fists. 

Six people surrounded him, and, judging by the red lights they were trying to stun him.

"No!" Hermione cried out.

"My dear!" Professor Tofty exclaimed, sounding rather scandalised, "This is an examination."

Nobody was paying attention to him anymore though, as we had all crowded around the railing to watch what was happening with the same kind of horrid fascination with which one would watch a car crash happen. At least, that seemed to be the more modern form of that phrase. 

The spells appeared to be bouncing off of Hagrid, as he was still standing upright. Yells echoed through the grounds; a man yelled: 

"Be reasonable, Hagrid!"

"Reasonable be damned," the half-giant yelled back, "yeh won't take me like this, Dawlish." 

A large dog was dancing around the wizards, trying to attack them. I couldn't tell whether or not he was actually helping, as he was hit by a stunning spell and slumped to the ground. Hagrid yowled in fury, lifted the culprit from the ground and threw him a good ten feet. 

A light briefly distracted me from the fight. The front doors had opened again, but they shut before I could get a proper look at the figure. Professor Tofty said something about the time they had left, but for once, I was paying about as much attention as my boyfriend usually did.

"How dare you!" shrieked the figure making their way down the grounds, " How dare you!" 

"It's McGonagall," Hermione whispered. 

"Leave him alone! Alone, I say!" Professor McGonagall shouted, "On what grounds are you attacking him? He has done nothing, nothing to warrant such-"

No fewer than five people collectively screamed as at least four stunners were fired at Professor McGonagall. The beams collided with her and for a moment she glowed an eerie red, then she lifted right off her feet, landed hard on her back, and moved no more. 

"Galloping gargoyles!" Shouted Professor Tofty, who also seemed to have forgotten the exam entirely, "Not so much as a warning! Outrageous behaviour!"

"COWARDS!" Hagrid bellowed, lashing out at his attackers. 

But then something rather strange happened: an arrow planted itself in the shoulder of one of the figures. They seemed to fall back and cry out, but the arrow was in no way alone. A volley of them followed, almost glowing in the light of the moon. 

Some hit dirt as the figures ran in all directions, but others hit their marks. In the midst of the confusion, Hagrid swung the dog's body over his shoulders and began to run, taking advantage of the distraction. 

"Get him! Get him!" Umbridge shrieked, but her remaining followers seemed unwilling to put themselves further into harm's way. 

"Is that...?" I asked quietly.

"The Hunters?" Annabeth finished - she had moved to stand beside me earlier - "Yes." 

"Zoe would be proud." I murmured.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. This is exactly the kind of thing she would have done. She didn't like injustice." 

"I didn't know her very well, but I got the sense that she was a good person." 

"The best. But, she's gone. Jason's sister is the lieutenant now, right?"

Annabeth nodded.

"Her name's Thalia. She's... fiery." 

"I figured that." 

"A good heart though."

"Are you two close?"

"She's like a sister to me. An angry, violent sister, but a sister nonetheless."

Suddenly Professor Tofty's voice cut through their conversation. 

"Uh... five minutes to go." 

I returned to my station, but my mind kept drifting to Professor McGonagall. Would she be okay? Why would Umbridge pull a stunt like that?

Those seemed to be the questions on everybody's minds, as the last five minutes of the exam weren't filled with last-minute scribbling, but rather worried whispers. 

Chapter Text

HERMIONE'S POV

We were in trouble, and it was all Harry's fault. 

After he spazzed out in our History of Magic exam and insisted on contacting Sirius to make sure he was all right, and we got caught, because of course we did, I had to save us. 

However, it was debatable how well that had worked, because now Harry and I were accompanying Umbridge to the forest to find a 'weapon' while Ron, Neville, Ginny and Luna were being held captive by the Inquisitorial Squad. 

I kept wondering what would happen to us if this backfired. If the centaurs didn't react the way I thought they would. Were they the ones who had shot those arrows at Umbridge during our Astronomy exam? 

It was the only logical explanation I could come up with, but somehow I didn't think it was true. There was someone else in the forest - or rather, several someones. 

I think the Americans know more than they're letting on. I overheard some of them talking following the attack on Hagrid and McGonagall, and although I didn't understand most of what they were saying, even though they were speaking in English, I got the feeling that they knew more than they were letting on, which was why I hadn't suggested involving them in our little scheme, but now I was regretting it. 

They were all physically stronger than us, from what I knew, even Hazel. They would've been useful, even if I didn't entirely trust them. 

"How much further?" Umbridge demanded, breaking my train of thought.

"Not far now!" I shouted back, hoping that someone would hear us, "Just a little bit-"

Suddenly, an arrow flew through the air and landed with a menacing thud in the tree just above my head. The air was suddenly filled with the sound of hooves, but I was momentarily distracted studying the arrow. It lacked the strange glow of the arrows we had seen the other night, which could mean nothing, or it could confirm that someone else was here in the forest. 

"Who are you?" A centaur demanded as a group of at least fifty surrounded them, pushing them closer together. 

Umbridge was cowering and whimpering, trembling violently as she pointed her wand at the advancing centaur. 

"I asked you who you are, human." The centaur - I'm fairly sure his name was Magorian - repeated. 

"I am Dolores Umbridge! Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic and Headmistress and High Inquisitor of Hogwarts." 

"You are from the Ministry of Magic?" Magorian asked, causing many of the centaurs to shift restlessly.

