As we walked up to the horseless carriages, Percy and Nico stopped.
"What is that?" Percy asked as the walked up to the front of the carriage and stared at something that's about the height of a person, and then he started petting the air.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"Are you telling me that you can't see these things?" he asked.
"No," Hermione said and shook her head.
"It looks like something my dad would have," Nico said and walked over to the front of the carriage and started patting thin air.
"Hagrid!" I yelled and the large gatekeeper walked over.
"Hello Harry," Hagrid said. "What seems to be the problem?" he asked and I pointed at the two boys standing by the front of the carriage petting thin air like crazy people.
"Hagrid," Nico said, "What are these things?"
"Those are thestrals. Not very many people here can see them."
"Why not?" I asked.
"They can only be seen by people who've seen death."
Percy and Nico both took a step back.
"My father told me about thestrals," Nico said and he went back so petting the air. "He told me that they were the loneliest creatures alive, because no one can see them, and the people that can are to afraid of them because of their looks."
"Your right," Hagrid said and then turned to them. "I don't recognize you two. What are your names?"
"Nico di Angelo."
"You guys aren't first years, so why don't I know you?"
"We're new," Percy stated, not saying anything else.
The hat had just finished singing and the sorting had begun. Percy and I stood amongst the first years, and we looked seriously out of place because we were at least a foot taller than the rest of the people surrounding us.
After about five minutes, my name was called.
"Di Angelo, Nico." As my name was said, the ghosts squealed and they all shot out of the room, which confused practically everyone.
I walked up to the stool and sat down and Professor McGonagal put the hat on my head.
"Well, well, well. It's been a long time since I've had one of your kind in my chair," the hat said in my head. "I can see you going into any house, except Hufflepuff. You'd be a terrible Hufflepuff. You lose things to easily and your loyalty is questionable. You're quite bright, so you could go into Ravenclaw, but you seem to be more cunning than bright, so you would do well in Slytherin, especially because who your father is, but your brave. Above all else, you seem to be brave, even though we both know that there's a slight evil in you because of who your father is. As much as I want to put you in Slytherin, I must do what I was instructed by your uncle to do, so, since I don't want to be smited, you're going in Gryfindor!"
As normal, my table cheered and I slowly walked over and sat down by Ron. As the rest of the names were called, more people joined the table, and Percy ended up sitting by me.
"Does anybody know why all the ghosts ran off when they say Nico?" Hermione asked and I shook my head and look confused.
Before I could come up with a reasonable excuse, Professor Dumbledore stood up and walked up to the winged podium and cleared his throat.
"I have a few announcements make. First off, I would like to welcome you all to another year at Hogwarts. Second, I would like to remind everybody that the Forbidden Forest is, well, forbidden. No student shall go in there unless they would like to end up meeting deadly monsters that would kill you if given the chance," he said, looking right at Percy and I, as if telling us to go into the forest for sword practice.
"Also, I would like to introduce you to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher," he said as the doors to the room opened and a tan, blonde, young man of about twenty five, who I happened to know, walked in. "Everybody, this is Professor Apollo. It's his first year teaching and I expect every one of you to give him a warm welcome." We all clapped and I heard a few people talk about a 'Lockheart' and how 'Professor Apollo better not be anything like him.'
"But the most important thing happening this year is something that hasen't taken place in many, many years." As he was talking, he walked over to some really tall thing that was covered with a cloth and then he pulled it off and the giant trophy like thing started on fire. "The Wizard Tournament. Anyone who is a fourth year or above can enter the tournament. You just write your name and house on a piece of paper and stick it into the Goblet of Fire.
"Two people from each house will be chosen to participate in the five challenges. You must all know this. These challenges don't only test your magical ability. They test your strength, your mind, and your ability to survive, even without magic. You have until September fourteen, which is two weeks from today, to sign up. That day, at dinner, the contestents will be announced. The first challenge takes place on Halloween. I wish you all good luck." With that, he walked back to his seat and sat down.
Once dinner was over, Percy and I excused ourselves from the group and went over to our cousin.
"Apollo, what are you doing here?" I asked in a hushed voice and he chuckled.
"The gods thought that you two would need looking after, so I was picked to watch," he said with a smile.
"We don't need watched," Percy said.
"Well, someone was coming no matter what and it was either me or Ares and everyone thought it would be more pleasant for me to come down here."
"Oh," Percy and I both said in unison.
"Yes, now little cousins, you need to know this. Nico, you cannot enter, but Percy, you need to enter your name into the Goblet of Fire, and both of you need to make sure Harry Potter puts his name in too."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because, in the final challenge, the Goblet of Fire will become a portkey, which means it can basically telleport people. You need to make sure that the three end up touching it at the same time. It will transport you to a graveyard where you'll be able to end their war before it even begins."