This Persephone, Macaria, Hypnos, Thanatos, Erebus, Nyx, and all the other children of Nyx featured in this chapter are MINE. Anyone who uses them without my permission gets thrown in the Phlegethon River.
Everything/everyone else belongs to Disney. Use 'em at your own risk.
Little Miss Flames and Flowers
Chapter XXIII- Nyx's Kids
Persephone appeared outside of Nyx and Erebus' house, and took a step back, as the outside of the dark and dreary cottage was surrounded by a horde of skeletal workers. Each adorned with a black construction helmet, several of them were installing something into the front wall.
"We're installing a revolving door," Nyx explained, materializing next to Persephone in a flash of black, and Persephone looked at her with a raised eyebrow, "After years of joking about it, we decided it might actually be a good idea."
"Ah," said Persephone, "I see." Even now in the middle of construction, adult members of their brood were ducking in and out of the hole made for the new doorway.
From Persephone's dim shadow on the floor melted Erebus, and the god stood next to his wife in silence, the pair watching the construction workers for a moment before turning to their Queen. "Do you need anything?" Nyx inquired politely, "Is there something wrong?" One of her navy blue wings fluttered absently. The motion sent the stars dotted around her body off twinkling, and Persephone folded her arms casually. "Only if it's not a big deal," she replied with a shrug.
"I was wondering if you had someone on hand to babysit for Maci. Hades and I have a meeting up on Olympus…" She spat the word out and rolled her eyes, perfectly displaying her distaste, "and considering her… less-than-perfect record with the upper-upper world, we thought it'd be better to leave her down here." After a pause, Seph added, "We'd have Pain and Panic do it, but… you know they're… not so competent."
Erebus nodded in agreement and Nyx gave a short laugh. "Of course we have someone. We always have someone."
"Well, that's perfect."
"You don't have anyone in mind, do you?" In the background, the workers fumbled with the massive door and earned themselves a tirade of Greek curses from their comrades.
Persephone hesitated. "…actually… you know how Macaria's only partial to people that she knows…" She shrugged sheepishly. "I was wondering if, maybe, Hypnos and Thanatos could…?" Of course, Persephone still didn't forgive the teenaged god of death for "inspiring" Macaria to cut class for two months (thankfully, Maci's records had stayed almost squeaky clean since that incident three years ago), but it was better than having Maci roast an Olympian, or any other babysitter.
Nyx simply beamed. "Of course they can, and they certainly will."
"If they need convincing, just tell them Hades and I will pay them."
"Nonsense," Nyx scoffed, and ushered Persephone away, "You just go get ready for your meeting and I'll send them over as soon as possible."
Less than an hour later, Hades and Seph were faced with one very bitter looking seventeen year old and an eternally cheerful, if not a little sleepy, one.
Three years and the pair had shot up like stalks of corn, both nearing 6". Their hair still hung to their shoulders, and Thanatos' still had that greasy look to it like it had had when he was younger. Like two angels, giant feathered wings sprouted from their backs; one set white, the other black.
Macaria sat in the corner, holding a mirror's handle in her teeth as she put her hair up. Her hair had grown, and she herself had gotten taller, but other than that and a transition to a sweeping floor length black chiton, the goddess looked nearly the same. But replacing the girly cheerfulness her voice had held was currently a monotonous sarcasm, and her eyes remained fixed at a cynical half-closed.
"I," she said darkly, dropping the mirror in her lap and making it vanish in a puff of smoke, "am not a baby." Scowling, she concluded, "Therefore, I don't need a babysitter."
"Of course you're not a baby," Hades replied seamlessly, "you're at the ripe old age of ten." Maci rolled her eyes, and Hades continued dryly, "Now why don't you just sit and be good and perhaps share a little of your 'elder wisdom' with your peers."
"Hades, stop teasing her," Persephone scoffed, tying her skull necklace in a tighter knot, and her voice became lighter as she spoke to their daughter, "Remember, Maci, you behave; no roasting, no singeing, no zapping, no frying, and for the love of Zeus leave Pain and Panic alone." The two imps tittered gratefully in the corner.
"Got it." Macaria studied her fingernails, clearly uninterested.
"Glad to see you in such a cheerful mood," drawled Hades sarcastically, and aside to Persephone he hissed irritably, "What's her problem? She looks like she's about to start cutting herself."
"Oh, who knows," Persephone replied nonchalantly in a whisper, sweeping her hair to the side and then reaching out to fix Hades', "It's just a preparation for her undoubtedly angst-filled teenage years, I'm sure."
"That'll be a delight," he responded dryly, and caught her hand in his, casting a glance at Macaria from over his shoulder. "You just keep doin' what you're doin', and it'll all be a-okay," Hades voiced to her, rolling his eyes, and Persephone chimed to the twins, "We'll be back in an hour, provided Zeus doesn't add in any extra stupidity to his usual amount." Sending a quick goodbye wave, Persephone vanished with her husband, and inanimate Macaria suddenly became a lot more animate.
