Nico Di Angelo
"Your death would be great for me."
It was inevitable.
All great powers had a time where they may be usurped. The gods had known this, anticipated it even, the moment they had sent their dear father into the pits of Tartarus. It was like a sick never-ending family tradition. Pull down those who were on top, replace them, gain power, stop, rewind, do it all over again.
Still, despite the many challenges and many obstacles, despite the family feuds, and that one never-spoken- again moment they underwent Family therapy, the Olympians had hoped that maybe they would be the one exception to the rule, that they would be the lucky ones left alone by Fate, allowed to reign freely and peacefully until the earth eventually ends and they've had all their fun.
But of course, it was never going to be that easy, was it?
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds.
And see the world in endless sleep.
The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap.
A single choice shall end his days.
Olympus to preserve or raze.
A young girl, a prophecy told to the fourteen stoic gods and goddesses that looked over Olympus with different views and different insights.
Hera pursed her lips in distaste, her hand on her throne flinching in annoyance. Of course, another illegitimate child of either her husband's or his brothers' would be the one to cause them trouble in the future.
"Raise?" Hermes was the first to inquire softly.
"Raze." Aphrodite was the one who, surprisingly, answered. "R-A-Z-E, to destroy."
The gods shifted in discomfort, Ares being the one to offer his dissatisfaction first. "A brat's decision will be what saves us? Is this a joke?" He shot Apollo a look, being the god of Prophecy and the one who brought about the Oracle's existence.
The sun god tilted his head, looking strangely formal and serious without his Ray-ban sunglasses on, although no one doubted he had stuffed it somewhere in his toga. "No, I don't think this is a joke." He sighed dramatically as Artemis narrowed her eyes at him. "You wanted me to create a way for us to be warned when something major is about to happen, I get us an Oracle, and the first time she makes a major prophecy, you snap at me. Is gratitude really so hard in this family?"
Hephaestus grunted, murmuring something about being able to create a machine for such a purpose- when suddenly Zeus smashed his fist against the arm of his throne, "SILENCE!"
At once, the small murmurs that had erupted after the prophecy quieted and everyone turned to the king of gods as Zeus looked at his brothers.
Poseidon's face was a calm, unreadable mask. Sea green eyes gave nothing away as he looked at Zeus with equal suspicion. Turning to their eldest brother, Hades had the same nonchalant expression, although something in those dark eyes seemed calculating and maybe even worried.
There was still a great rift between the brothers especially since World War II had recently occurred. The god of the Underworld's powerful children against his brothers' offsprings.
And the loss- the loss was a great one.
Not only had both sides sacrificed their own children over some petty fight between them, but the whole world had been affected by the uncontrollable power each half-blood wielded.
Earthquakes, unexplainable thunderstorms, monsters, and the undead walking amongst the living- Hermes who had been so busy before was nearly going crazy with all the casualties and cover ups he had to do to help the mortals moved on.
And now this, a child, a mere half-blood was going to decide their fates. And not just any half-blood, a half-blood sired by the eldest gods, meaning them- any child younger than sixteen was going to either destroy them or save them.
The three of them had barely any demigods of their blood left. Only two small children remained for Hades, a few for Poseidon and Zeus as well.
But there was a major difference among their children.
Poseidon and Zeus' children were all well above the age of sixteen, therefore, no longer candidates of the Great Prophecy- and if they found out about Hades' hidden children-
"Is there any way at all," Athena was the one who broke the trance of the three as she fixed her stormy gaze at the stoic Oracle. "To prevent such a disaster from occurring? Or else to ensure that the child will choose correctly?"
"The choice depends on the person who must choose," The Oracle said in a humble tone that still echoed across the chamber. Even the crackle of Hestia's hearth had muted. "Outside influences may change the mind, but in the end it is up to the child. However," The young lady looked up, meeting the gaze of Apollo, "There is a way to delay it."
"An oath," Artemis interrupted her brother who began to open his mouth. She smiled down at the Oracle who smiled back at her. "Something nearly identical to my own. A binding agreement not to sire anymore children."
"If this will be put up to vote, let it be known that I agree immediately." Hera said haughtily as Dionysus rolled his eyes in a mock gesture of 'obviously, you would'.
"As do I." Demeter shot her son-in-law a look of pure loathing.
"It is the wise choice." Athena nodded in agreement.
