Author's Note: Happy New Year peeps! I realize that it's been some time since I updated my Batman fic, but I've gotta be honest, I don't see that panning out. Sorta hit a creative standstill, I'm afraid. Anywho, inspiration has given me a kick in the form of The Abduction of Persephone, Disney Style. Oh, yeah.
Disclaimer: This version Persephone and Echo belong to me. All other characters belong to their respective owners. I don't own, and I don't earn.
Chapter one; Flower Baby
"No. No. No with a capital 'Nu'!" the lump under the sheets pouted, trying to crouch into the World's tiniest, most insignificant ball. An African grey parrot hopped over the talking invisible bump, practically hyperventilating.
"Where in Gods' names do I hide? I'm rubbish at this game, there's too much pressure on my bird-sized cranium!"
"Petal? Are you in here?" Mumsy Dearest chimed, pulling back the covers.
The guilty party groaned: Seriously? Persephone mentally kicked herself; a luscious island she knew like the back of her Divine hand- complete with hiding places her mother didn't know about- and she'd chosen to hide under the sheets. If Persephone had be a Vengeance Goddess, she would have cursed herself there and then.
Ho hum, maybe she'd run into Nemesis at this dreaded party.
"You silly sprout, this is no time for Hide and Seek!" Demeter chuckled heartily, ruffling her daughter's scruffy, peach-coloured hair.
"Oh my, you look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards!" Demeter cringed. The parrot, ironically named Echo, jumped onto her friend's shoulder.
"She was. Those hedges didn't take too kindly to being created" Echo remarked, shuddering.
Demeter sighed, looking at her daughter's short hair, dirty face and bare feet. She could've run circles around Artemis sporting that look, which was not a style she appreciated on her beautiful Petal.
"We're going to be so late. Where's your Peplos?"
Uh-oh. Persephone tilted her head curiously, pressing her fingers to her lip in an attempt to look thoughtful.
"Remember? The Peplos you wore last year? With my headdress?"
"Oh. Sweet Baby Hercules. Not the headdress" Echo whispered to her friend. Persephone giggled.
"Oh, the Peplos! That's a funny story..." she trailed off sheepishly.
Demeter glowered "What kind of funny story?"
"A, uh, riveting tale of wholesome fun, friendship and a uh..uh..homemadetrampoline" Persephone squeaked out the last part.
"What? You and your friends did WHAT? Well, where's the headdress?"
Again, Persephone giggled and mumbled something along the lines of "usingitformywormfarm".
That had done it. Demeter went into an epic rant of Homeric proportions. On and on about how the Graces had weaved that Peplos specially, how it had been passed down from Rhea to all of her daughters. She then moved on to the Younger Generation of Gods, how they didn't know they'd been born (or transformed, or emerged, depending on who you heard the story from);how those Oceanaids were trouble with a capita 'Tao' and she should banish them back to the sea.
"Oh Gods, Mom, please don't do that. They're my friends, and it wasn't even their idea! This isn't even about them. I don't want to go to Mount Olympus!" Persephone whined.
"Well, why on Earth not?"
"I don't know the other Gods; I feel shy around them" temper tantrum was failing; time for Persephone to try the softly-softly approach "I'm too big to hide in your robes now..."
It was working. The mention of Tiny Persephone was always a weak spot for Demeter. All she needed now was a bit of emotional blackmail. Persephone gazed wistfully out to the fields where their goats grazed.
"These festivals..every spring they kill a pregnant pig. Those mommies, those babies..it makes me so sad" this wasn't strictly a lie, but Persephone's green eyes were very bleary and doe-like, and her bottom lip was wobbling. She was laying it on so thick- a performance worthy of the Atticus.
"Seph, people at a flea market wouldn't buy this crap" Echo hissed into her ear.
Demeter would, though.
"Oh, Petal. Don't get sad.; they only sacrifice pregnant sows because they are notorious crop destroyers. We wouldn't want our dear little mortals to starve to death, would we?" Demeter said gently, stroking her daughter's hair.
"No...no we wouldn't"
"There's a good girl. Oh! I love you so much" Demeter kissed her daughter's nose "You don't have to come with me if you don't want to"
Ha, Result! This was a bigger win than the Trojan War!
"Really? Because Artemis was telling me about this...uhm, great continent in the East...I well, was sorta hoping to take the girls and..."