"Thank the gods they're gone, parents are so annoying, aren't they?" Macaria bounced up from her spot on the floor, her face lighting up in a smile that would have appeared very uncharacteristic if it had sprung up just a few minutes earlier, "Oh, they just act like I'm still a godling. I'm not anymore, I'm really not, and I'm almost a teenager, only three more years."
"Why does she reserve the intolerable energy for us?" Panic whined to Pain, and Hypnos and Thanatos redirected their attention to them.
"It's not for you, it's for us," responded Hypnos, Thanatos nodding matter-of-factly. Macaria, overhearing, folded her arms and said dryly, "Does it matter who it's for? Point is, mom and dad are gone, and we've got the whole palace an' the whole Underworld to ourselves."
"Don't ruin anything, please," Pain whined in a gravelly uneasy voice.
"Yes, please don't, I'm getting tired of sweeping things under Hades' throne," Thanatos agreed mildly, sweeping past the younger goddess and scattering a few dark feathers as he did so.
"I don't break things on purpose," Macaria protested, wrinkling her nose in indignation and tagging after Thanatos, "and Mom always said that she didn't like the way she had been painted on those vases, anyway."
"Sure she did," muttered Panic.
"Just please keep the damage to a minimum today," Hypnos pleaded, although his voice barely wavered from its usual high-pitched cheerful tone. Macaria shrugged reluctantly, pursing her lips as she thought it over wryly.
"Whatever," she agreed finally, tossing her hair behind her shoulder, "Now then-" And her tone took on a more business-like quality, "—what oh what should we do today?"
So the five of them settled down in Maci's room, kicking away elaborate jewelry that most 10 year olds didn't own and dark, fancy chitons and dresses made from materials that were hard to find even on Olympus, clearing a spot on the floor at the foot of her black silk adorned bed. The two imps suggested a quiet activity of cards, to which the three youths just rolled their eyes and laughed, and then set into a conversation, with Maci doing most of the talking, a usual occurrence. Finishing her near-monologue with a childish giggle, she folded her hands in her lap, fidgety, and inquired cheerfully, "So what's up with you?" Pain and Panic had chosen to ignore the three and had struck up a game of Go Fish in the corner.
"Not much, same old, same old," Hypnos replied conversationally, stifling a yawn with the back of his pale blue hand, "We're getting some construction done on the house-"
"Our old door was nearly falling off the hinges, anyway," cut Thanatos with a shrug.
"—in preparation for next week." Hypnos grimaced. "There's gonna be a hurricane of gods."
"Why, what's next week?" Macaria questioned, blinking, "A hurricane?"
Hypnos and Thanatos exchanged glances, a shudder passing between the two. "Family reunion of sorts," Hypnos sighed, twiddling his thumbs with an expression of pain on his face, and Thanatos chimed grimly, "Mom's birthday."
"That doesn't seem so bad. I've had birthday parties before. They're not so bad."
"They're horrible when you have 40-plus crazy brothers and sisters." Again, the twins shuddered in unison.
"Some of them aren't so bad, I guess," remarked Thanatos idly.
"For you, they're not," Hypnos turned and snapped at him, "But not all of us here get along with crazy people."
"It can't be that bad," said Macaria in mild disbelief.
"You don't know who we have to deal with." Ticking off on his fingers, Hypnos began to list, "Gods of doom, misery, violence, insanity, cruelty, pranks, rabies…"
"Rabies!" exclaimed Macaria, blinking twice.
"Oh, yeah, Lyssa. She's a nutcase," Thanatos nodded solemnly,
"Trust us, that's only the beginning of the list."
Macaria's expression changed to one of surprise to a more interested look.
"I wish I had a big family," she commented, shifting positions to lie on her belly with her chin in her hands, "I bet it's really fun to—"
"No, not really," interrupted Hypnos, shuddering for a third time.
"No, but it must be great to have so many—" she tried again, and was again cut off with a flat, "…No," from both of them.
Macaria sat up and folded her arms. "Well, I think it'd be fun," the little goddess said huffily, and after a moment's pause asked, "…can I come with you guys?"
"Absolutely not," Panic answered firmly before the twins could even react. The turquoise imp sprung to his scrawny feet, hands on hips, and informed Maci with a scowl, "You know Hades can't stand Nyx's kids—" He glared at Hypnos and Thanatos, "—and you know Tartarus is likely to freeze over before he lets you over there in the midst of a god-hurricane," he finished, reusing Hypnos's appropriate metaphor.
"Besides… I was kinda hoping to escape here for the day," Hypnos admitted sheepishly, receiving a blinking glance from Thanatos.
"It's not going to be that bad," Macaria repeated flatly, "Anyway, if I go, you'll have someone to be with."