"That's right! So be very careful! By the laws laid down by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, any attach by half breeds such as yourselves on a human-"

"What did you call us?" A wild-looking black centaur - Bane - shouted. 

"Don't call them that," I said furiously. 

Umbridge didn't pay any heed to me or the centaurs and continued.

"Law Fifteen B states clearly that 'any attack by a magical creature who is deemed to have near-human intelligence, and therefore considered responsible for its actions-'"

"Near human intelligence?" Magorian repeated dangerously, as several other centaurs roared, "We consider that a great insult, human! Our intelligence, thankfully, outstrips your own."

"What are you doing in our Forest?" Another centaur bellowed, "Why are you here?"

"Your Forest? I would remind you that you live here only because the Ministry of Magic permits you certain areas of land-"

An arrow flew so close to her head that it brushed her mousy hair; she let out a scream and threw her hands over her head. Some of the centaurs roared approvingly, others laughed. 

"Whose Forest is it now, human?" Bane bellowed. 

"Filthy half-breeds!" Umbridge screeched, "Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!" 

The centaurs looked about ready to respond with some vile words of their own, and, given the looks on the faces, with more than just that - but someone beat them to it.

"As a general rule, I wouldn't insult somebody I'm at the mercy of. Especially not when I look like an 'uncontrolled animal'." 

Harry and I - along with the centaurs and Umbridge - looked up towards the ridge. The person who had spoken was a girl about our age, with dark, curly hair, and a bow and quiver visible on her back. She was leaning casually against a tree as though this was an everyday occurrence for her. 

"Huntress," Magorian said levelly. 

"Magorian." She replied sharply, "I'm going to be clear here: let them go."

Several centaurs bellowed in outrage.

"She has insulted our very being." Bane snarled.

"Oh, no, I didn't mean the woman. You can do whatever you want with her. Just let the kids go."

"Are you picking sides, huntress?" Bane growled. 

"In order for us to be allowed refuge here, the headmaster made us agree to certain terms. One of them was to protect the students. So no, I'm not picking sides. I'm just honouring a deal." 

The centaurs fell silent for a moment, muttering between themselves. 

"Fine." Magorian agreed after a weighted pause, "Just the children."

"Trust me, you can keep that old hag." The girl replied. 

She nodded at us, a clear indication to follow her. I went first, with Harry following close behind. A few centaurs gave us dirty looks as we passed them, but I kept my head down and ignored them, praying that Harry would do the same. 

When we reached the girl, Umbridge finally called out after us:

"You aren't leaving me here, are you?" 

"There wasn't anything in my deal that said I had to protect teachers - if that's what you are." 

As the centaurs began to close in on her she stumbled back, falling to the ground. 

"Tell them I mean no harm!" She pleaded. 

"I'm sorry professor, but I must not tell lies." Harry fired back, turning away. 

The girl smirked, looking at least mildly impressed, and then followed him. I was the last to leave, but when I did, I ran to catch up with the mystery girl. I had a plethora of questions that needed answers. 

"What will happen to her?"

"Don't know, don't care."

"Who are you?"

"None of your business." She snapped. 

"Were you the one who shoot those arrows the other night?"

"Some of them."

"Who else is here?"

"I'm not telling you that."

"What did you mean 'refuge'? Who are you running from?"

"I wish I knew."

"Are you a witch?"

"I was." 

"And now?"

"That's complicated."

"How?" I insisted. 

The girl sighed, exasperated, and turned to properly face me.

"Look, kid, if I tell you my name, will you stop asking me questions?"

"Maybe." 

She rolled her eyes, starting to walk again, but I stopped her. 

"Wait, yes, I promise." 

I had to get at least one piece of proper information out of her, and her name would have to suffice. She studied me for a moment before continuing to walk. For a moment I thought I had blown my chances, but then she answered. 

"My name's Storm." 

"I'm Hermione. Granger."

She didn't reply, instead moving deftly through the forest like she had been doing it all her life. Maybe she had, I didn't know. But I wanted to. 

"What's your last name?"

"I don't use it, haven't in a very long time."

"You're like, fifteen." 

She didn't reply to that either, although that could have been because at that moment we happened upon Ron, Ginny, Neville, Luna and - to my surprise - the Americans. All ten of them, including Nico and Piper. Our friends looked a little worse for wear, but they were all smiling. 

"This is where I leave you." Storm announced, eyeing the group almost warily. 

"Thank you," I said as she stepped away. 

"I held up my end of a deal." She replied dismissively. 

"You weren't the other night." I pointed out, "So, thank you for that at the very least."

"Don't thank me, thank Thalia." She said, with a tone of voice that seemed to spell trouble. 

"Who's Thalia?" I asked, frowning. 

She smirked, her attention shifting to Jason, who looked slightly uncomfortable. 

"I'm not the one you should be asking." She said, with a note of finality. 

I turned to look at Jason, who wouldn't meet my eyes, and when I looked back, she was gone. 

Chapter Text

HAZEL'S POV

"Who was that?" Ron asked, studying the trees where the girl had disappeared. 

"She said her name was Storm," Hermione replied, her eyes still fixed on Jason. 

"She saved us," Harry added. 

"Where's Umbridge?" Neville asked, "Not that I really care, but... you know."

"With the Centaurs." Hermione answered, "Storm basically offered her up as a sacrifice."