"Stop, young lady. You don't leave this island without me. We established that rule when you were a toddler"
"I know, but that was when I was a toddler. I'm 179 now. Please? Echo would keep me in check, and I'd write to you every day, I promise" Persephone insisted, a Echo bobbed her head approvingly.
"No. With a capital 'Nu'" Demeter replied.
"Mom, please! It's really not fair to keep me cooped on this Island-"
"I said No, Persephone! You don't leave this island without me, and if I hear from Poseidon that you tried to, I'll banish the nymphs and Echo!"
Persephone let out a small gasp. Her mother couldn't, wouldn't, do something like that to her, right? This time, her crushed look was genuine. Demeter looked slightly mournful as she gripped Persephone's arm sympathetically, attempting to offer an olive branch.
"Keep the place tidy, and please do something about your hair. We'll talk about it when I get back"
A week or so back, Demeter had (lovingly) berated her daughter's hair for being ever-so-slightly too long and unruly and only needing the teeniest trim. After the subject coming up hourly for three days straight, Persephone, in a childish tantrum, had practically scalped herself. Naturally, it wasn't Persephone's fault; Demeter had blamed the nymph Cyane for handing her the shears. Sulking, Persephone closed her eyes and willed her crew cut to grow out, until her hair reached to the small of her back. Making things grow had its perks (nudge nudge, wink wink).
"There's my good girl. I'll be back before you know it"
A Spring Festival, wasn't that just peachy? A celebration of life, how perfect; Gods, he just lived for this stuff. The Lord of the Underworld grimaced; on top of all this flowery stuff, the fertility aspects made the Gods and mortals go kinda...fruity. Oy.
"Sunshine, flowers, cute little baby animals: sounds like my kinda party" Hades sarcastically grumbled, sipping his fruit punch. Once again, round-the-sundial Underworld duties meant he was his own designated driver, again. Maybe he could throw a couple of drachmas Charon's way...
"Hey, we've got ourselves a pillar-flower. What are you hiding in the dark for, Bro? Anyone would think you were up to something" The Almighty Zeus chuckled. Was that another of his dear baby brother's attempts at humour? Zeus punched him on the arm a little harder than usual.
'Memo to me: put arm back in socket before boarding chariot'.
"Heh, you've been waitin' all afternoon to say that, haven't you, Zeusy?" he remarked, giving Zeus his perfected fake smile. Tragic thing was, that wasn't even a cutting comeback on Hades' part; Zeus probably had been waiting hours to say that. Even so, any deities within earshot fell over their Divine selves laughing, splitting their Divine sides.
Speaking of bursting at the seams, the guest of honour had just walked in. Demeter waved regally, laughing heartily and handing out fruit baskets.
"Demi, baby! Love what you've done this year! Almost as good as last year, and the year before that. Can't wait to see what you do next year!" he said mockingly. Demeter casually laughed off his sarcasm, and even gave the disgruntled God a fruit basket, complete with death glare.
"Death glare for the Lord of the Dead? Priceless."
Not that Demeter had ever been his number I fan previously, but the whole, uh, misunderstanding with Mount Olympus (which Hades liked to refer to as a 'Political makeover') was still a sore spot with the other deities. Even so, Zeus had invited him to the party and insisted bygones be bygones. To his credit, Zeus was too buffoonish- uh, benevolent- to hold a grudge, chalking it up to his big brother's crazy antics; more comedy gold courtesy of Hades; something everyone would laugh at still for centuries, and centuries, and centuries... Yadda, yadda, you get the mosaic.
Even the incident with the Cyclops hadn't warranted respect from the mortals, what with Jerkules sticking his oar in, as per. Hades decided to stop that chariot of thought, pulling an apple out from his hamper. The fruit sizzled, turning brown and sizzling in his grey hand. He started to amuse himself by poking holes in the fruit until it resembled a rotting skull.
"Y'know, I'm not one to cramp a cat's creative flow, but playin' with your food isn't cool, Babe"
Oy, vey. Nothing like an interval with Zeus's wingman to get the party started; hades couldn't even be bothered to come up with a sarcastic quip. Okay, just the one.
"Yeesh Hermes. Little tip for the future; the only time I want something with wings coming at me is when it's deep fried and covered in hot sauce."
Bada Bing, II points to the Underworld.
"Hey, man, I was just wondering what you were up to"
"Ah well, y'know, not much in the works: just a little Mayhem, a Plague here and there and hey, I was thinking of taking up fruit sculpture" Hades replied flatly.
Truth was, all Hades was plotting was an excuse to leave the party.