Aphrodite pouted in annoyance. She enjoyed the elder gods' affairs as much as she enjoyed her own. Agreeing to this would mean lesser gossip. Hera shot her a look that made her roll her eyes.
Zeus' jaw clenched at the prospect of no more affairs with mortal women while Poseidon took it into stride, looking off in an attempt of nonchalance. Hades seem less perturbed, seeing as he loved his wife very much and the only reason he was unfaithful was because half the year she returned to her mother and left him often feeling lonely.
"Very well, we shall vote on this." Zeus tried to be dignified, ignoring the smile forming on Hera's lips. "Those in favor of the Oath to keep from siring anymore children," He gritted his teeth, "Say I."
"I." Everyone except Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades intoned. Although Ares coughed into his fist, trying to disguise the subtle statement 'sucks to be you'. The lord of the Skies gave him a glare.
"Majority of the Olympians have spoken. The Oath must be carried out for our own safety and protection." Athena intoned gravely, "Father, if you may."
"I swear," Zeus grumbled and Hera reached out a hand to clasp her husband's. The grip was tight and the smile on his wife's face wasn't all that friendly. The thunder god winced, "I swear on the River Styx not to sire another demigod."
The room shook with the force of the oath.
"Poseidon." Athena said, not hiding her distaste.
"I swear on the River Styx as well." The god of the Oceans said.
"And not the least, Hades." Stormy gray eyes turned to eldest of the brothers. The lord of the Underworld steeled himself. It would be so easy to defy his brothers and say 'no' to all these foolishness. Either way, his children would most likely be the candidates, and he could use them to finally, finally put his little brothers at their rightful places.
"You lost the war Hades," Demeter reminded him, her lips curving into a mocking smirk, "Do not forget that: You. Have. Lost."
Growling, Hades glared at her as he opened his mouth and unwillingly let out the words, "I swear on the River Styx not to sire anymore half-blood."
With one final BOOM! the room quieted. Hestia quietly made the flames brighter as the atmosphere of the Oath settled amongst them.
"Well, if that is all, it's best if I be off." Hermes said with a great sigh. "A lot of things to do at the mortal world. Call only if it's really urgent." He stood up and bowed stiffly at Zeus' direction, "Father."
The old god waved him away as he vanished on the spot. The other Olympians began to leave as well.
"At least this will guarantee several years of faithfulness. I like this year's winter solstice meeting, you should make Oaths like that more often." Hera told her husband as they exited.
Poseidon nodded to his nieces and nephews before leaving on the spot, bringing the scent of the ocean with him. The room began to empty until Apollo, Hades, Hestia, and the Oracle were the only ones left.
Hades was about to depart, annoyed as always at everyone's indifference towards him when Apollo called to him.
"Ah, uncle! Not leaving so soon are you? You only come once a year too!" The sun god said with a wide grin. Hades scowled at him and was about to say something rude when the smile dropped off of the usually cheerful god's face and he gestured to the oracle, "Although, I think you should stay longer this time. My beloved oracle seems to want to say something to you before you leave."
"Lord Hades," The Oracle of Delphi said politely as Apollo gave him a cheerful wave and vanished on the spot. "There is something of pressing matter that I must tell you."
"What is it, child? I am in quite a hurry." He grumbled impatiently, he had to check on Maria and their children as soon as he could.
"It will be just a few words. An advice if you may." Unnerving eyes glanced up at him, both young yet somehow old with wisdom and the knowledge of the future, "Hide them as soon as you can, because the consequences otherwise may not be to your liking."
Black eyes widened and Hades' expression became set and serious as shadows overtook his form, effectively transporting him to wherever it was he was going.
The young oracle bowed her head and left.
She had done what she could.
Zeus was watching them.
He had been watching as his brother, Hades, powerful lord of the Underworld, nearly beg on his knees to his mortal lover to come with him to the Underworld. He was so desperate to get her to come with him, to bring the children, and to build her and them a palace in the most desolate place in the world. He knew he was hiding something.
His brother was pathetic. This was why he did not rule over the gods. And as the king of gods, it was his job to ensure their safety. With that thought, he raised his master bolt, preparing to snuff out the existence of both the children and the woman, watching as she turned to go back to the house to get something-
"Wait, brother." A gentle voice stopped him, and the lord of the Skies scowled down at his other elder brother, Poseidon. Green eyes were calm, his expression marred by a gentle frown across his features.