Ron whistled, seeming impressed. 

"Who's Thalia?" Hermione inquired at last, still staring at Jason. 

He exchanged a glance with the group, most of whom just shrugged, myself included. Even Annabeth seemed willing to leave it to him. 

"She's my sister," Jason answered.

"You have a sister?" Ron asked.

"What's your sister doing in the woods?" Hermione frowned. 

"She's the head of a forest cult," Leo said gravely, causing Calypso to elbow him. 

"He's kidding," Jason assured them, having noticed their alarmed looks. 

"Am I though?" Leo muttered, earning another elbow from his girlfriend. 

"His sister doesn't matter. We need to get to the Ministry!" Harry insisted, drawing the attention back to him.

"So, it's true?" Ron asked, "You-Know-Who has Sirius?"

"Yes." Harry said gravely, "And I'm sure he's still alive, but we need to get to him - and fast." 

"Well, we'll have to fly, won't we?" Luna said matter-of-factly. 

"Okay," Harry replied irritably, "First of all, we aren't doing anything  if you're including yourself in that, and second of all, Ron's the only one with a broomstick that isn't being guarded by a security troll, so-"

"I've got a broom!" Ginny pointed out. 

"Yeah, but you're not coming." Ron fired back. 

"Excuse me, but I care about what happens to Sirius as  much as you do!"

"You're too-" Harry began, only to be cut off. 

"I'm three years older than you were when you fought You-Know-Who over the Philosopher's stone." 

"Yeah, but-"

"We were all in the DA together," Neville said quietly, "It was all supposed to be about fighting You-Know-Who, wasn't it? And this is the first chance we've had to do something real - or was that all just a game or something?

"No - of course, it wasn't - but-" 

"We can fight, Harry," Annabeth said levelly, "This isn't our first tangle with evil. If you don't take them, at least take us. We can take care of ourselves. So they can they, for that matter." 

"We want to help," Neville added. 

Luna and Ginny nodded in agreement. Harry gritted his teeth, looking extremely annoyed. 

"Well, it doesn't matter anyway. We still have no way to get there."

"I thought we'd settled that," Luna said, "We're flying." 

"Look," Ron said angrily, "You might be able to fly without a broomstick, but the rest of us can't sprout wings whenever we please."

"There are ways of flying aside from broomsticks," Luna said serenely. 

"The Thestrals," Nico said, looking over at the trees. 

Sure enough, a few of them had gathered, watching them intently. 

"I think I'd prefer to find my own ride than risk flying on death ponies," Percy muttered. 

"Then don't come." Harry snapped. 

"I have my own ride," Percy said, straining his ears as though listening for something. 

"I think I'll find my own way as well," Jason added. 

I caught on a moment later. Blackjack and Tempest - a pegasus and a storm spirit. Way to be inconspicuous. But I had to admit that I missed Arion. 

Maybe he had missed me as well, or I had just accidentally summoned him because moments later a brown streak appeared over the hill and skidded to a stop next to the wizards. They all yelped and jumped back, with varying degrees of surprise and aggression visible on their faces. 

I winced but smiled as he trotted over to me, neighing. 

"I think I'm going to have to wash my ears out with soap," Percy grumbled, wrinkling his nose. 

Unlike the son of Poseidon, I couldn't understand what Arion was saying, although from Percy's previous translations, I could guess the gist of it. 

"What the bloody hell is that?" Ron exclaimed. 

"This is Arion," I said, patting his mane. 

"He - what - I..." Hermione stammered, looking flustered. 

Luna looked at Arion brightly, while the rest of the wizards simply looked dumbstruck. 

"I thought we didn't have any time to waste?" Annabeth asked, breaking the silence. 

"Right, yeah," Harry muttered still eyeing Arion nervously. 

"Does anyone want to come with me on Arion?" Hazel offered. 

"No thank you," Frank mumbled. 

Arion neighed at him, causing Percy to scrunch up his face again. 

"I'll stay here and wait for Blackjack." He said, "Annabeth?" 

"Sure." She agreed. 

"I'll wait for Tempest," Jason added. 

"Just because they're associated with death, it doesn't mean my dad's going to smite you if you ride them." Nico said quietly, "That's your dad's job, Jason." 

Thunder rumbled in the distance. 

"I'd rather not take that chance," Jason answered. 

"Neither," Percy said. 

Nico shrugged, making his way to where the other five demigods and six wizards were. They were cautiously mounting the Thestrals - some more cautiously than others, as not all of them could see them. 

It must have been nice to have lived a life having never seen anyone die. I couldn't remember what that was like. 

 

= = =

 

I got to the Ministry ahead of everyone else. Arion ran around the entire city of London a dozen times while waiting, and we had left last. 

Finally, they arrived. It was an odd sight, with eleven Thestrals, a pegasus and a storm spirit descending from the sky. I trusted the mist to cover them, but I pulled a few strings myself just to make sure. 

Once they landed, and bid farewell to their steads - Blackjack trotting off to get doughnuts from who knows where - Harry led us to an old phone box. We all crowded inside, only just fitting. Nico and I seemed to be the most squished in, as we were the smallest and biologically the youngest. 

Harry punched in a few numbers, and an automated voice asked him what his business was at the ministry, and who was accompanying him. A long list of names later, for some reason, brightly coloured badges were being passed out between them. 

