Athena waited impatiently for Night to appear. It was quite possible that what she was going to do would upset the dark goddess. When Helios was resting, everyone was expected to follow his example. But the possibility of bringing upon her the wrath of Night was too ephemeral a thought. She had almost attacked Poseidon and her Father that same day.
Wisdom advised avoiding him and the others. Just she and Hephaestus and Gea knew about the baby so far. Zeus could discharge his anger towards Poseidon into the child or maybe order some of the other goddess to take him away. She was a virgin goddess, after all, and virginity included lack of sex and therefore lack of motherhood. Athena had, practically, sired the child into Gea. It was truly hers…in a very strange an uncommon sort of way.
Night appeared on the horizon and Tritogenia crouched below the statue of the Parthenon. As soon as the dark goddess was gone and the stars shined far away, she jumped into the air and took flight.
Zeus was asleep and Hera next to him. Athena put the sleeping baby down and entered the palace on silent feet. Putting her stout hand over Hera's mouth, she waked her up. The white arms flailed for a moment and Athena held her breath when one stroked her father's shoulder. But Zeus didn't seem to notice. Hera's startled eyes were on hers.
"I have a favor to ask of thee" Athena whispered, her eyes glowing in the dark like two sun-touched blades.
Hera pushed her hand away and eyed her warily.
"What is it troubling thy heart in the darkness of night, when others are sleeping? Is it the imprudent desire of vengeance upon the mighty Poseidon? If that is what thou heart desires and pushes you to seek my aid, know that thou may not find aid, but a whack. Let us see if that helps awake thy wits."
"Nay, it is not vengeance in what I seek thy aid. My wits have returned to me now and they won't leave again. I and they think unfair and improper to steal impulsiveness and idiocy to poor Ares, sacker of cities. Out upon it, queenly Hera, for I shall trust into thee a great secret, knowing thou will keep it as fiercely as I"
At this Hera felt great curiosity and allowed Tritogenia to lead them both outside and behind the palace façade. Her eyes bulged out of their sockets when placed upon the bundle Athena presented to her, having picked it up from the ground.
"This is mine child and that of Gea" Athena told her. "Hephaestus abandoned his seed on mi thigh and I threw it on Mother Earth's always fertile womb. She whishes not to care for him, having all her children killed or buried or punished by cruel Zeus. I took him then, being as I am the mother-or father, perchance?-But I can't feed him"
Hera stared at her for some time; the flashing eyes the only thing clearly seen in the darkness. And then the tunic covering her chest went down and the child desperately went to one of her breast to feed for the very first time. Athena smiled.
"For this I shall be in debt to thee."
"Methinks thou are neglecting to count since the proper time. This very day I have stopped thee from doing the most idiotic thing of all and since then thou are in debt with me."
Athena laughed and all the bad things of the day dissipated promptly and the child of Zeus was at peace again.