"What is it, Poseidon? Can you not see that I am eliminating possible candidates for the Great Prophecy?" Zeus said with a challenging tone.
"Yes, I can see what you are doing and I know you have thought this through with Athena whilst conversing behind our backs." The king of the Seas in an understanding tone. "However, I still think there is another solution to this." Poseidon said, his sea-green eyes serious, holding his brother's glare.
Zeus did not speak, urging him to speak his mind lest he blast him himself.
Poseidon conceded. "Why not, make the boy and his sister immortal?"
"What?" Zeus finally growled, as though he misheard. "Hades' children? Immortal?" When Poseidon nodded, the king of gods grumbled in disbelief. "Insanity! You simply do not give immortality away! It is the greatest gift! One must prove himself before he can receive such blessing! A great sacrifice must be given!" He roared and the sky darkened and thundered to express his negation at such an offer.
"Listen, listen…" The lord of the Seas, said calmly. His hands were raised in a placating gesture. "You and I have lost our children in the War-"
Zeus eyes became a darker shade, his eyebrows furrowing, "Exactly! Hades' fault! Our children dead because of his bitterness-"
"We are the cause of such bitterness brother. We do not welcome him here, and his children aren't welcome even amongst humans. We are at fault as much as he is." Poseidon stated in a steely tone that made Zeus quiet. "Hades has lost most of his children too. You and I both know how it feels to lose our children. I do not wish to place him in such pain again, and neither should you."
"But if we do not kill his children, our home-"
"-will be safe if we took the necessary measures. Which is why, I have offered the choice of immortality." Poseidon stated calmly. "When the children reach the age of fifteen we can bestow immortality onto them, stopping them from aging. And the prophecy will be prevented for the time being."
"And?" Zeus said, his tone hard, eyes glaring at his elder brother. "What do we do with the children? Where will they live? They cannot live amongst mortals! And they will most definitely not be allowed to see their mother again after being granted such a gift!"
"They can live with Hades. He has no children of his own in his realm." The Earthshaker suggested.
"You wish for them to live in such a dreary place?"
"They can come to Olympus as well, as much as they wish."
"And what sort of god or goddess would they be? Misery? Fear? Do you wish to bestow these titles to such children?" Zeus challenged, he was humoring his brother but he was truly curious to the answer.
"Why not make them a prince and princess of the Underworld? A prince and princess of Olympus?" The King of the Seas offered and the skies rumbled with Zeus disbelief.
"I do not approve."
"Your vote is not the only one that counts brother. Why don't we call in the Council once more, and call the oracle of Delphi for her advice?" Green eyes shone wisely and the King of the gods gritted his teeth.
"Very well." And Zeus shot his thunderbolt onto the ground, effectively creating a loud boom that would tell the other gods and goddesses to gather again. "Although it's safe to say, the Council will most likely be on my side this time."
This was going to be a decision they all had to meet upon once more.
"So you're telling me, that Poseidon proposed to name Hades' children as royalties of our realm- as well as turn them immortal?" Athena stated. Her stormy grey eyes were calculating as she looked at the serene king of the Oceans.
"And by doing so, will this affect the prophecy in any way?" Hermes asked the Oracle of Delphi tiredly. She knelt in front of them respectfully.
"Nothing will change. No good or bad will come from it, everything will stay the same." The young Oracle stated calmly.
"A princess of Olympus…" Artemis muttered softly. "This is an interesting proposition."
"It is ludicrous! Hades' children, named a prince and princess of his realm and of Olympus! I do not like this idea!" Zeus roared as the skies rumbled once more.
"I am with my husband on this." Hera said calmly.
"Well, I think it's a splendid idea! A princess to dress up with and a prince to do makeovers on! So lovely!" Aphrodite squealed as she looked over to Ares.
"Will there be more fights? Or less?" Ares asked seriously.
"More brats…" Dionysus groaned. "We need less brats!"
"They need to eat more cereal! And if we have to raise them, then they should work as farmers for six months!" Demeter said in retaliation. "It'll be good for character building!"
"I think it'll make a great haiku!" Apollo said, smiling widely, effectively showing them his pearly whites. It seemed as though the serious discussion before had not affected him. "So technically, I'm all for it!"
"Let's stop talking and just vote on this already." Hephaestus grumbled. "I'm working on something back at the forges. And no more interruptions, please."
"Yes, let's." Athena said abruptly, to end anymore discussions. Her expression was unreadable.