Shortly after, the elevator doors slid open and they stepped into an empty Atrium. 

"This is suspicious to you guys too, right?" Calypso asked quietly, glancing around the very large room. 

"I feel like I'm about to die," Percy admitted. 

"I feel like I'm about to die again," Leo said, cracking a smile. 

"We don't joke about that, Leo." Piper reprimanded, kicking him in the back of the foot and causing him to flail around and squeal dramatically. 

Thankfully, the wizards were too far ahead of them to hear that conversation. 

Harry led them down several halls and into an all-dark circular room lined with doors. I didn't know how he knew where to go. In fact, there seemed to be a lot of things they were keeping from us. 

It was by complete accident that we found out about Ron, Neville, Luna and Ginny. Once we had saved them and were on our way to fetch Harry and Hermione, they had only told us that Harry had had a vision about Sirius, and they had been trying to confirm that it was true before they did anything. McGonagall and Hagrid were gone, and Snape had practically ignored them, so they were on their own. 

I was startled out of my thoughts when the room began to move, the doors spinning until they suddenly stopped, in what I assumed were completely different positions. 

"How're we're getting back out now?" Neville asked fearfully.

"That doesn't matter at the moment," Harry answered, "We don't need to get out until we've found Sirius. 

That was easier said than done. According to Harry, he'd been here in his dreams before, and every time he'd gone from this room directly across into one that glitters. But since the room moved, that made a simple task significantly harder. 

The first room they went into contained a tank full of brains, which I was sure would end up giving me nightmares. 

The second room radiated death. It contained a pit, and on a dias in the middle, there was a stone archway with a sort of veil in it. I was immediately drawn to it, and I could see that Nico was too, but Harry practically sprinted towards it. 

He claimed he could hear voices. I could hear them too, whispering words I couldn't quite make out, in a voice that sounded faintly like my mothers. But unlike Harry, my fellow demigods and I had enough willpower to resist the pull, and eventually, Harry was dragged back. 

The next door they tried was locked, but, lucky for them (which was never good) door number four was the right one. 

It was a tall room filled with nothing but towering shelves containing small, dusty glass orbs. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had a pretty good idea what they were, but I didn't have time to check or voice my theory before Harry had run off, taking all of them with him, looking for row ninety-seven. 

They slowed down as they got closer, keeping their wands at the ready. 

"Ninety-seven," Hermione whispered. 

There was no one there.

"He's right down at the end," Harry insisted, "You can't see him from here."

I knew he wasn't. It was a trap. But I wasn't going to say that aloud, so I followed him down the row along with the others without saying a word. 

"He should be near here," Harry continued as they drew closer to the end, "Anywhere here, really close..."

"Harry?" Hermione said tentatively.

"Somewhere about... here." He said. 

They had reached the end of the row. There was still no one there. 

"He might be..." Harry whispered, peering down the next alley, "Or maybe..."

"Harry?" Hermione asked again.

"What?" He snarled.

"I don't think Sirius is here." 

Thankfully, we all knew to stay quiet. Even Clarisse didn't pipe up. Harry began to run through the rows of shelves, only his footsteps telling us that he was still okay. 

"What are these?" Hermione asked quietly, turning to examine the glass orbs.

"Nothing good," Percy grumbled. 

He was standing in front of one of the shelves, eye-level with one of the orbs. He flinched back as a husky voice began to come from it.

 

"Five shall go west to the goddess in chains,

One shall be lost in the land without rain, 

The bane of Olympus shows the trail,

Campers and Hunters combined prevail,

The titans curse must one withstand,

And one shall perish by a parent's hand."

 

No one spoke for a good few moments. Ron was the one to break the uneasy silence.

"Sounds ominous."

"It's already come to pass," Percy said, too quietly for the wizards to hear. 

Unfortunately, someone - I wasn't sure who - must have come into close contact with a different orb, as a familiar voice filled the air. 

 

"Seven of prophecy venture afar

Joined by three who are quite bizarre

To a place blessed with magic

And haunted by fear

A great threat looms

The end is near

Twelve moons must pass

Before they can leave

Divine hosts and ghosts will follow

They are never at ease

Boy blessed of lightning

Will find no justice

Instead uncover a secret

Buried in darkness

Storm approaches the horizon

Heroes none the wiser

Beware, spirits say, before death explodes like a geyser."

 

"What are these?" Hermione asked, frowning. 

I was about to answer when Ron called out to Harry, derailing the conversation. After a few back-and-forths, the young wizard came over. 

"It's got your name on," Ron said, pointing at one of the orbs. 

I felt a twinge of sympathy for the boy. I could tell my fellow demigods did too - well, most of them. I wasn't sure if Clarisse was capable of feeling sympathy, but surely there was someone capable of breaking through her tough exterior. 

Harry moved closer to it, frowning.

"My name?" He asked blankly, staring at it. 

"What is it?" Ron said, sounding unnerved, "What's your name doing down here?"

"Harry, I don't think you should touch it," Hermione said sharply, as he reached out a hand. 

"Why not? It's something to do with me, isn't it?" 

"Don't, Harry," Neville said, looking more terrified than ever. 

"It's got my name on." He said simply, reaching out and clasping his hand around it. 

