Life and Death, Light and Darkness
Disclaimer: I don't own Greek mythology. It is WAY older than I am… ancient… haha.
A/N: Well, here's my new Hades and Persephone story! I hope that you could tell by the title that it is in fact a Hades/Persephone story. Enjoy!
By the way, I know that my descriptions of ANYTHING probably won't be very correct, but remember: this is fanfiction!
Anyway, here you go!
She was beautiful. She had auburn waves cascading to the small of her back. Her eyes, the color of the greenest of emeralds, had perpetual light and happiness shining in them. Her full pink lips were nearly always quirked in a smile. She had curves that rivaled Aphrodite's, and many said that Aphrodite had blessed this young goddess with a beauty close to her own. This was Persephone, Goddess of Spring and daughter of Zeus and Demeter.
He was feared by the gods on Olympus. He was shunned by them. But no one could deny his beauty. It was not a standard type of handsomeness, but it was a dark, almost dangerous beauty. His black hair hung to his shoulders. He wasn't as bulky as the male Olympians, but was muscled. His skin was deathly pale, making his amazing eyes stand out. Everyone who met this god was drawn directly to his eyes. They were an icy blue that would flash between lighter and darker shades depending on his mood, and he kept them emotionless on the surface. But if you were an observant one, you could see the pain etched deep in the depths of those brilliant eyes, pain that he would never admit was there. This was Hades, God of the Underworld and Lord of the Dead.
Two very different gods. But don't opposites attract?
"Lady Demeter, please allow me to bring Persephone with me on one delivery?" Hermes, the messenger god, begged of his aunt.
Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture, pursed her lips into a thin line. "How many times must I tell you, Hermes, that neither Kore nor I are interested in your courtship?"
"I do not intend to court her, my lady! I swear on the River Styx! She is merely interested in the way I run things!" Hermes explained.
"My daughter is interested in no such thing," Demeter snapped. "I will prove it to you. KORE! COME TO MOTHER, DARLING!"
Hermes turned to find Persephone, a young goddess, prancing toward where he and his aunt were standing. He caught her rolling her eyes briefly before stopping in front of her mother.
"Yes, Mother?" she questioned politely.
"Hermes here accuses you of being interested in the way he runs things," Demeter said, disapproval and disbelief dripping off her voice.
"I am, Mother! It sounds very fascinating!" Persephone cried. And she was. Hermes was the only god she had ever seen besides her mother.
"Hmph," muttered Demeter. "I do have to be off to bless the fields for the day, and the nymphs informed me that they are busy today." She turned a cold, stern gaze on her nephew. "You may bring her, Hermes, but I swear on the River Styx if she comes back hurt or corrupted…" She let the threat hang in the air.
Hermes gulped. "Yes, Lady Demeter."
Persephone squealed. Finally, she would be able to leave the place she called home (Demeter's grain palace) for a day. Usually, her mother left her in the care of nymphs while she went to bless the fields, but she had never been away from the palace, not even for a few minutes. "Thank you, Mother!" she cried, throwing her arms around Demeter.
Demeter smiled at her happy daughter. "I'm glad you're happy, Kore. Go, but you behave. If I hear that you misbehaved or went off alone, you will never be allowed out of my sight again, not even with the nymphs," she informed her child.
"Yes, Mother," Persephone obediently replied. Knowing that for sure she did not want that, Persephone vowed to behave. "And don't call me Kore!" she added as an afterthought.
"That is your name, Kore, and I will call you it," Demeter responded sternly.
"My name is Persephone," stressed Persephone, but she let it slide. "Just go, Mother. You have a lot of work to do."
Demeter looked at her, but decided to follow her girl's advice. "Goodbye, Kore, Hermes. Be careful." And she disappeared.
"Where is your delivery today, Hermes?" Persephone inquired enthusiastically, turning to him.
Hermes examined her for a moment. "The Underworld," he finally answered her.
Persephone gaped, speechless. The Underworld? The eternal night without Artemis's moon? The realm of Hades? Hades, the Lord of the Dead? Hardly any gods ever went there, and few mortals had ever made it out alive. She had heard horror stories about the Underworld, Tartarus, and its ruler. "Are you serious, Hermes?" she squeaked, regaining her use of speech.
"Deadly serious," he joked, a twinkle in his eye.
As a result, Persephone glared daggers at him. If looks could kill (and he wasn't an immortal god, of course) he'd be dead and buried right about now. "Shut it, Hermes. Let's just go. I'm glad you didn't tell my mother of this. She would have refused to let me come. And she was close to doing that without the knowledge of the Underworld."
With a flash, she screamed and was gone.
Landing hard on her feet, Persephone hurriedly regained her balance and turned to administer another glare on the messenger god. "Thanks for the warning, Hermes," she muttered, bending down to rub her hurting feet.
Hermes shrugged teasingly. "Come on."
They came to the River Styx, where a hooded figure was standing in a rowboat.
"Charon," Hermes whispered to Persephone as they approached the man. "The Styx ferryman."
The figure turned. He had gaunt eyes that bore into them. "Hermes. Welcome again to the Underworld."
Hermes shivered. "I never feel comfortable down here," he muttered under his breath. Raising his voice, he said, "I am here to deliver something for Lord Hades."
"Of course. My lord informed me of your visit. Who is your companion?"
Persephone stepped forward, looking the creepy ferryman in the eye. "Persephone, Goddess of Spring, daughter of Zeus and Demeter." She said her father's name bitterly; after all, she had never even met the god.
After her introduction, Hermes removed two drachmas from a pouch and hands them to Charon. But the ferryman would only take one. When Hermes looked at him in confusion, he refused to give an answer except, "One will suffice, Hermes."
