Warthogs, Hogwarts, Whatever


Ah, camp. So peaceful. No interruptions on your day to be called to Big House and sent on yet another potentially suicidal quest, or anything like that.

You detect any sarcasm there?

So, as you may have guessed, quest time. Yippee. But let's rewind a bit first.

Picture this: me at a never-ending all-you-can-eat cheeseburger buffet. Ah, that's nice. Now, erase that from your mind because that is nowhere near where I was. I had been in the stables, talking to the horses because I had no friends. Just kidding. Almost all the campers had gone home for the school year, since it was late August, and I had decided to stay for a little while before school began. Among this crowd was Annabeth and her siblings, most of the Hermes cabin (except for the Stolls), and almost all the other campers, save a few old-timers like Clarisse.

Anyway, I was deep in conversation with Guido, having an argument about flying. Guido's definition of flying: happiness, with wind in your face and soaring through clouds peacefully. My definition: an electric death socket of doom.

Guido was just saying, Well, it's not my fault you're uncle is a—

"Am I interrupting something?" came a voice from the door, which probably saved Guido from instant incineration, courtesy of Zeus. The person at the door was Nico, looking at me in amusement. I guess from his view, I was having a one-sided conversation. I would laugh at me too.

"What?" I sighed, wanting to get back to my argument with the pegasus. Wow, that does sound weird.

"We're wanted at the Big House. Chiron says it's important," Nico said. I sighed. When Chiron says something is important, that immediately translates into an omen of impending doom. I reluctantly walked over to Nico, ready to see what Chiron had in store for us this time.

I paused at doorway, then turned and pointed at Guido. "This is not over," I warned him. He then tried to look all 'innocent pegasus', but I didn't buy it. Nico just let out a short laugh and tugged me toward the Big House.

I walked into the living room of the Big House, and, to my surprise, Thalia was reclining on the couch, picking dirt from her nails. She looked up when I came in and must've seen my expression.

"I have absolutely no idea," she said, answering my question. "Lady Artemis just said I was needed at camp for a while. Humph." She turned away and continued with her nails.

We just sat there for a moment, a tense silence in the air as we all wondered what it was we had to do. That uncomfortable silence was broken when Chiron, wheelchair form, came in and cleared his throat.

"You're probably wondering—" he began, but Thalia cut him off.

"Yes, Chiron, we are, but can we please not beat around the bush with this?"

The centaur sighed. "Very well. I will be straight with this: have any of you three heard of wizards?" Silence. "Well then. Contrary to popular belief—actually, all belief—wizards and witches do exist, primarily in Great Britain and other parts of Europe. They establish schools to teach young witches and wizards how to control their powers.

"There is one particular school among these that is special. It is called Hogwarts—" Thalia and I snorted. "—School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Headmaster is Albus Dumbledore, son of Hecate and an old friend of mine. He has asked me to send three of my most powerful students to come to his school to help protect one of his students: Harry Potter. Potter's friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger ought to be looked after as well. Do you accept?"

I blinked. Chiron had just revealed to us the existence of wizards and asked to send us on a quest across the Atlantic Ocean to a school named after Warthogs, all to protect three wizards we didn't even know?

So I did the natural thing. "Sure," I said, shrugging my shoulders. After a couple seconds, Nico did the same. Thalia looked at us incredulously.

After a moment she mumbled something along the lines of: "Boys are stupid", and said okay as well. Chiron smiled and rubbed his hands together.

"Good," he said, looking at each of us in turn. "You have an hour. Argus will pick you up and drive you to the airport—" he was cut off by Nico saying "What?" rather loudly, and me nearly choking. If I had had some water, it would've been a really awesome spit take. Pity.

Chiron just sighed and said he had gotten Zeus's permission, though he hadn't been happy about me entering his domain again. "You will be picked up in England by Harry's friend Ron's family, the Weasleys. You will be staying with them until the start of term, and remember this: you are exchange students from America. Your school is called Delphi School of Magic. Your headmaster is Professor Brunner. Do not blow your cover. Got it?" We all nodded after a moment. Chiron ordered us to go pack.

As I walked back to my cabin I was thinking, I'll certainly have something to tell Annabeth when I get home. I smiled in spite of myself and entered the Poseidon cabin. I had some packing to do.