To everyone's surprise, nothing happened. I was expecting an oracle to start talking, but the room stayed silent as we crowded together to stare at it. I guess the nature of the prophecies were different. If demigod ones were delivered by an oracle, wizard ones were probably delivered by some kind of seer. 

"Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me." 

They did turn around - rather quickly though - and found themselves face-to-face with a Death Eater. 

Chapter Text

PIPER'S POV

What happened next was a blur. I could faintly remember Harry talking to Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, us blowing up the surrounding shelves of prophecies (something that I got far too much joy out of), running off and splitting up, which resulted in an odd encounter with a baby-headed Death Eater for me, the hurried reunion with the others and Ron getting smothered by a brain, running into the Death Veil room, the rush of relief when the Order arrived, only to have that swept away by the stress of the ongoing battle, in which us demigods were severely disadvantaged while under strict orders not to reveal ourselves, and the arrival of Dumbledore.

But time stood still when Sirius fell backwards through the veil. Bellatrix's cackle rang through the air as Harry cried out for his godfather, lunging towards the archway. Lupin grabbed him around the chest, pulling him away and keeping him there. 

"There's nothing you can do, Harry-" I heard Lupin reason. 

"Get him, save him, he's only just gone through!"

"-it's too late, Harry."

"We can still reach him-" Harry protested, struggling in vain. 

"There's nothing you can do, Harry... nothing... he's gone."

"He hasn't gone!" Harry yelled, "Sirius! SIRIUS!" 

"He can't come back, Harry," Lupin pleaded, "He can't come back because he's-"

"No! He's not dead!"

"He is." Percy said, "But-"

"No!" Harry screamed, "You don't get to lecture me on this! Who have you lost?"

Percy winced, his eyes flashing with sorrow and maybe a bit of irritation. 

"My mother's dead," Jason said from where he was sitting on the ground, tending to his own broken ankle, "I've lost count of the number of friends and well, classmates, I've seen met the same fate."

"Yeah," Percy agreed sombrely, "Beckendorf. Bianca."

"Zoe." Annabeth added, causing Calypso to brush tears away, "Silena. Luke." 

"Michael. Lee. Ethan." Percy continued, "Bob. Small Bob. Damasen."

"Dozens of Hunters." Nico muttered, "And Amazons."

"And Hazel," Leo added, jokingly.

The girl in question shot him a dirty look, nodding at Harry with a 'don't blow this' expression on her face. Thankfully, Harry seemed to have calmed down and looked mildly guilty for what he had said. 

"Harry... I'b really sorry..." Neville said, his legs still dancing uncontrollably and blood dripping from his broken nose, "Was dad man - was Sirius Black a - a friend of yours?" 

The dark-haired boy nodded. 

"Here," Lupin said quietly, pointing his wand at Neville's legs, "Finite." 

Neville's legs stilled. 

"Let's find the others. Where are they all?" Lupin asked. 

"They're all back there," I answered, "Ron got attacked by a brain, and Hermione's unconscious, but we're pretty sure they're still alive. Ginny did something to her ankle." 

"So did, Jason," Lupin observed. 

"I got hit by a spell - I'm not sure which one - and flew into the wall. I'm lucky I just broke my ankle." Jason explained. 

He made a move to stand, his ankle wobbling dangerously before I managed to wrap an arm around him to keep him upright. 

There was a loud bang and a yell from the dais. As I whipped my head around, I could saw Kingsley hit the floor and Bellatrix bolt. Dumbledore turned as well, firing a spell at her back which she easily deflected. 

"Harry-" Lupin cried. 

It was too late. Thanks to Lupin's weakened hold on him, he broke free and took off after Bellatrix before anyone could react.

"Should we...?" Percy asked, glancing around the bedraggled group. 

"Tend to your friends, Mr Jackson." Dumbledore instructed, "I shall ensure Harry's safety."

"Yes, sir." Percy agreed hurriedly as Dumbledore strode past him. 

There was a few tense moments of pause once he left in which we began to make our way back to the others, before Leo broke it, saying:

"We're going after him, right?" 

"Yep." Percy agreed, "We have to."

"Once we know our friends are okay, right?" Hazel checked. 

In addition to the young wizards staying out of the fight, Clarisse had been knocked out cold by a stunning spell when she lost her wand and decided to charge headfirst at a Death Eater. She was lucky he had panicked and not shot the killing curse. Frank had come into contact with some sort of creature - no one could say what, and was half out of it. 

Calypso had stayed behind to help, as in addition to her sprained wrist, she also had experience caring for injuries with makeshift supplies, specifically magic ones, given her family history. 

Relief was evident in their eyes as we came into view, the Order stumbling along behind us. Tonks - still unconscious - was deposited on the ground beside Clarisse and Hermione. 

"What happened?" Ginny asked, eyeing our exhausted faces.  

"The Order came, and the Death Eaters didn't like that. Dumbledore came, the Death Eaters tried to run away. But, he caught them - except for Bellatrix who shot Sirius through that weird curtain thing and then ran off." Leo summarised, dropping to the ground beside Calypso. 

"Sirius is dead?" Ginny exclaimed. 

"Yes," Lupin answered wearily. 

"Who's going?" Jason asked me quietly. 

"You should stay," I told him. 

"I know." He agreed, "I'm more of a hindrance than a help." 

"Piper should go." Annabeth said, "We can see if she can charmspeak Voldemort, at the very least to get him to tell us who he's working with." 