"…that is kinda true," Hypnos said to Thanatos, and Thanatos shrugged.
"But listen, Maci," the god of death started, "Even if your parents somehow, magically, miraculously, agree to this, you're not going to end up coming home until, like, two in the morning." He clasped his hands in his lap, warning, "You might be 'almost a teenager', but you're still little."
Maci's expression faltered then fell, realizing he was right. Hades and Persephone, even if some miracle had them issuing permission to explore the children of Nyx, would never agree to her staying out that late at 10 years old, and they wouldn't be happy about having to wait up for her.
…Unless, of course…
"So I'll sleep over!" Macaria's face perked right back up at her brilliant solution, "There, problem solved."
"Ohhh, this is going to be a disaster," Pain groaned to Panic, who was beginning to pace nervously.
The twin gods exchanged glances as Maci stood up, beaming proudly. "We'll ask our mom when your parents get back," Hypnos finally relented, shrugging, and Thanatos mumbled under his breath, "Don't say we didn't warn you."
"Hah, hah. That's hilarious. Lookit, how hard I'm laughing." He wasn't. In fact, Hades' face was set in a deep scowl. Macaria folded her short arms stubbornly, and his lips flickered to a dry smirk as he inquired, "Have you ever considered bein' a comedian, 'cuz that was just… hi-lar-i-ous."
"Hades, for Elysium's sake, cut it out already." Persephone waved a glowing hand in his direction, as he had been going at this for quite some time. "Please explain to me in great detail what's so wrong about her having friends, and making new ones?"
"The fact that they're from an insane chaotic family whom I don't particularly care for," Hades huffed.
"That's very hypocritical," Seph said dryly. Pain and Panic made annoyed sounds, sticking firm by their master Hades.
"And what, pray tell, is wrong with the two she already has?" Hades continued to gripe, "Ya know, the palace is already invaded by teenagers at least once a week, why does she hafta go out and find some more?"
"Hypnos and Thanatos said most of them wouldn't even want to talk to me," Macaria corrected hopefully.
Persephone didn't point out that that wasn't necessarily a good thing. "Hades, look, even if the twins weren't going to be there, Nyx and Erebus would be paying attention… and they are going to be there, so there's no way she's going to be unsupervised. I for one trust them, completely," she said instead. Hades gave her a dark glare, looking unconvinced as his hair turned orange.
"Besides, more than half of their kids are adults. With children of their own," Persephone pressed. Okay, the issue here was obviously not one of supervision, but she knew that changing Hades' stance on Nyx's kids was next to impossible. So this was the next best method, she supposed…
"I won't do anything bad, pleeeeeease?" Macaria chimed in. She fidgeted eagerly, and Hades sighed, letting his head fall in his hands, shaking it pitifully.
"Oy vey… y'know, there was a time an' place when I was actually in charge around here," he griped, and waved his other hand in a gesture of annoyed dismissal and approval. Maci beamed and scurried off to pick out an outfit for the occasion.
"You're still in charge, Hades," Persephone patted his shoulder fondly, "I'm just… more in charge."
"Ugh," he groaned, and slumped in his throne.
A week later, Macaria stood unfazed outside of a crashing, rattling, screeching Nyx's house, flanked by a ruffled looking Hypnos and Thanatos, both looking at the place with distaste. From inside, screams of laughter, hysteria, or terror echoed out all at once. A sudden plume of red feathers erupted from a window (shattered). Hypnos wondered if they'd been red to begin with or had simply been stained that color.
"Well," the godling declared, "What are we waiting for?" She bravely strode forwards, and after a moment's pause, the twins hurried to her side again. Over her head, Thanatos hissed to Hypnos, "Okay, make sure she doesn't get maimed, and keep her away from Hybris, Ker, and Lyssa… especially Lyssa. Please, we can't send her home with rabies.
"That's just common sense," Hypnos quickly whispered back, "Anyway, you don't have to lecture me, you have to watch her, too—"
The simpering smile that was sent his way caused him to snap his mouth shut and blink. Hypnos' expression turned to one of disbelief. "—oh, no…you're going to ditch us, aren't you?"
Both gods shot their hands out in synchrony, hastily sending the new revolving door, which Maci had just started to enter, spinning wildly to prevent her from going in alone. Macaria stumbled back and looked up at them. Waving his hand casually and facing down Hypnos' increasing glare, Thanatos replied, "Ditch… ditch, that's a terrible way to put it. I'll come and check on you two…"
"Oh, come on!"
"I'm sorry," Thanatos said, not sounding very sorry at all, "You know how it is. I'm in constant demand, you know."
"Demand!" repeated Hypnos in outrage, Macaria inquiring, with a hint of sarcasm, at the same time, "Demand…?"
