Mount Olympus 440-450 BC
“Why are the bloody mortals blaming me for Demeter’s depression?” Hades yelled. The gold doors of the grand hall crashed open, cracking the stone of the walls behind them as he entered. The echo sounded all over Mount Olympus; everyone knew their, not so favourite, Underworld dweller had come up for a visit.
Day after day, Hades had gone through hearing the story of people blaming him for their deaths because of the poor harvest. Apparently, along with being God of the Underworld, keeper of the dead, he is now a kidnapper.
Zeus looked up from his marble throne; he had been expecting this since the rumours started.
Demeter sitting to Zeus’ left had been dreading this too. She couldn’t help what the mortals thought. But if they understood what had actually happened, Hades would have been the last God they would have blamed.
Bringing Hades into this situation is possibly one of her punishments for the famine, when all Demeter wanted was comfort. Her daughter wasn’t the same as the one they made up.
Her Persephone had no proper powers or affinities, being only a Demi-Goddess. She had looked like one, beautiful like the rest of the immortals, shiny brunette hair; a feature she didn’t share with her mother but that didn’t matter. The mortals saw Demeter in her other facial features she had her mothers earthy green eyes and heart shaped face. Persephone hadn’t been kidnapped either, she befell a worse fate. One of the River Gods, Archelous, had gone rogue. Persephone had become one of his targets. He prayed on mortals and occasionally the Demi-Goddess who interested him, never a full blood Goddess. The death of a god or goddess would have more of an effect of the other Gods, which is exactly why Archelous’ actions would be acted on instantly. For now, his death toll had to mount up to a concerning number.
“Hades, see it from Demeter’s point of view, her daughter was tortured and murdered by one of our own.”
“So, she should be blaming herself. If that child was a full Goddess and not half mortal, she could be cracking the whip now.” Hades sneered. They knew that due to the consequences, the three Fates restricted births of actual Gods and Goddesses. To have children, relationships with humans were the only option.
Nevertheless, Demi-Gods were enough of a sign to the mortals of their existence on Mount Olympus and on occasion it gave some sort of sign to humans.
“Are you suggesting we shouldn’t create Demi-Gods?” Zeus questioned seeing there is a reason he kept away from his brothers tempered opinions. Hades, rolled his eyes, creating less Demi-Gods would mean Zeus would get into less trouble, on Mount Olympus and in the Mortal world.
Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, considered themselves siblings. However, from their point of view the term, “Brother,” Is more of a title symbolising what they had been through together. They didn’t look like each other, this held evidence to the fact they weren’t actually related; Zeus had features that showed he lived in the sun while Hades showed features that showed his dark isolation.
“What you lot do in your free time, I am not bothered about. I am implying the fact, Demeter needs to stop being sentimental.” Truthfully, Hades didn’t care. Not coming up to the surface much, he didn’t see the reasons for the relationships the other Gods and Goddesses had. On occasion, he heard of the aftermath when those relationships went wrong. In some from or another it involved, death of the other person or the death of a jealous lover in the mortal world.
Hades kept non-emotional, sexual, relationships with those of the Underworld to keep him occupied; another reason the human’s story bothered him. Kidnapping and taking a so called, “Wife,” Means some kind of emotional commitment, something he felt incapable of doing. If Hera was anything to go by, reining in Zeus’ affairs, he didn’t think he would want it. The woman, who could change his feelings and could stand to be around every day, would be some kind of miracle.
He did mean what he said about Demeter being too emotional. She neglected her duties, meaning his workload in the Underworld had doubled with people dying of starvation. Thanatos, the God of Death had also made frequent complaints, creating the need for more death spirits, or as they called them Shinigami’s.
“Hades! Maybe you need a lesson from Demeter, learn to be a bit more caring!” Zeus argued. Making his youngest brother live in the isolated Underworld is something he was learning to regret. Zeus questioned maybe if he didn’t live down there all the time he wouldn’t be so, negative.
“The mortals didn’t mean any harm.” Demeter finally spoke, fiddling with her green robe.
“Are you going to tell the mortals, you didn’t mean any harm?” Hades scolded.
“My daughter was killed, Hades! If you cared for one second, you would imagine what loosing someone you loved felt like.” Demeter sobbed.
“But thanks to you, I have to reverse the deaths you are responsible for. Not to mention, there’s the story going around that I’ve kidnapped your daughter when the truth was another God is responsible. I’m taking responsibility for two series of mass murders here Demeter, yours and Archelous’.”