"You should go too." Jason pointed out. 

"I was planning on it. Percy?" 

"I'm not leaving you two out there alone. Strongest in threes, right?" 

"Don't let them see us leave." I hissed to Jason as I lowered him to the floor.

"No problem." He answered. 

The moment the Order's backs were all turned, we bolted. 

Although our plan hit a bump in the road when we reached the circle room. Hermione's crosses had faded away to nothing, leaving us with no idea which door was the right one. 

"Quick. Check as many as you can." Annabeth ordered. 

I lunged towards the nearest door. It was locked. The next one wasn't, but it wasn't the way out either. The third one wasn't right either, nor the fourth. 

"Found it!" Percy called out. 

I turned on my heels and sprinted towards the door, Annabeth doing the same, desperate to get through before the room started spinning again. The door slammed shut behind us. 

We didn't stop running once we made it through, we continued until we reached the elevator. I slammed the floor number for the atrium and then stepped back, giving my racing heart a chance to recover. 

"He'll be fine, right? He has Dumbledore to protect him." Percy reasoned, "And we don't know that Voldy will show up."

"Percy, your optimism is endearing, but he's there. He wouldn't miss this chance." Annabeth reasoned, "And Dumbledore could take Voldemort, but Bellatrix is there too." 

"Is there an elevator god I can pray to to get this thing to hurry up?" I asked, pacing from side to side, "Harry's safety aside, this is the first chance we've gotten to figure out what's going on. We're in the dark guys, and that's never a safe place to be." 

"No, it isn't." Annabeth agreed darkly. 

None of us spoke for the rest of the achingly slow trip, and once the doors finally opened we all took off, our hurried footsteps echoing through the still hauntingly empty room. 

The fight seemed to be mostly over when we reached them. For some strange reason, the fountain was in pieces. A baby bird surrounded by ashes was floundering on the ground. Harry himself was cowering behind a statue - one from the fountain - and Bellatrix was sobbing while trapped underneath another. Dumbledore was facing off against a snake-like man I presume is Voldemort. 

"You cannot defeat me!" He declared, "I have the rightful King of the Gods on my side!"

"And yet you lack the most basic human power." Dumbledore countered. 

"Love?" Voldemort sneered, "You're weak." 

And then something happened - I wasn't sure what - but the next thing I knew Harry was on the ground, writhing in pain. Dumbledore abandoned his station, hurrying over to the young wizard. 

Voldemort turned to us, his eyes alight. I felt a chill run down my spine. He wasn't human. He was something else, and I had a sneaking suspicion he knew exactly who we were. 

Before he got a chance to attack us, however, the atrium was suddenly flooded with people streaming in through the fireplaces. He turned to them with horror and then took off, spiriting Bellatrix away with him before we could react. 

Percy muttered some choice words that would've certainly got him suspended, but I couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. 

"He was there!" A scarlet robed wizard shouted, "I saw him, Mr Fudge, I swear it was You-Know-Who, he grabbed a woman and disapparated!"

"I know Williamson, I know, I saw him too!" Fudge gibbered, "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," Dumbledore said, walking forwards so that the newcomers realised he was there - a few raised their wands, the statues applauded, "you will find several escaped Death Eaters contained in the Death Chamber, bound by an Anti-Disapparation Jinx and awaiting your decision of what to do with them." 

"Dumbledore!" Fudge gasped, "You - here - I - seize him!"

"Cornelius, I am ready to fight your men - and win, again," Dumbledore said 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 man for twelve months, and it is time you listened to sense!" 

"I don't... well," Fudge blustered, "Very well - Dawlish! Williamson! Go down to the Department of Mysteries and see... Dumbledore, you - you will tell me exactly - the Fountain of Magical Brethren - what happened?"

"We can discuss that after I have sent Harry and his friends back to Hogwarts," Dumbledore said simply. 

"Harry - Harry Potter?" 

Fudge wheeled around to stare at Harry, who was still leaning against the wall.

"He - here?" Fudge stammered, "Why - what's this all about?"

"I shall explain everything," Dumbledore repeated, "when Harry and his friends are back at school."

He walked away from the Minister, motioning for us to come to him. He reached down and muttered 'Portus' with his wand pointed at the statue wizard's head, ignoring Fudge's arrogant protests. 

"You heard what he said, didn't you?" He asked us quietly once we had reached him.

"Yes," I answered gravely.

Beside me, Percy and Annabeth exchanged a wary glance. 

"This is bigger than I first thought," Dumbledore admitted, "And it is prudent that we act now. The worlds of Myth and Magic are on a collision course no matter what we do - we just have to make sure that that revelation doesn't come when Voldemort's ally ascends to his throne." 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH'S POV

It was the day after the events at the Ministry, and the first time we'd been able to sneak off together to properly talk. We were squirrelled away in the depths of the library. It was a sunny day, so most of the students were outside, or elsewhere in the castle, relaxing now that exams were over. 

"The Rightful King of the Gods?" Jason asked, shaking his head, "Given their temperaments, that could be any of them." 

"Except for Zeus." Percy pointed out, "For once."

The sky rumbled overhead. 

"Don't forget," I reminded them, "It's no longer limited to Roman or Greek deities. We could be looking at an Egyptian god, or a Norse one, or who knows what else." 

"Well, instead of looking at what we don't know, we should look at what we do," Calypso suggested. 