The scarlet god of death shooed Hypnos away and entered a section of the door, placing himself in view. The proof manifested itself immediately, as dozens of heads perked up inside, a combined squeal ringing out from almost every prepubescent girl inside. One eyebrow dryly crooked up, Thanatos stepped back out and folded his arms, his black wings unfurling to block the view.
"…that's not fair," Hypnos muttered, bristling and not bothering to hide the jealous pout that crossed his face.
"So you're going to leave us? You're going to leave me?" Macaria asked indignant, folding her arms. As she entered the conversation, Hypnos saw Thanatos look uneasy, and he gave a small shrug.
Hypnos' pout turned into an astonished frown. Even he, his own twin brother, couldn't break Thanatos' firm will.
"…Look, Maci," the god of death explained after a pause, a wing fluttering absently in his unease, "You get to a certain point in life—people start to pay you more attention…"
"Uh-huh." Her arms were folded very firmly across her chest, face set in a dark scowl as her eyes flashed from yellow to violet to yellow to violet again. The image that came to Hypnos' mind, watching them, was that of the henpecked husband and harpy of a wife locking horns in a disagreement—blinking at Maci, he had no doubts that she could definitely pull off the latter role; probably even now, judging from her facial expression.
"…and if you don't submit to that attention, just a little bit, the attention goes away. Get it?" Thanatos shrugged regaining his confidence, "I know you understand that. I know you love attention, Maci."
"…Yes," she admitted, giving a small shrug of her own. Hypnos ran a frustrated hand through his hair, hope crushing away. He turned away from the two and paced to the window of the cottage, thinking with a frown. If Maci had the power to make his brother falter for even a second, imagine what she could do if she didn't worship him so entirely! Hypnos pondered just why his expression had changed, even for just those few moments. It had been such a rare occurrence, and he didn't think that Thanatos considered Maci to be a close friend (though of course, and perhaps tragically, she thought completely otherwise). Peering through the glass panels absently, he came to the conclusion that Maci, little Maci, was an intimidating goddess to Thanatos.
Hypnos found this realization kind of comical. Granted, Macaria even at 10 years old was a powerful, rage-fueled, short-tempered, selfish, arrogant little goddess who was dangerous to have against you. And her parents just happened to be the highest authority figures in the underworld, able to cause Thanatos bodily harm—or cause him to lose his job—should she be angered.
But still. Maci was only 10 years old.
"Hypnos!" both Thanatos and Maci called him and the god of sleep turned around to see the two of them standing happily next to each other, conflicts resolved. "Come on, I've got places to be," Thanatos said amicably, folding his arms behind his back. Hypnos sighed and went back over to the pair.
"You're a real jerk," Hypnos muttered hotly under his breath to Thanatos, who tsked and rolled his eyes. "Horrible, horrible words," he said sarcastically. He nudged Macaria over to him and Hypnos took the little goddess' hand, glaring with all the power he could muster at his twin. His twin backed away, but only to get closer to the door.
"I'll check in, have fun, sorry I couldn't stay, but places to go, people to meet, you know how it is," Thanatos cheerfully said, grinning dryly, and poofed inside, probably to vanish inside a crowd of sisters, nieces, and cousins.
Hypnos sighed again.
"It's okay," Macaria said in sudden, happy, explanation, "He's in constant demand." Hypnos looked down at her and let the bitter expression on his face go away. It wasn't her fault she was sticking up for Thanatos… she was too little to understand the way he worked, the sleazeball, and she really did idolize him…
Love, especially the ten year old crushy kind, was truly blind.
"…Whatever," the blond god rolled his eyes, wishing to change the subject. "Let's get going on inside, huh? Nothing interesting out here—"
"Did mom have a new kid?" said a sudden curious voice cut him off, coming from behind them.
The two of them turned, coming face to face with a yellow and sky blue goddess who bore a slight facial resemblance to Hypnos, hooked onto the arm of a similar looking, tall, bearded, almost transparent light blue god who was staring curiously at Macaria with his companion. Both of them shone very, very brightly. The goddess had a headdress formed in the shape of the sun, glowing also, on her head, and wings that looked like happy little puffs of clouds protruding from her back. The god had a pair of radiant neon yellow wings. The dark area all around them was interrupted by a circle of brightness around the pair.
"Hi," Macaria said politely.
The goddess bent to her level, shimmering and shining whenever she moved. "Oh, hello!" The goddess exclaimed brightly, reaching to shake her hand. She did, and then stood back up, giving Hypnos a warm hug, then stepping back besides her husband. "Did mom have another kid?" she repeated to Hypnos, "And, wow, y'know, I thought really she was done, too." She giggled brightly. "Well, always happy to welcome another one of us to the family!"
"Wait… who, Maci? Oh, no," Hypnos quickly explained, waving his hands, "No, no… I'm just borrowing her for the day."
"Oh?" said the shining, see-through god. Hypnos looked at Maci and saw she had noticed that the god wasn't just transparent; he was barely corporeal and was even floating in midair like some sort of glowing spirit, his form looking misty and unreal.
