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House of Hades: The Journey

Dedicated to

Nico di Angelo, son of Hades.

            “What’s wrong, Piper?” Jason demanded picking the dagger up off the floor.

            “Chiron,” Piper whispered.

            Nico’s stomach lurched. “What about Chiron?” he asked as fear seeped through his veins. “Piper, what happened to Chiron?”

            “He’s in trouble!” Piper wailed. “A bunch of Romans have him cornered and he has no weapons!’

            “Leo, is the sphere ready?” Jason checked, keeping calm.

            Leo nodded, his face stark white. “Yeah.”

            “Get Buford,” Phoenix ordered. “Get him to Camp Half-Blood with the sphere.” When Leo didn’t move, she barked, “Now, Leo!” He jumped up and ran out, Adeiphos following. Hazel got up and met Nico’s gaze. Priam nudged Nico gently with his beak and Nico tore his gaze from his sister’s and to Priam. Without saying anything, Nico left, to Percy’s cabin, where he was staying. Leo had promised to change it to Nico’s preferences as soon as he could.

            Nico stood in the center of the room, looking at the pictures along the walls. So many memories in that picture of the Empire State, of the war. Everyone has thought things would be okay after Luke was gone. No one denied that Percy and Annabeth deserved it, after everything that had happened to the two of them. Nico felt awful for not telling Percy who he was at Camp Jupiter. If he had, Percy and Annabeth wouldn’t be in Hell.


            Nico jumped slightly and turned. “Hi.”

            Priam looked around the room. “You miss him.”

            “More than you can imagine,” Nico sighed.

            “Leo has the ship ready to go,” Priam said, changing the subject. “He wants to know how we’re getting to Greece?”

            Nico frowned. “What?”

            “He means, by water or by air?” Leo clarified, coming in. He leaned against the doorframe and looked around. “Jason prefers air, but he said it was your choice.”

            “Air is fine,” Nico said, taking in Leo’s appearance. His smile was forced and his eyes shadowed. “Leo, you okay?”

            Leo shrugged. “None of us are okay, Nico,” was all he said before leaving. Nico stood there for a moment, then followed, with Priam on his shoulder. As they were passing the kitchen, Priam ventured in, leaving Nico to walk into the lounge alone. Everyone was already gathered there.

            “Hey,” Jason said from the seat next to the head where no one was sitting. Nico guessed it was Annabeth’s. The seat across from Jason was probably Percy’s then. A bit unsure of what to do, Nico sat down next to Percy’s chair, across from Piper.

            “What are we doing now?” Nico asked. “What’s our next move?”

            “We find some giants, and pound ‘em,” Coach Hedge grunted. “Simple.”

            “Not quite., Jason said carefully. “We have a decision to make. Are we going to return the Parthenos or not?”

            “Well, it’s like I said,” Hazel reminded him. “How would we explain it? The statue is supposed to be missing,”

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