"It's someone tough, and brave." Clarisse declared.

"Not necessarily." I pointed out.

"Well, rightful king, right?" Percy said, "They have to be a guy." 

"That's something. They've gotta be powerful, as well, to be able to offer Voldemort any useful assistance." I reasoned. 

"So that narrows it down to every powerful male god in existence. Easy peasy." Leo quipped. 

"We can rule out all the peace-loving gods, like Frey," I added. 

"Wait, what about the sacrifices?" Hazel said. 

"Nilo was a Norse demigod, but Hunters, Campers and Magicians have been going missing too and presuming they all met the same fate, it doesn't prove anything," I frowned, "But if we can figure out the purpose of the sacrifices, then that narrows it down even further." 

"Okay, so most sacrifice-type things are done for power, right?" Piper said.

"Or to raise someone. From the dead, or... otherwise." Percy added. 

"Like a god." I realised, "The god we're looking for might be one trapped, or imprisoned, or powerless, who needs the sacrifices in order to escape, or gain the power to escape." 

"Loki?" Percy guessed. 

"No, he was handed over to the Aesir and they locked him away somewhere not even Magnus knows. Besides, this isn't really his style. I think we're looking at a new player."

"Caelus?" Frank suggested. 

"Who's Caelus?" Leo asked.

"Ouranos," I answered, causing him, Percy and Clarisse to snigger. 

I elbowed my boyfriend but otherwise ignored it. 

"The original King." Jason said, "He was said to be even worse than Gaia." 

"Oh, gods." Percy muttered, "What if it's Tartarus?" 

I shivered despite myself, and I could see my look of horror mirrored on my friends' faces. 

"It could be either," I sighed, "It could also be one we haven't even thought of. I'll contact Magnus and the Kanes, see if they have any suggestions. Jason, can you bring Thalia up to date on all of this? Frank, talk to Reyna, and Percy, update Chiron." 

"Who?" 

We all started, whirling around to find Hermione, Harry and Ron standing there. It was Hermione who had spoken. 

"What are you guys doing here?" Percy asked hurriedly. 

"It's a library," Hermione pointed out, "And I was actually looking for Jason because I still have questions about his sister. Who are those people?"

"Friends," I replied.

"You mentioned Thalia again. I'm assuming that's the same Thalia that Storm mentioned."

"It is," I said slowly, eyeing her warily as she moved closer. 

She paused for a moment, looking around the group with guarded eyes before speaking again. 

"Something doesn't add up about you guys. You come in, at all different ages. You have those marks on your arms. You act like the O.W.Ls don't matter. You're friends with some weird forest lady. You're always having secret conversations. You get special attention from Dumbledore. You don't go to Ilvermorny. Some of you acted like you'd never used magic before when you first arrived. I'm also fairly sure I've heard you sword fighting." 

Silence fell over the group, us demigods exchanging worried glances. She was suspicious, and we needed her to trust us. 

"We're American?" Percy offered. 

"You can tell them, Mr Jackson."

Like a ghost, Dumbledore appeared from the shadows, his eyes twinkling. 

"Tell them what? There's nothing to tell." He tried, to no avail. 

I sighed. 

"Sit down," I told them. 

To my surprise, they complied immediately. 

"How much do we tell them?" I asked Dumbledore quietly. 

"Who you are and why you're here, and then answer any questions they have." He said, settling down on one of the chairs. 

"Who wants to start?" I said, turning to my friends. 

"We're here to induct you into our cult," Leo said seriously. 

"What?" Harry exclaimed. 

"He's kidding," Calypso assured them quickly. 

"We're demigods." Jason said before Leo could say anything else, "The children of a human, and a god."

"Except for me. I'm a former Titaness." Calypso added. 

"What? Gods - what?" Hermione stuttered, at a loss for words, "Which gods?"

"We're Greek and Roman demigods," Jason explained, "But we know of Norse ones, and Egyptian magicians. There are presumably others as well." 

"Well... I - what... who are your parents?" 

"My father's Jupiter," Jason said, turning to Piper - who he was sitting next to - as if to pass it along.

"Aphrodite." She said gloomily. 

"Hades."

"Pluto." 

"Mars." 

"Ares." 

"Atlas, I guess. But that's complicated."

"Hephaestus." 

"Athena."

"Poseidon." 

"So... you're really..." Hermione's eyes darted around the group as if seeing them in a new light.

"Wait, how do we know you're telling the truth?" Harry asked suspiciously. 

"I can vouch for them," Dumbledore assured him. 

"Well, what are you doing here then?" Harry asked, narrowing his eyes. 

"We received a prophecy," I said. 

"Like the ones in the hall? Is that common for you?" Hermione inquired. 

"Unfortunately," Percy grumbled; the rest of us muttered our agreement. 

"What did it say?" She pressed. 

"You heard it - in the hall. The second one." I answered. 

"Wow - I mean." 

"Is he really dead?" Harry asked quietly. 

He was staring at Hazel and Nico, desperation visible in his eyes as he realised that as the children of the God of Death, they would be able to tell him. 

"He is," Nico informed him, a touch of empathy in his voice. 

Harry let out a shuddering breath, but it didn't seem as if he had had much hope to begin with. 

"And your sister?" Hermione asked Jason.