Hermes sighed, "Those in favor of making Nico and Bianca Di Angelo immortal, raise your hands."
Aphrodite, Artemis, Poseidon, Apollo, Hermes, and surprisingly Athena and Ares, raised their hands. Zeus eyes were wide with disbelief.
"And those who are against…?" Hermes said and Zeus shot his hand up, as Hera, Hephaestus, Dionysus, and Demeter followed his example.
Blue eyes looked about, glaring at the other gods to change their decision. He focused on Ares who shrugged and grinned, showing off his teeth, "I like being a rebel." But everyone else were surprisingly firm on their choice and the lord of the Sky let his hand down defeat.
"The council has made its decision." Zeus said as he half-heartedly slammed his master bolt- turned-staff onto the ground.
The Oracle smiled as she bowed her head in recognition to the decision made. It may not have changed anything, but it had at least saved three more lives.
"Immortal?" Hades asked, surprised and disbelieving as the Oracle of Delphi nodded.
"Yes, your brother, Poseidon himself, stopped lord Zeus and offered a compromise." The young girl said, her normally serious face morphing into a smile as she glimpsed Hades surprised expression. Beside him, Maria, who was listening in, smiled as well.
"B-But- To be prince and a princess- my daughter and son?" Hades asked, clearly very shocked.
"I told you, my dear." Maria said as she placed a delicate hand on the god's shoulder. "They are your family. They will not be so cruel."
"Of course, this still depends on your decision, my lord." The young oracle said with an inclination of her head. "You can choose to runaway or to accept this offer. However once the kids are turned immortal, they cannot see their mortal parent again."
"Maria." Hades said, his face pained. His mortal lover looked calm as she nodded although her eyes were dark and tinged with sadness but also with resolve.
"I would prefer the knowledge that our children are safe and healthy. To know that they are immortal, that would be an honor for our family." Maria said with a reassuring smile. "I will treasure the remaining time I have with them."
Hades nodded as he leaned in and gave the brave and kind woman a kiss on the forehead. "You are a wonderful woman."
"Yes, and you are a wonderful man." Maria said with a smile as she took his hand in hers. "Now, why don't we go on a picnic with the children, I'm sure they will like that." She said as she led them away and back into the house.
The Oracle waved at the two before she turned and let her smile drop.
"Even so, there will be trials ahead." She stated in a neutral tone.
Many years later…
"But I want to be an immortal now!" Nico said in an angry tone, his usually wide black eyes, narrowed with anger as tears threatened to spill from them.
"Nico…" Hades began, raising his hands in a complacent manner. But the young boy of fourteen did not listen and shook his head defiantly.
"Mother's dead, Bianca- Bianca left me to join those stupid hunters…" Nico said as he tried to keep the hurt in. His breath still hitched and he closed his eyes, trying to control his emotions. "I've been attending these stupid boarding schools and keep getting kicked out- and I'm tired of it! I want to live with you! I want to visit Olympus!"
"But to do that you have to be-" Hades began as he massaged his temples from the stress. Nico nodded vigorously with interest.
"To be an immortal! And I don't mind! I can live with you and be your advisor father!" Nico said eagerly and Hades nearly snorted but he cleared his throat instead. No use offending the already distraught teen.
"But the deal with lord Zeus was fifteen, he will not so easily agree to-"
"Then tell uncle Poseidon! He can help convince him again!" Nico said, widening his eyes so as to soften his father. Dark eyes widened in surprise as the young boy looked at him innocently.
"You-" Hades said, almost sputtering. "How do you know about your uncle- I mean, about Poseidon?" He asked, clearly bewildered.
"Uhm…" Nico looked down, embarrassed. "The- The oracle told me about what happened before and how he helped you-"
"Nonsense!" Hades roared as he slammed his fist onto the table in anger. Nico jumped in surprise. "That brother of mine is only playing tricks! His kindness is merely an illusion- a mask to-!"
"Father." Nico deadpanned, dropping the act of a hurt teenager and shifting immediately to offense. "You are grateful to uncle, why is it so hard to admit?"
"I am not-" But Hades closed his mouth when he saw the raised-eyebrow look his son gave him. He pursed his lips and looked away in denial. "Go to your room! I will think about your request."
There was clear hesitation, and the young boy wondered if his plea would really be considered. But sensing that saying anymore might damage any chances, Nico bowed his head and ran to his room, knowing that he had done all he can and more.