"She wanted to meet the family…" He shook his head, still puzzled as to why anyone would ever want to. "Maci, this is Hemera, and Aither." He gestured to the brother-sister-husband-wife couple, goddess of daytime and god of the clear upper air. "And this, this is Macaria, the Princess of the Underworld."
"Oh, my," gasped Hemera, and Aither too looked impressed. "It's very nice to meet you," she said brightly, living up to her namesake, and Macaria shook her hand for a second time.
"Hypnos, how on earth did you end up hanging out with the Princess of the Underworld?" Aither asked skeptically. Hypnos ignored him and his slightly condescending tone, suppressing a pout.
"Shouldn't you be inside with everyone else?" he asked instead, beginning to usher Maci back towards the door. The two of them shrugged, looking slightly nauseous together.
"It's too dark in there," Aither sighed, as Hemera added, "We much prefer to be above ground. We were thinking of perhaps visiting Elysium instead of being in this… blackness." She waved her arms around. Circles of light and cloud followed her every movement.
"Oh. Of course."
"I don't mind the blackness," Macaria brought up conversationally. A slight smile crossed Day's face. "Oh, she's so sweet, Hypnos! I wish she were part of our family. We need someone like this, don't we, dear?"
"Of course," Aither put in. Hypnos doubted if he was even listening to her.
"Well, you two have fun!" Hemera bubbled, waving again and sending another cheerful burst of light towards them, "Very nice meeting you, Your Highness." She winked a clear blue eye, and the two glided off, still linked arm in arm. Hypnos rolled his eyes, and Maci caught it.
"What was that for? They're not that bad at all."
"Well…" Hypnos sighed, squeezing her hand and stepping through the revolving doors, "Hemera's very… dim," he stated, thinking both that this was ironic, considering how brightly she shone, and hypocritical, considering he himself wasn't the sharpest spear in the bunch and he knew it, "and Aither's a horrible cheat." Maci blinked, and glanced back at the still walking-away-couple, then back to him, her eyes big. "He's got like a million illegitimate kids." Hypnos shrugged, "But hey… that's my family for you." Looking sheepish but maintaining a smile, he stepped fully inside with her, "Every one of us is crazy, in one way or another."
"Hypnos, I'm sure that's not tru—" Macaria cut off, her eyes growing wider, as she slowly began to process both the scene in front of her and how true Hypnos' statement was.
There had to be at least 50 people there, if not more. Roughly half had wings, whether they be black, gold, white, purple, metallic, feathered, leathery, thick, or thin, and there was a complete plethora of different colors. Loud sobs contributed to the noise level, coming from toddler Oizys in the corner, and shrill screams punctuated the high decibels every few seconds as well. The best way to describe it, in fact, was just… chaos, pure chaos. There was Nyx in the center of the room, laughing with one of her sons, either oblivious to or unconcerned about the surrounding insanity.
"Lookie here. Mom had another kid?"
If there was an opposite of Hemera's squeaky, sunshine-y voice, this was the very epitome of it. Hypnos blanched and put his arms protectively around little Maci, turning very slowly to meet another of his siblings. This divinity was stocky, very muscular, with a skin tone of dark maroon and bright red hair framing its face, cropped short and looking like it'd been sloppily lopped off with an axe. A mixture of ichor and blood dripped from every bit of exposed skin and a ripped black chiton was slung around its shoulders. Wide sandaled feet stood firm as slowly it began to grin, showing fangs that belonged in Cerberus's mouth rather than a fellow deity's. Its piggish red eyes were wide, bloodshot and looking absolutely insane as they flickered down to Macaria, then back up to Hypnos.
"I asked you a question," it growled with a deep voice that sounded like sandpaper being shredded by ravenous wolverines.
"Who's that?" Maci squeaked under her breath, unable to tear her eyes away from the demonic looking… thing in front of her. "Hybris," Hypnos quickly whispered back, looking wary, "Another one of my sisters. Goddess of violence."
"…that's a girl?" Macaria exclaimed too loudly. Hybris snarled and shot her ape-like hands out at her; Maci jumped back, sending both her and Hypnos stumbling, but safe.
"Watch it, girlie," Violence hissed, blood dribbling from her lip and she paying no attention to it, "I don't make exceptions for family." She cracked her knuckles, starting to grin with her saber-like fangs again. "In fact, they're my favorite punching bags."
"But I'm not your fam —" Hypnos quickly clapped a hand over her mouth, sending Hybris a friendly sheepish grin of his own. "N-nice seeing you again," he stuttered, his smile wavering nervously, and moved to pull Maci away. Hybris huffed and licked her bloody lips, following them with her eyes—and then suddenly the most demonic screeching noise filled both Maci and Hypnos' ears.
"What is that?" Maci cried despite herself, wrenching away from Hypnos to stare. "Another sister!" Hypnos gasped out, pulling her onto the floor, "Duck!"
