"Everything alright?" Nico asked once we'd both woken up. "Ya" I lied. We were still in New Orleans.

That night, we were speaking with the dead, you know, regular evening, when a voice thundered through the graveyard- "Who dares-" the voice stopped abruptly. We both turned around and saw why. The voice had come from a teenage boy, and he looked just like Nico.

I mean, they weren't identical or anything, the boy was at least 3 years older, but they looked similar enough to be brothers. They both had messy black hair and dark eyes. They were even dressed alike. In fact, swap the boy's leather jacket for Nico's aviator's jacket, or visa-versa, and they'd be dressed exactly alike. I looked back and forth between the boys. We all just stood there looking at each other for like 10 minutes. Finally Nico spun around to face the spirits he'd summoned and muttered a few words in ancient Greek that would have taken me a second to translate if I hadn't heard him say it so many times:I release you the spirits shimmered and dissapeared. "Those were shades." The boy said. His original ominous tone had faded. "Duh" I said. "Who are you two?" The boy asked. I had an idea as to who he was. I hoped I was wrong.

Nico stepped up and held out his hand. "Nico di Angelo."

"No don't-" I warned, But I was too late. The minute their hands touched, both boys were thrown back by a wall of gray and black energy. The boys rose. Neither of them looked very happy. Before they could break out the opposite-circles-of-death-magic, I stepped between them. "Before you ask, neither of you did that, it was a reaction of the two opposite circles of death magic coming in contact." They both looked at me. "What?" I looked at the boy. "Your Anubis. The Egyptian god of the dead."


"Recording. I'm Stella, Blessed of Hestia, The Half-Blood Magician. This is Nico, son of Hades. Um, why are you here, exactly?"

Anubis grimaced like he had a bad taste in his mouth."You're demigods."

"You didn't answer her question."

Anubis glared at Nico. "Well, I don't appreciate people vandalising my grave yard."

"We're not vandalizing anything."

"You dug a ditch."

"Technically, we didn't dig it, some skeletons did." I pointed out helpfully.

"How else do you expect me to summon the dead?"

Anubis hesitated. I took that as a green light.

"So, why else are you here?"

Anubis turned his eyes to me with surprise, like he'd forgotten I was there. "You're in the Hall of Judgement."

"No we're not. The Judgement Pavilion's in the Underworld." Nico said.

"I'm pretty sure he means the Egyptian Hall of Judgement. I'm also pretty sure I would have noticed if we were there." Suddenly the air turned misty. The setting flicked from the graveyard to a familiar hall with a set of scales and a newly occupied throne.

Nico clutched his head and groaned like he was in pain.

"Nico!" I glared at Anubis.

"Quit it! Get us out of here!" The Hall faded and we back in just the graveyard. "What was that? " Nico asked as he shakily stood up. "The Duat. Full demigods should never, ever go in there, just like Magicians should never touch the Blessed Metals."

"I didn't know!" Anubis held up his hands.

"It's fine, I guess. Hey, aren't you supposed to have a jackal head?"

Anubis smiled and turned into pure gray energy. Nico looked away, but I said, "It's fine. The true forms of the The Egyptian gods don't incinarate you." Nico hesitantly looked up.

When Anubis solidified in an Egyptian kilt with a jackal head. It was sort of gross. That's when we looked away. "Alright, you can change back now."

He did.

"So do you just take the form of an older version of everyone you meet?"

Anubis frowned. "No, this is my natural form "

"Huh. Weird."

"I thought you told me the Egyptian gods were imprisoned?"Nico said.

"Well, they were, but they were just recently released. And Anubis was never actually imprisoned. That would be stupid."

"Why?" Anubis looked genuinely baffled.

"Your death. The only Egyptian deity with a Greek and Roman form. Chain you up, and you stop death."

"But I thought Thanato-"

"Don't say it!" Anubis exclaimed. But it was too late- his form flickered to a tall dark-skinned boy in a black Greek tunic with large black wings, then turned back. Anubis took a deep breath and rubbed his temples.

"Ow," he muttered.

"You should never say the name of a god's opposite form in front of them," I said. "It causes bad headaches and mild schizophrenia."

"Oh. Then I guess we're even."

Anubis looked like he was about to say something, but decided against it. "So, I've always wondered; you and your, er, other form have totally different origin stories. How does that work.?" I asked.

"Well, we aren't as closely linked as some of the other gods. We almost never meld together, and when we do-" he shuddered. "The other two are in control. I'm basically just stuck in a semi-consious state while they draw on my power. And as for the origin thing, we were originally separate deities. I was born to Nephthys and Set, but I never actually knew either of them. I was raised in the Underworld by Isis and Osirus, who made me the spirit of Death, linking me to- the others."

Nico and I exchanged glances. There were eerie similarities between his and Anubis's stories. They'd both never really known their parents, the both looked and acted a lot younger than they technically were.

"What?" Anubis asked, noticing our expressions. Nico told his story, and Anubis's expression changed to match ours-worried, confused, and slightly curious. "That is kind of creepy." Anubis said.

"Well, that was-" Nico didn't finish the sentence, because just then the shadows collected around him.

"What in the- " Nico's voice was cut off when he sank into the shadow. "Nico!"

I looked at Anubis, but he seemed as baffled as I was.

I forgot the death god and flashed back to Lotus to try scrying him, but the enchanted oil remained blank, like someone was cutting my signal. I collapsed on my bed.

What happened to him? I fell asleep wondering.

The Half-Blood Magician, ch. 18: We Topple a Throne