If Zeus was scary when he heard about him, he was even scarier in his ten feet form, glowering down at the young Di Angelo as he gulped nervously, seriously rethinking his so called 'smart decision'.
"You are fourteen?" Zeus asked in a loud booming voice.
Nico wanted to say, "Uh, yes." But unfortunately, all that came out was a squeak of affirmation.
"And you wish to become immortal, looking like this." And this was referring to Nico's current stature, thin arms and legs.
The child of the Underworld frowned and he was about to say, "Hey!" But Zeus' glare cut his temporary courage in half and he settled with a nod. Although he had heard that by turning immortal his looks would increase exponentially and he would grow into his arms and legs without looking quite so awkward anymore, so Zeus really had nothing to complain about.
Also, he was the one giving up the thought of growing up. And he was doing the gods a favor by being turned so early. That way they don't have to worry about the child of the Prophecy being him.
Zeus let out a long suffering sigh as he held up his hand. "Very well, we shall grant this blessing upon you." He said the word as though asking why you? And he raised his hand towards Nico's direction, the other gods following his example.
"Nico Di Angelo." Hermes said as he and the other gods focused their powers onto the young black-haired boy that looked quite scared out of his wits. "From this day onwards, you will be known as the immortal heir to your father's realm and a respected Prince of the Olympus council."
The boy turned to his father who gave him an encouraging nod. The teen nodded and closed his eyes waiting for the inevitable. And just like that, a bright light shone and enveloped the young teenager as Nico felt a searing pain burn across his skin.
And with those words and pain, Nico Di Angelo, formerly a normal demigod child of Hades, knew no more.
She was there when he woke up.
His older sister, Bianca Di Angelo, although she looked younger now, especially with her hair down like that. Also, there was the fact that she became a hunter at the age of twelve, the same age that Lady Artemis chose to mold her appearance to.
That realization made Nico's heart burn with a familiar pain as he blinked back the burning feeling in his eyes.
His sister smiled at him. She smiled like everything was fine, as though she didn't pledge herself to a life away from him, as though she didn't abandon him. "You're finally awake, my prince."
At those words, the young Di Angelo sat up and edged away from the hunter with narrowed black eyes. He scowled at her, "Bianca. What are you doing here?"
Bianca frowned and then she spoke in the big sister tone that always annoyed him, but now it just burned him with anger, especially since Bianca actually thinks that she could still be his big sister after leaving him just like that. "Lady Artemis gave me permission to watch your road down to immortality! Don't be so rude Nico, you should be thankful I'm here."
"You left me alone." Nico said in a sad tone that made Bianca's eyes snap towards him. "Then you come back, but then I know you'll leave again. That's not something I should be happy about Bianca. You chose a life that purposely left me out!"
"Nico..." Bianca said, her expression morphing into one of guilt. "I-"
"We could've been together now!" Nico said, his eyes wide with betrayal. "You and I, princess and prince of father's realm! Of Olympus! We were going to help dad get a throne in Olympus! We were going to show the other demigods that Hades' children were just as good as uncle Zeus' and uncle Poseidon's!" Black eyes were filled with tears as Bianca breathed in sharply. "You were going to stay beside me. You promised you were never going to leave me..."
There was silence as Bianca looked down at the floor, her eyes teary and her fists white knuckled on her lap. Suddenly she took a deep breath, saying the only words she could think of at the moment, "I'm sorry Nico. I'm- I'm sorry."
Before Nico could say anything, the door to the room he was staying in, opened. A hunter of Artemis came in. Someone named Zoe. She looked at Nico with a scowl before turning to Bianca. "Lady Artemis sent me to get you. It's time to leave."
Bianca's face fell and she looked at Nico who turned his sight to the window. "I should leave now."
"You should." Nico said in a loud voice, his emotions overwhelming him. He closed his eyes.
Bianca looked at the other in open hurt, before she stood up and bowed at Nico's direction. When she passed by Zoe, the other girl did the same but with pursed lips.
"We'll be leaving then." Zoe said, as she closed the door gently, leaving Nico by himself.
The now immortal child, hugged his knees to his chest biting his lips in frustration.
This was his start to a long forever.
Author's note: Edit version of Chapter I. Nothing of importance was edited, it was an attempt to make the characters more IC. Hope it is to your liking, mistakes are lesser too. The next chapter is about Thalia, forty years later after Nico's descent into immortality.