She hit the deck but peeked out from his arms, her eyes the size of dinner plates. Hybris had been tackled by another goddess, who was making the inhuman screeching sound, and after a second Hybris howled back and lunged in return. There was a blur of claws and fangs and blood, not ichor but blood, spurting out from the writhing pair as they savagely fought. The rest of the Nyx clan were either cowering on the floor or pressed up against the wall, but all still chattering amongst themselves.
"Oh, absolutely not—! Hey, hey, hey, HEY!" Nyx shouted, wrestling her way through the crowd of huddled bodies on the floor and then fearlessly stepping between the two goddesses, her twinkling cape flapping behind her. At her side was a tall navy colored goddess holding a club, a shiny badge of authority holding her short dress together. "Break it up, break it up!" this goddess shouted, and both she and Nyx wrested the other two divinities apart.
Hybris panted, growling deep in her throat as her already previously scarred skin oozed with fresh wounds. The other woman snarled and thrashed—her long, black, jagged hair hung down to the floor, and her eyes glowed a bright red. Her jaw was wide and detached, hanging open and fanged off her face as bloody slashes dripped down her face. This goddess swallowed once and her mouth closed, her features becoming considerably less demonic and much more feminine. The cuts on her face were sealing up already.
Slowly, Nyx's kids began to pick themselves up and the festivities resumed.
"Who's that?" Maci whispered, standing up with Hypnos, who hurriedly backed away with her to safety. He gulped, pointing as Nyx and the officer goddess released the pair. Hybris stomped off to arm wrestle one of her brothers, and the other got to her feet. She looked like a scarecrow, ridiculously skinny and taller than Hades, oozing blood from neat little cuts all up and down her grey arms, neck and face. She sprouted a pair of red wings, all twitchy and mangled, and loped off like a half-starved coyote, grinning with a mouth of crooked fangs and swinging her hands, each finger adorned with a razor sharp claw.
"That's Ker," he whispered, "Goddess of violent death."
"That can't be right. Thanatos is Death."
"Thanatos is Gentle Death. She's every other kind."
"That's… creepy. She's creepy," Maci whispered and shuddered, following her with her eyes. She saw Thanatos burst out of a crowd of now disappointed looking girls and rush up to Ker, whose grin widened. They linked arm in arm and disappeared again. Macaria scowled. "I don't like her," she declared, and whether it was because of the eerie factor or because she had a thing going on with Thanatos, Hypnos wasn't entirely sure. "Who was that other goddess?"
He followed her pointing finger to the navy woman who'd intercepted the fight. "Dike. Goddess of justice," he said, and then pointed to a tall, ugly, tattooed woman. "And that's Adikia. Injustice." As if on cue, the two began to chase each other in loops around the house in a cat and mouse style endeavor.
"Family's crazy. That's why I do my best to stay away from this place," commented another woman who was suddenly next to them. Maci twisted around Hypnos to look and jumped back at once. The woman laughed. "Oh, this one must be new. Hi, Hypnos."
"Hi Achlys," he greeted, steering Maci back out from behind him, "Maci, relax… this one is one of the okay ones."
"You could say that," the woman deadpanned, and straightened from leaning against the wall. Easy temperament or not… this was one of the creepiest goddesses Maci'd ever seen, even with her Underworld upbringing. The little godling blinked, shuffled her feet, and tried not to stare, failing, for Maci was captivated despite herself and the butterflies in her stomach.
This sister of Hypnos was very thin, practically a skeleton with skin thinly stretched over her. Her thick, black hair was long, caked with dust, and arrow-straight, and her hands hung loosely at her sides, fingernails overgrown and looking more like claws. Her skin was a pale green-gray, and from her bloodshot, red eyes, tears of blood ran down her cheeks. Her gray, tattered and stained dress hung to her knees, and after that, it was impossible to tell how much further it hung down for clouds of dust and green smoke billowed from her figure.
But worst of all was her mouth. A huge, inhuman, toothy grin was stretched across her face, shiny white teeth dulled by dust and blood, framed by black painted lips. It hadn't opened or moved, even when she'd spoken, and her voice sounded clear from behind her frozen jaw.
"So where'd this one come from, Hypnos? Did mother decide to start adopting?" said Achlys casually, ignoring Maci, who'd begun to shamelessly gape openmouthed.
"Nah, she's just a friend." Maci looked up at Hypnos and noticed that his gaze was carefully aimed at Achlys' feet; evidently her frozen smile was just as creepy for him as it was for her.
"Oh, really," she said, squinting through her red rimmed eyes at little Maci. "She looks familiar." Maci smirked and puffed up her chest, standing as tall as she could. "I'm the Princess," she announced proudly, and Achlys looked unfazed.