Charon dropped them off on the riverbank, and they began the walk to the looming palace in front of them.
"It's as big, if not bigger, than the palace on Olympus," Hermes informed Persephone as she looked at it in awe. "But it would have to be the same size as Lord Poseidon's palace. That underwater palace is truly amazing."
Persephone was listening to him in a daze. He was so lucky! He had seen all of the Big Three's palaces, and the only one she had seen (and probably would ever see) was the gloomiest of them all: the Underworld one, the one of Hades. Yet it was darkly beautiful. The whole thing was either black or silver, and the designs on the front doors were intricately carved.
Hermes pushed the door open and they emerged in a vast entrance hall, lined with portraits and lamps. As she followed the god, Persephone's green eyes slid over each portrait. They seemed to be all of places, until they hit three of gods.
"Those three" – Hermes nodded to the three biggest frames – "are of the Big Three, of course. Zeus" – he indicated the one on the right – "Poseidon" – the one on the left – "and Hades." The one in the middle. "Hades is the eldest god, Poseidon is the middle brother, and Zeus is the youngest. Those three" – there were three slightly smaller paintings below the gods' portraits – "are of the three elder Olympian goddesses. Hera" – the one on the right – "Demeter" – the one on the left – "and Hestia." The one in the middle. "It is a known fact that Hades loved Hestia the most, but only as a sister, of course. They have the closest bond of siblings, I must say, though Athena and Artemis, though half-sisters, rival their relationship." Hermes laughed.
Persephone had listened with great interest. She had heard of Lady Hestia, her mother's sister, multiple times. Demeter seemed to hold the Goddess of the Hearth and Home to great esteem, though Persephone had never met that particular goddess.
"Come on, Seph!" urged Hermes. He had walked several paces ahead, and Persephone hurriedly follows him.
The pair stopped at the first door on the left. It was almost as intricate as those at the front of the palace. Before they stepped in, Persephone knew it was the throne room. As Hermes pushed the door open, her guess was confirmed. In the very center of the room, an onyx throne was placed. In the throne was perched the most beautiful god she had ever seen. There was an aura around him, radiating power beyond any mortal's imagination, and… fear. She was not too touched by the fear, but she looked down at her hands and they were shaking slightly. There was a long line of deceased mortals. Tilting her head, Persephone tried to decipher what they were doing, but she would just ask Hermes later.
Hermes stepped up to the throne, just cutting in front of the dead mortals. He bowed. "Lord Hades."
"Thanatos! I think that we are done judging today. Lead these mortals from the room," Hades called to a corner of the room.
A cloaked figure appears from the shadows as he bows in Hades' direction. "Of course, my lord."
As the figure was herding the mortals out the second door (not the one Persephone had just came in, she mused), Hades turned his eyes on the messenger god. "What have you come for, Hermes?" he asked, his voice emotionless and cold.
Hermes looked terrified, but he managed to speak in a professional tone. "My father, Lord Zeus, requires your presence on Mount Olympus in four days' time."
Hades arched a brow coolly. "Is that so? Did my insolent little brother inform you for what? My job never halts you know, and if I miss a day, it would not look pretty."
"He just informed to me to tell you what I have told you, Lord Hades."
"As usual."Hades sighed. "Oh, alright. I'll come. But what has changed my dear little brother's heart? I'm usually not allowed on Olympus save for the winter solstice."
"I'm afraid I don't know, Lord."
Hades groaned in frustration. His eyes scanned the room, as if searching for spare mortal souls that the figure (Thanatos? Persephone wondered) had missed, but instead, they connected with her startling green ones. She gasped upon glimpsing his eyes for the first time. They were amazing.
"I see you brought a companion, Hermes. Where are your manners? Bring her out and introduce her properly," Hades ordered.
Before Hermes could respond, Persephone stepped boldly out of the shadows. "I can introduce myself," she snapped. For some reason, this god was grating on her nerves. "I'm Persephone, Goddess of Spring."
Hades arched a brow again. "Daughter of Zeus?"
"Yes," Persephone answered defiantly. "Is there a problem with that?"
"Not at all, little niece," he said, spitting out the familial term. "Address me politely, won't you? Using my name."
"Is your name laryngitis? Because you're a pain in the neck," Persephone shot at him.
"I won't hold your behavior against you. I hear my sister isn't very kind in bringing up her immortal child," Hades returned, his blue eyes flashing.
"Persephone, stop! Don't anger him!" whisper-shouted Hermes. He was scared for Persephone. If the Lord of the Dead lost his temper (which he was known to do), Persephone would be injured for sure, be it emotionally or physically, and Demeter would send him to the depths of Tartarus.
Persephone took no notice of the messenger god, instead snapping at the Lord of the Dead, "I bet your brain feels as good as new, seeing that you've never used it!"
"My job requires plenty of brains, little one, brains that you will never have in all of eternity," Hades responded coldly.
"You know what? I won't go into a battle of wits with you. I never attack anyone unarmed." With that, Persephone grabbed Hermes's arm and began dragging him out of the throne room.
"It was nice seeing you, Lord Hades!" Hermes weakly shouts back. "Tartarus, Seph, you have an iron grip," he whines.
Hades sat back on his throne, his mind whirling. Next time that little goddess decided to come into his realm, he would be ready for her with a fresh bombard of insults.
Little did he know that that little goddess was planning a little something for him as well.
A/N: Well, they got off on a good start, didn't they? I hope you enjoyed my new story's first chapter! I would highly appreciate it if you left me some reviews! I'll be replying to reviews by PM, and I hope to reply to all of you! Love you all!