"I'm afraid, Nico, that I must issue you a new quest."
Nico's life, already shattered to pieces, fell apart even more. Percy had ended up dying to save the world from Gaia- the world had fallen to storm, but not the storm they were expecting. Nico had found Will Solace, of course, but was still only two months after the son of Poseidon had given up his life. Annabeth had ended up taking her own life, and Athena had nearly destroyed camp in her anger, and now, the camp was still in pieces. Newly claimed demigods needed training, but nobody wanted to teach any more. Nico included- he had been meant to take Percy and Annabeth's place as teacher for sword fighting, seeing as he and Jason were the two best remaining fighters with swords.
"W-why, father?" He asked. "Please tell me it isn't dangerous or long-"
"You are going to a school called Hogwarts," Hades said gravely. "For a year. I understand this isn't ideal, but it must be done.
"A year?" Nico asked. "A year to do what? Could you uh, please at least give me information on what in Tartarus I'm meant to even do on this quest?"
"Valdez and Solace will be going with you," Hades said in a bored voice, as if he had practised- which he probably had. "You are going to be a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I recently felt a soul leave the Fields of Punishment- it was the work of a primordial deity, no doubt, as I was unable to return the soul. The soul was that of a certain Tom Marvolo Riddle, known to the Wizarding world as Lord Voldemort."
Nico despised souls who strayed from the world- Voldemort had been meant to die about seventeen years ago, but hadn't. Voldemort had been meant to die about seven years ago, but he didn't. Once he finally died, of course he had to come back life. Nico knew exactly who would be doing all of the paperwork (If you didn't guess, of course it was himself) for the return of the stupid guy.
Nico had already known a little about the wizarding world. How Harry Potter had been meant to lose his life at the same time as Voldemort around seventeen years ago. How the Chamber of Secrets had been opened nearly sixty years ago and a girl, Myrtle, had died- and stayed at Hogwarts. Now, he was expected to go to that school to teach? Especially when Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-blood were both still so fragile?
"Father, I can't do this. I'm not an efficient teacher, and-"
"Nonsense, you teach sword fighting just fine. Or well, you would, if you stopped moping over Perseus," Hades snorted. "You teach better than the Grace boy, at any rate. You will be teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts to the students, and keep your identities secret- Kronos has returned also, and he has joined forces with the Giant Banes and Tom. They will try and storm Hogwarts- if the school falls, the powers of Hecate will also fall, and The Mist will unravel to reveal our existence."
"How do we know all of this, again?" Nico asked politely. "I'm sure Kronos, Tom and the Banes decided to try Hogwarts because it is in Britain and is out of the way, preventing any-"
"Ah, but they did not account for two students there with godly blood. A clumsy Gryffindor legacy of Demeter, who does not know he has godly blood, was trapped by Tom as bait for Harry Potter, and Demeter had some spare time so she freed him."
"And found out about the plan," Nico completed. That was no doubt part of their plan, he thought. Why did they want the gods to learn of their plan?
"We haven't figured out the entire plan yet, but we need backup at Hogwarts for the moment," Hades nodded. "You are being sent, as you can sense death, shadow-travel and provide an army for Hogwarts if necessary in the form of raising the dead. The son of Hephaestus is not only a powerful demigod, he can provide technology that works in Hogwarts, sense traps, and provide defences for the school. Solace is going for two reasons. One is that his personality is likeable and he will be able to gain the trust of students. The second is private."
"Private," Nico sighed. Of course it was private. Of course the stupid gods wouldn't tell him what Will would be doing on a quest Nico was leading.
"Yes, private," Hades drolled. He continued explaining, and it took all of Nico's energy not to tap his foot, fiddle with his skull ring or say something. "And well, just make sure to keep your identities secret. Remember your role in your quest. Now, return to camp."
Nico was swallowed by shadows.
"Another quest that could result in another war and threatens the world," Will said. "And you want me to go on it. I'm a healer, Neeks. I don't do quests. But if you want me to, I'll go with you."
"Don't call me Neeks. And my father selected you to be on the quest, not me. I don't want a quest either- not when a gods damn quest ended with the death of Percy," Nico said, kicking the ground, and Will touched his arm.