"Ah," nodded the goddess, "Knew I've seen you around. Little Princess Macaria." She rolled her eyes, daintily moved a lock of thick black hair from her face with an overgrown fingernail, and scoffed, "Not exactly sure why you're here, I'm sure your big fancy palace is much nicer than this overcrowded little place."
Macaria shrugged happily. "I don't mind it here at all—" she started, but was cut off by a whir of orange and red, followed by a shrieking pale gray and black blur close behind, spinning right past them and tearing through the house. "Oh for the love of Zeus, Apate and Dolos," groaned Hypnos and Achlys shook her head wearily. Maci tilted her head, and he pointed, "Apate's deceit, Dolos is trickery, they're twins—"
"Really, really annoying twins," Achlys said flatly.
"—and, um- dunno what they did, but that's Phrice chasing after them… goddess of horror." Macaria blinked and watched the red/orange blurs slow down, and split in two different directions, both laughing loudly. The ashen looking goddess skidded to a stop and looked around, and Maci gave a small yelp and hid her face. Phrice was another goddess with a distorted countenance; her mouth hung open in a silent scream, and her small eyes were opened wide, terror reflecting in her icy gray irises. Her thin black eyebrows creased and narrowed angrily, and she stalked off, fists clenched. Matted in her scraggly black hair was something bright purple—it looked like paint.
"Oh gods, they're throwing paint balloons," Achlys gave an annoyed sigh. "That's definitely my cue to leave. Have fun with this bunch, Hypnos, and nice meeting you, Macaria." She gave a two fingered salute as a goodbye greeting and poofed away very quickly, leaving behind a cloud of green mist. Hypnos quickly waved away the noxious fumes.
"What's she the goddess of?" Maci inquired.
"Poison," said Hypnos, "But she likes creeping around on battlefields, too."
"DOLOS!" screeched a male voice from across the room, simultaneous with a great big 'thud.' Standing with his fists balled at his sides was a sweaty looking yellow god, his mustard colored hair tied up in a bun, and his bare chest was splattered with green paint. At his feet was a scattered pile of large scrolls. The aforementioned god blinked innocently, standing before his brother with a smirk slapped across his orange face. Apate skipped out from behind the yellow god, and folded her arms next to Dolos. Grinning, both of them chirped in sweet unison, "Yeeeeees?"
"Oh, that is IT! I've had it with you two!" bellowed the god and lunged at them; they screeched, delighted, and scattered in opposite directions, chucking paint balloons as they went.
Hypnos quickly ushered Maci to a corner and sat down with her, rolling his eyes. "Now that," he pointed, his finger moving quickly, as no-one was standing still, to the yellow god furiously running after the mischievous twins, "is Ponos, he's the god of hard labor. …I mean, like, not pregnancy labor, just work." "Right," Maci nodded, and Hypnos shrugged and began to point out everyone in the room.
"That girl standing right there, that's Aponia." Hypnos shook his head, blond locks bouncing. "Goddess of difficulty." She was perfectly manifested as a scrawny teenage girl, her face covered in tattoos and piercings, and her hair spiked up and dyed in many different colors. "That woman there, that's Sophie, goddess of…" He yawned, blinked slowly, and slumped back, asleep. Maci nudged him awake and he picked right up, "…of self-control. The tiny girl next to her is Elpis, goddess of hope… she's so small 'cuz she got stuck in Pandora's box way back when… and it kind of stunted her growth." Sophrosyne had curly teal hair, her skin a pastel pink and angel wings sprouting from her back. Elpis was about the size of her knee, but was all golden, shining very brightly. "Over there is Moros, the god of doom, next to him is Polemus… he's the god of battles, not battling, but literally battles… see all the arrows sticking out of him? He used to have a spear in his back but he got that removed… used to hit people with it accidentally, was a real nuisance. The guy over there laughing at Eleus—she's Mercy—is Momos, with an 'm', he's the god of mockery, a real jerk…" Eleus looked up at her name, glared at Momos, and took the opportunity to run away, her ruby braid dancing behind her. "Amechania's that little pink girl, the one that kinda looks like a lost baby sheep… she's the goddess of helplessness. The guy sitting over there surrounded by lots of nieces, that's Philotes… god of sex." ("There's a god of that?" little Maci flatly asked and Hypnos nodded and went on.) "… the one screaming is Alala, Battle Cries, she's Polemus's kid… the really old one is Geras, Old Age… the girl in that corner there is Hesychia, goddess of silence—" Hypnos blinked, did a doubletake, quieted, and uneasily glanced at Maci.
Hesychia was standing with Thanatos. Hypnos didn't know when he'd come back from frolicking with Ker. He wasn't surprised they had ducked out earlier, either. The two could never have formed a solid relationship, but enjoyed their nights of flings whenever Ker dropped in—she was much too busy to ever be around for long so the two shared their… bonding experiences in the short times she was here. But frightening Ker was nowhere to be found now. The seventeen year old god of death was smiling, saying something no-one could hear, clasping the hands of his similarly-aged niece as his wings shrunk into his back. Hesychia never spoke (Hypnos didn't know if she had vocal chords, in fact), but her milky white face was beginning to color itself with a happy blush and a smile was curved on her ivory lips…
"Who's she again?"