"She's a daughter of Zeus, and we have the same mother. She's technically seven years older than me, but she spent some time as a tree, and then joined the Hunters of Artemis." Jason replied. 

"I'm going to skip over the tree part for now and ask about the Hunters of Artemis. Is Storm one? Is that why the Centaurs called her 'Huntress'?"

"I'd presume so. As for the Hunters themselves, they hunt alongside Lady Artemis, but on the times she is called away, like now when she's on Olympus trying to plead her brother's case to our father, her Lieutenant is in charge. That's Thalia." 

"And they're... immortal?"

"They don't age. The only way they can die is if they fall in battle, or if they break their oath." 

"Their oath? To not be with a man?" Hermione checked. 

Jason nodded. 

"That leaves from pretty massive loopholes," Piper commented, smirking slightly. 

"I think that might have been on purpose," I said, matching her smile. 

"I'm still stuck on the 'god' thing," Ron muttered. 

"Don't worry, it took me a while to wrap my head around it as well," Percy reassured him. 

"Wait, so when Voldemort said 'King of the Gods', he really meant...?" Harry asked, his eyes wide in alarm.

"Yes." I replied solemnly, "We don't know who - yet - if that's what you're planning on asking next."

"Well, are you coming back next year?" He queried, "I can handle Voldemort, but a god..." 

"I don't know," I answered, looking to Dumbledore. 

"Your year is up, I'm afraid." He informed them, "But we will not be alone in this fight. I have contacted the heads of both Demigod camps, and the House of Life. I also reached out to your Norse friends. I'm pleased to say that they've agreed to all work together, with us, to defeat our enemies. Magnus Chase and Alex Fierro will be joining us next year." 

"Chase?" Hermione asked, glancing to me.

"He's my cousin. And Alex is his partner. Magnus is a demigod, a child of Frey, and Alex is a child of Loki." 

"And they're both dead," Percy added.

"Dead?" Hermione gulped. 

"They're einherji." I elaborated, "Odin's warriors." 

"Is going from ten to two wise?" Jason worried.

"We will stay in contact with you," Dumbledore assured him, "And I spoke to the Lady Artemis last night. She helped us in the war against Grindelwald years ago and has agreed to help us again, partially as thanks for us providing her Hunters safe sanctuary. They will also be moving on at the end of this year, as she returns to their ranks. Save for one, of course." 

"A Hunter chose to stay here?" Percy frowned. 

"Well, she didn't exactly choose it, as much as she has been ordered to, but she's staying."

"Is it Storm?" Piper asked suddenly. 

Even Dumbledore looked taken aback. 

"It is." He said slowly. 

"She said she was a witch when Jason and I met with Thalia months ago," Piper explained. 

"She is. A very powerful one at that. She has an iron will - and an unforgiving heart." 

"She didn't seem to like you very much," Piper said carefully. 

"No. We used to be close friends. Grew up together, in a way. She's only a few years younger than me, but... things change." 

"She's only a few years younger than you?" Hermione wondered in amazement. 

However, Harry and Ron's minds seemed to have gone elsewhere.

"Did you date her, Professor?" Harry asked boldly. 

I winced. Leo grinned. Dumbledore laughed. 

"No, no. She was like a sister to me, for starters. Besides, I don't - what's the phrase - 'swing that way'. Neither does she, for that matter." 

"Huh?" Ron asked blankly. 

"He's trying to say that they're both gay," Nico said, rolling his eyes. 

"Ohhh. Wait." Ron said, whipping his head around to stare at Dumbledore. 

"Next year will certainly be interesting," Calypso said, distracting from Ron's - and Harry's - reaction. 

"Indeed," Dumbledore agreed, "It will be a wonder if I survive it." 

"What?" Hermione exclaimed in alarm - a sentiment very much shared by the rest of us. 

"Like I said," Dumbledore smiled, "Storm has a very unforgiving heart. And she does tend to be rather violent."

I held back a sigh as I slumped back in my seat. As much as I longed to go home, I also wanted to stay. I had become attached to this place and the people within it. They didn't deserve to be swept up into this mess, and they were in way above their heads. They need our help - they needed us here.

Although, I could still help back in America, perhaps even more so. This time, maybe the war wouldn't be so unbalanced. With all four mythologies and wizards, working together, we could win. 

But, that did mean leaving Hogwarts in the hands of my witty cousin, his shape-shifting partner and a century-old huntress with anger issues. 

Alone, they were fine. Together - well, I could already tell that they'd get along like a house on fire. Unfortunately, in this case, they might actually set a house on fire. 

I just pray that the house in question doesn't end up being Hogwarts. 

Chapter Text

The sequel is now posted. It's called Harry Potter and the Norse Gods, and it should be accessible through the series thingy, but let me know if it doesn't work, I'm new to this. Some people asked for an update on here when it was posted, so here it is.

Following the events of 'Harry Potter and the Greek Gods', Alex Fierro and Magnus Chase take the place of their Greek and Roman counterparts at Hogwarts, joined by Nico di Angelo, Will Solace and - to quote Annabeth - a century-old huntress with anger issues.

Tension is building in the wizarding world. They're preparing for war, just as they did twenty years ago. Only this time, they aren't alone in their fight. Unfortunately, Voldemort has also gained a new ally. One who calls himself 'the rightful king of the gods' and demands human sacrifices. It's just another year in the life of our favourite wizards, demigods and einherjar, right?