Author's Note: I offer my thanks to Nicolover11, who asked for an extra chapter on Hades and Persephone's kids. There's really no plot to it...it's just a little drabble. But I hope it is enjoyed. A merry Christmas to all.
Hades looked out over the battlefield, gauging the casualties. He was pleased with what he found. The dead were not much, though there was a lot of wounded. Still, he could tell that most of those soldiers had superficial wounds, and would recover in due time. He would have to thank Athena for that later. And he would have to make sure to…intimidate…Ares into submission again. It was a cycle that grated on him, for he hated dealing with the war god. He knew Ares acted out this way in an attempt to get back at him for making the war god look like the coward that he was. What Hades couldn't get the war god to understand is that by doing this, he brought more punishment on himself.
Hades sighed and shook his head, clearing away thoughts of his relatives. A soft sound drew his attention to the blonde at his side, one of the reasons why he was here, as he usually never visited the battlefield. She looked up at him expectantly with brilliant green eyes, eliciting a smile from him. He nodded in approval and gestured her toward the battlefield, watching protectively.
The blonde flitted around the corpses, her eyes scanning the faces of the fallen. She must have finally found the right one, for she stopped and knelt down, sinking gracefully beside the dying man. A spear had been driven through his stomach, and he lay gasping on the ground. His eyes suddenly flicked to the blonde at his side, and he gasped, his face paling further.
She smiled kindly down at him, and the man seemed to relax. She placed a delicate hand onto his brow, closing her eyes, "You have fought well, soldier. Rest now. You shall receive your reward."
As soon as she finished, the man ceased breathing. The young goddess breathed a sigh of relief and contentment. She rose in a fluid motion, and flitted back over to Hades' side, her dark green eyes glowing expectantly, "How was that, Father?"
Hades patted her softly on the head, fatherly pride obvious, "You did well, Macaria."
"Is it my turn now, Father?"
Hades turned his attention to his other daughter, another fond almost-smile gracing his lips, "You may proceed, Melinoe."
The ebony-haired girl nodded, her icy blue eyes glowing with determination. Her feet barely skimmed the ground as she floated between the dead. As she passed the corpses, wispy strands flowed out of them, coalescing into spheres of smoke. These followed after the thin girl, rotating around her. They bobbed and twirled in the air, looking solid and yet at the same time unsubstantial. When she had finished, she floated back over toward them, a few hundred smoky spheres gravitating around her.
"Well-done, Melinoe," he praised her quietly, and the girl's pale cheeks seemed to redden for just a moment. Her bangs effectively covered up one side of her face, but Hades could see the pleased look in the eye that could be seen.
"That was great, Melinoe," Macaria smiled warmly at her younger sister, to which Melinoe gave a rare smile back.
"You did a great job too," was her whispered reply, and the long- and straight-haired blonde beamed with pleasure. Hades nodded in agreement, ruffling both of his daughters' hair. They naturally protested and he gave a quiet chuckle. Their business finished, Hades stepped back toward his chariot, motioning the two girls to follow him. They obediently trailed after him, clambering onto the black chariot. He gathered the reins in his hand, and, with a snap, set the horses in motion. Without warning, the ground trembled, and a fissure opened before them.
The horses jumped into the void, and with a loud rumble, the gap in the earth closed over them.
Persephone stood on the shore of the river Styxx, awaiting the return of her husband and daughters. She knew everything would go fine, and yet there was still a small motherly part of her that fretted. Persephone smiled fondly as she thought back to when she had first told Hades she was expecting. She had been extremely nervous, but in the end, she shouldn't have even worried. He had been at a loss for words at first, however as soon as the news sunk in, he had gathered her up in his arms and cried. She'd cried with him, their joy immeasurable. Pure children among the gods was rare, and there had been a fantastic celebration when Macaria was born.
Then, Melinoe came along. Her birth was received with just as much jubilation as Macaria. Persephone and Hades couldn't be happier, and Macaria herself was thrilled with having a baby sister. There had been a lot of teasing from the male gods with Melinoe, and Hades had surprisingly taken it rather well. Persephone's love for the God of the Underworld had increased tenfold as she observed him with their children. He was a caring and doting father, though he knew when to be stern with them.