Hypnos looked at Macaria. Surprisingly she wasn't flaring up (yet?), but instead was staring after the pair with narrowed, suddenly yellow eyes, her hands fisted in her chiton. "That's, um…" Hypnos started, trailing off. He was watching Thanatos and Hesychia closely, wondering if they would start doing anything in front of Maci, and then wondering what he'd do should Maci lose her temper and freak out. "…um… Hesychia, goddess of silence, one of our nieces… Dike's daughter." "That's his niece," Macaria repeated, and Hypnos nodded, quickly explaining, "We're Greek gods, Maci… especially in this family, incest, well… mom likes to say that as long as it's consensual, she doesn't care."
Maci's scowl deepened. Their line of view was suddenly intercepted by Ceuthonymus (the god of caves) running away from Lyssa, who was screaming and foaming at the mouth, as a goddess of rabies and insanity was apt to do and when it opened back up again, Thanatos and Hesychia were locked in a kiss.
"…He ditched us," spoke Macaria suddenly, her voice coming out in a low hiss steadily rising in volume, "to hook up… with one of his nieces?" The ending words were a near scream. Hypnos quickly ushered her up and out, down the hallway, and past an endless series of doors.
"Oh Maci, please don't mind him," Hypnos sighed, taking a skeleton key from his pocket and unlocking a wooden door scratched with several deep slashes, "the only girls he can get are the ones he's related to. Besides, it won't last. Nothing ever does with him. He's a player." Hypnos rolled his eyes, yawned, and pushed open the door. "Here… me and Thanatos' room. I suggest hiding here until the crowd thins out." The rage of the little goddess fizzled out.
"You guys share a room? How do you know which stuff is yours and which is… ohhhhh." The question didn't need to be finished. The answer was immediately obvious. There was a deep indent clawed in the floor (with Thanatos' scythe still sticking out of it) and the room was split down the middle. One side was painted powder blue, with poppies hanging in braids up and down the wall, torches hanging upside-down for light. The other side of the room had the odd (dead) poppy flower, too, but was painted black, with skeletons hanging from the wall, skulls arranged on shelves, and several scythes suspended from the ceiling.
"I wonder which half belongs to who," the ten year old goddess sarcastically said and flopped on Thanatos' bed. A scythe fell from the ceiling and embedded itself in the floor, its blade glistening. Hypnos shuddered and fell onto his own bed. "So, that's my family," he sighed, "Or at least some of them."
"That's one way of putting it."
Maci was quiet for a moment, but fidgeted, playing with the hem of her chiton. "…can I make my parents get rid of her?" she finally asked, sounding very childishly innocent.
Hypnos paused. "Her mom's the goddess of justice. I don't think you'd get away with that."
"Oh." Maci scowled. "Well, I was his friend first."
"It's not fair."
"I really wouldn't take it personally, Maci… or take them seriously, for that matter."
"Well, still." She sat up and scowled. "I'm gonna kill him when he gets back."
Hypnos shook his head, a slight smirk on his face. "Alright, Maci, alri—
—"I'm still waiting for the relevant part," interjected Meg. In the middle of a word. Persephone stopped and glared at her.
"Maybe we passed the relevant part already," Persephone pursed her lips, and folded her pink arms, "We won't know until I go on, huh? Right, so stop interrupting me."
"Okay, then go on." Megara flicked her hand.
"Well, now you have to wait. I call a nectar break." Persephone gave her another dirty look and snapped her fingers, pulling a glass of golden glowing liquid from the air, and casually sipped it, in no rush at all.
~Author's Notes~ Hey guys! Finally updated! School ends very soon for me so I'll have lots more time for updates... hopefully. :) Some quick things to say:
*If anyone wants to see some artwork of teen-Thanatos, teen-Hypnos, 10 year old Maci (won't tell what they look like older just yet), Ker, Lyssa, Achlys, Hesychia, Hemera, Dike, or Nyx, just shoot me a pm. [please don't request any others, as no-one else is drawn out. Feel free to draw them yourselves, artists! XD]
*My references for all these characters is a wonderful site called Theoi [dot] com. Of course I took many creative liberties with appearances and personalities, and slightly modified unknown parentage or godly duties to further fit characterizations... I know these chars are all unknown but they did all exist in Greek myth, so if there's anyone familiar with them out there? Please don't correct me on any inaccuracies, I'm fully aware of them all. :P
*Which one of the featured or mentioned, or even unmentioned children of Nyx is your favorite? I'm curious! Let me know in your reviews! :)
Until next time! Thanks for reading :)