“Hades. Name your price. We all know you haven’t come up here specifically to complain.” Zeus said getting to the point; Hera had appeared to comfort Demeter. A smirk crawled on Hades face, he hadn’t thought of a price till he saw Demeter’s reaction. He could ask for something that would have Demeter afraid of him, meaning when she finally got her spirit back, she wouldn’t cross him.
“I can ask for anything?” He checked, even if his brother said no, being one of the three powerful God’s he could still take what he wanted. It was merely this way he could be more specific.
“Hades.” Zeus sighed, knowing he was creating one of his more elaborate plans.
“Fine. The stories say I’m keeping one of Demeter’s Goddess daughters, Persephone. When the Fates allow the procreation of Gods and Goddesses again. I’ll claim that daughter, when she reaches a certain age.”
Hades and Demeter’s relationship was one of quarrels and his request made it certain it was destined to be like that for eternity. Demeter shrieked in horror, hence why Hades was asking this. It would torture Demeter more, to see her child living forever in some isolated part of the Underworld, where she couldn’t help them. Hades could imagine the prolonged agony she would go through as he kept her daughter locked up in one room. He then began to think what he could do, if said daughter was more like her mother than he would like.
Zeus knew that, Hades needed some compensation. Hades wouldn’t give up. He would soon begin turning on others, if he didn’t get some form of what he wanted. Being also able to say who could enter and exit the Underworld, Hades could destroy the mortal world. He had the thought processes to do it, without gaining too much attention at first. Zeus comprehended that this payment would also save Demeter. She had to agree to it once she saw, Hades, could easily stop fixing her mistake and stop releasing the souls back to the mortal world. People relied on her to provide food, if they lost faith, they would turn from her. In effect, she would feel like she was loosing more of her children.
“We are putting some rules in place.” Zeus announced trying to keep in neutral territory.
“You can’t be considering this!” Demeter cried. Ignoring her, Zeus continued.
“The child, baring some form of the name Persephone will have to be born to Demeter and another God.” Zeus found it hard to believe that anyone who wasn’t dead or immortal could put up with what Hades was possibly plotting.
“However, the child is not to be taken to the Underworld until after the age of fourteen. To give Demeter a chance, if the child can keep away from you till she is eighteen, then the child will be free. If she does enter the Underworld, to be kept there the usual rules apply.” Meaning the girl had to eat food from the Underworld.
Demeter ran out of the room, unable to comprehend what they were planning. She could make a vow that she would never have another child called Persephone, but Hades would be persistent. The only thing she could promise was that she would plan to keep Persephone away from Hades. Making up for the daughter she failed to protect.
“Why are you demanding this?” Hera enquired, knowing this was dark even for Hades.
Hades shrugged, “It’s the one thing Demeter cares about.”
“It isn’t the thought of in the story you have a wife?” Zeus searched, hoping secretly, Hades could be showing some longing for a connection.
Hades stared, insulted.
“The Underworld isn’t a place for that type of relationship. And the Underworld doesn’t need an uncontrollable goddess that thinks too highly of herself.” Plus, he’d scare them away, with his reputation.
“Still, you understand that to keep her there permanently as your consort, she must accept a gift and give herself to you, bonding her to you and the Underworld-. It would be more of an argument against Demeter. No matter what, she will keep on fighting.” Although Zeus, saw it as being cruel that Demeter, one day she would have to willingly give her child to the Underworld and Hades. There was still the prospect that it could change Hades, which was his bigger concern. “But first she must believe in you.” Most mortals overlooked the important fact, due to the amount of faith they had. It wasn’t possible to enter the Underworld, even if Hades allowed them in, unless the person believed in the Underworld or some part of it, at least once. Meaning if Demeter could keep her daughter away from believing the world she belonged in, Demeter could win.
Hades wondered if it was his brother’s form of a joke getting him to imagine there could be someone he could care about and she wouldn’t run off screaming. At the moment, Hades only cared about this possible girl because of the affect it would have on Demeter.
Demeter would put up a fight once Hades came to claim Persephone. It wouldn’t be as easy as the mortal’s thought where Hades takes her by setting up a trap.
Hades would have to ensure Persephone had a connection to the Underworld before she got there.
Persephone’s story might not be as simple as the one, the mortals made up. Falling for the Underworld especially for one of Demeter’s daughters, who would have a connection to the earth, would never be easy.