"Well, I'm fine with going on the quest," Leo said. "As much as I am terrified of quests now, we don't have Percy to take care of the world any more. Calypso was freed by the gods to honour Percy's memory, and I don't want to leave her, but she's planning a trip to Camp Jupiter soon anyway."
Nico sighed, as he started walking. "I'm going to Rachel. I hope the Oracle will speak today."
"We'll go with you," Leo said, jogging to catch up. "And Zombie Dude, explain what we're actually meant to do on the quest?"
"Teach magic to young witches and wizards at a school called Hogwarts. Allow them time to heal after a war they just had- not as bad as our wars though- and prepare them for the battle of their lives because their great enemy, Voldemort, Kronos and the giant Banes have teamed up. Overall it shouldn't be as terrible of a war as the one with Gaia but much worse than the war the wizards had," Nico listed. "But we need to be careful because is Hogwarts falls, Hecate loses her powers and won't be able to control the Mist."
"Wouldn't it make more sense to send Hazel, then?" Will asked. "Hazel, rather than Leo or me, I mean. I can see why you're going, Neeks, but Leo's going to set some traps, and I'm going to make friends. Hazel can do that perfectly fine, and she can make traps out of the mist, can't she?"
"Hazel's busy with the Twelfth Fulminata, I guess," Nico said. "Since Frank and Reyna would have been useful too. Reyna's a leader, and that's a huge strength for an army- Frank can be useful to spy. He can turn into bugs, for gods' sake! But no, we're being sent."
"It's extra time to spend with you," Will said reasonably. "And we could help teach each other's classes, I suppose."
"Well, we're here," Leo said, making gagging noises and waving at Rachel. "Hey, Red, we need a prophecy!"
"Red?" Nico asked, and Leo sighed.
"It stands for Rachel Elizabeth Dare," He said like it was obvious. "Seriously, are you from the 1930s? Oh yeah, you are."
"Respect your elders," Nico ordered, turning to Rachel. "Anything?"
Rachel cut herself off with a gasp and fell backward- Nico barely managed to catch her on time. She seemed to be in a different world, gasping and screaming. She was probably having some sort of nightmare- no, a vision. A glimpse into the future.
After a few minutes of desperate flailing and shrieking, Rachel sat up dizzily- Will offered her some mortal medicine, and she opened her mouth to speak.
"The Oracle of Delphi has not spoken a prophecy," She said in disappointment. "But her spirit did take over for a while, and provide a few visions that could potentially guide your quest."
"What did the Oracle show?" Leo asked eagerly, but Will shook his head.
"She needs to rest for a bit," He said sternly. "Let's get her to the infirmary first at the very least. I mainly got healing skills from dad, but I do have a brother who gets visions from time to time. They're never about important things, and they're very few and far between- a scene from next week's Capture the Flag if we're lucky. But there was one time where he saw a ship blowing up- we never said anything about it, even Michael, because we didn't want to worry anyone. His reaction was pretty similar to Rachel's."
"Except Rachel is fully mortal, so there's no way to get her to eat ambrosia, or drink nectar," Nico pointed out, and Will nodded.
"Doesn't mean I can't get her to the infirmary and find a way to help her. Do you have a headache of any sort, Rachel?" Rachel shook her head at the question.
"I'm a bit dizzy, but there's a reason I got the visions, I'm sure of it. I should tell them now. To start with, Leo was teaching something about defending against dark creatures outside with a grand castle nearby, but then the lake nearly exploded and the merfolk started screaming. The scene changed, and there was an army of Greek Monsters approaching the castle, with Kronos, the Giant Banes and a noseless guy leading, and you three were out the front. The scene changed one more time and there was a single golden arrow, flying through the air. I have no idea who's arrow it was, or what it was aimed at, but it was flying straight and it was golden."
"Like Apollo's arrows?" Will checked.
"Exactly like Apollo's arrows- the same ones your siblings always use," Rachel confirmed, nodding her head. "It could have been you, of course, but your aim isn't great, no offence, and you don't really use arrows anyway."
"He doesn't like fighting," Nico agreed, hugging his boyfriend. "He's more of a healer- but it sounds like we'll need him, according to your visions, doesn't it? Screaming merfolk, Kronos, Giant Banes and the flying arrow- clearly the weapon is important, because I don't think the Oracle of Delphi would show us something useless, but I can't think of anything else it could be."