"Look, Mama," a soft tug on her toga had her looking down at her youngest, her smile widening. Zagreus had been quite a surprise. She hadn't felt any morning sickness, and had only realized she was pregnant when her mother commented on how round she seemed. Both of her girls and husband had been excited for another addition to the family and their joy doubled when they had found out it was to be a boy.
Another insistent tug pulled her out of her thoughts of the past. Zagreus was looking up at her with gleaming mismatched eyes, one dark blue and one light green. She petted his head, fingering the black curls on his head, "Shall we go meet them?"
The soft-spoken child nodded, grasping her hand and pulling her along. She giggled softly, admiring the child's enthusiasm. Zagreus grew to be quite anxious when his sisters weren't around. But he was still too young to venture to the Above World. The mist swirled more strongly around the shore and Persephone had to squint to make out Charon's boat. She smiled when she caught sight of her husband, to which he responded with a shy one of his own. Zagreus hopped up and down, a large smile, complete with dimples, surged up on his face, "Papa! Papa!"
Hades gracefully descended from the boat, just in time to catch Zagreus, who had thrown himself forward. He chuckled, his dark blue eyes shining, as he picked up his son. Persephone stepped forward, gracing him with a quick kiss, "How did it go?"
Hades nodded approvingly, full of fatherly pride, "They did extremely well."
Macaria and Melinoe descended with a bit of help from Charon, and came to give their mother a hug. She kissed each of their cheeks, glowing with pride. Their children had all been blessed with gifts similar to their father, save Zagreus.
Macaria had the power to give a peaceful death to those who deserved it, and Hades had been tutoring her in judging which souls those were. She was a kind child, but like her father, she was also just with her dealings. She was warm to everyone she met, and Persephone knew her oldest loved both the Aboveworld and the Underworld.
Melinoe was given the power over ghosts. Wherever she wandered, those newly deceased would follow her, rotating around her. Quieter than both her siblings, Melinoe preferred solitude to crowds. She rarely spoke up, but when she did, her words were well-chosen. She had a somber air around her, and seemed sometimes like an adult stuck in a child's body. She preferred the Underworld to her mother's home Aboveworld, and wasn't too fond of her grandmother, Demeter.
Little Zagreus's power had come into effect only a few days ago. Persephone and Hades were surprised to discover that their only son had the power to bring the dead back to life. They had gone up for the winter solstice, and the young god unfortunately brought back the roasted pig to life. Their dinner had gone squealing away, and they'd had to summon Artemis, who was currently on a hunt, to catch it. Both Persephone and Hades were delighted with their child's power, though the other gods were pretty disgruntled about having to cook their dinner all over again. Zagreus was a quiet child, who found wonder in everything he saw. He loved to spend time with his mother in her special garden, and he had a knack for making things grow, like his mother did.
"Are you alright, beloved?"
Persephone came to, blinking rapidly. Hades had stooped over to look down at her, worry evident in his small frown. Zagreus was hanging off his neck, a similar worried frown on his face. The two looked so alike at that moment, despite the eye color and hair style, that Persephone giggled.
"I'm fine," she reassured both, planting a soft kiss on Hades' lips, "Just thinking on how grateful I am for all of you."
His lips twitched up into a soft smile, "Not as grateful as we are all to you. Come, love. I'm sure we're all hungry, and Cerberus will be upset if we are late for dinner."
As if to prove his remark, a loud howl split the silence. Zagreus giggled, clapping his hands, while her two daughters shook their heads, sharing an amused smile. Persephone laughed aloud, Hades' quiet chuckle soon joining her laughter. They hurried along, and Persephone once again glanced at her family, her love for them near exploding.
She didn't know how she had come to be so lucky to have them. Under her breath, she quietly whispered a prayer of thanks to the Fates, for setting her on this path of happiness, for letting her fall in love with her wonderful husband, and for allowing them to rear three beautiful children.