Hades & Persephone
Part 1: Hades' Longing
He was creeping around the large vines willow, observing her every move. There was much shadow about the large tree that nobody need know he were there. From there in the darkness, out of sight of the sun and Helios, he watched.
She frolicked so gracefully in that field, it was captivating. Her breathing, light and quick, for she had been running around so much with her companions, Athena and Artemis, who were less pretty than Persephone was, herself. Persephone had this aura about her, this stubbornness but innocence that was so enthralling, one could not help but stare.
Hades moved an inch or so closer, for a better look at the goddess. They were in the meadow of Henna; she came here often to pick violets, larkspur, and her favourites, tiger lilies. As he moved, Persephone had knelt down to pick up a beautiful rose, as deeply red as could be. It complimented her skin so completely, for she was quite fair and her hair was a lovely auburn, fierce and fiery with the intensity of the rose.
Hades had longed for this day.
He was, after all, Lord of the Underworld. He would be a very fitting suitor for the young goddess. He had armies of undead at his command, he was in league with Thanatos, god of Death, whom he could persuade to do his bidding and collect more minions for his grand underworld. He also was extremely wealthy; he could buy almost anything and anyone he wanted. Why, even at this very moment, if he wished so, he could collect together a dozen of the most beautiful undead women and have them all for himself.
“But I do not desire the undead. It is her I hunger for…”
His large hands found their way to his belt, where his helmet resided, waiting to rejoin the thick, black hair on his head. He shook back his long curls to make way for his helmet, sculpted from the finest precious metals mined from the Earth, and all at once, he became transparent. Nothing could see him now, not even the god of the sun, Helios.
Hades rode alone on one of his large Friesians, his companion for many ages, Aethon. He was a stallion fit for a king; swifter than any arrow, and large and as black as night. Zeus did not expect him tonight, however, his presence will be known by him alone on this quiet spring evening.
From up atop his mountain, Zeus looked out, watching the many events occurring in that moment. It was quite a surprise when Zeus saw the black horse makes its way, from miles away, as it galloped up to Mount Olympus. Even though he could not see its rider, he knew there must be one and there must be a purpose to this visit. That horse could only belong to one god.
Zeus turned around and called for Demeter. He knew she would not like the thought of his brother coming to bid his good will upon them both.
“Yes, darling? What is it?” She was lovely; fair, with auburn hair, not unlike that of their daughter, sweet, but cold when she must be. But above all, Demeter was loving, so loving, indeed, that she was almost inseparable from her family and duties. She was the goddess of the harvest, who brought with her good weather and fertility to plant and reap the many crops that the men of Earth must gather for her and her husband.
“It is evening now, you would do well to collect our daughter from the meadow.” His voice was powerful but gave no hint of a second reason to rid her for the moment. He wanted a private conversation with his brother, and Demeter would certainly not approve of anything Hades had to say to them.
Zeus could hear the thundering of hooves draw nearer and he swept around to his garden, awaiting his brother’s arrival. At last, the horse came to a halt right before the king of thunder, rearing up slowly to allow space before him and the god.
Hades attached his helmet to his belt again, after he dismounted. He then whispered to Aethon, and the horse galloped back down the mountain and out of sight. Hades faced his brother with a look of pride and meaning and spoke.
“Hades.” Zeus replied.
Hades was silent for a few moments, perhaps recollecting his thoughts and organizing his next few words with caution, as to not offend his brother. Though, older he was in age, Zeus now held much more responsibility and was given higher favour than Hades was among the gods and goddesses.
“What brings you to Mount Olympus, dear brother?” Zeus was getting quite impatient. Hades was his brother, however, brothers did not always get along. Especially when one brother was bent on power and raising an army of dead that could one day outshine the living.
“I am here to ask your permission for Persephone.” Hades’ voice was cool, but there was just the slightest hint of lust and the fear of the unknown.
Although Zeus knew what his brother’s request would be, he was still a little shocked by his asking. “I have known you for a long time, my brother. I have also known that my daughter might do well with you. You are wealthy and powerful. And of course, you are my brother, making you no less great in this world or any other. We rule together, though you seek to take lives, and I to keep them. We keep things in harmony, as they should be.
However, I must warn you, although Persephone might give you her love, you will never gain Demeter’s trust.”
Hades was thoughtful at this incentive, however, enraged that Demeter should not allow him this one pleasure. “You mean to say, you would give me your daughter, so long as I convince the mother that Persephone shall be mine?”
“This is how it would be. Demeter is very attached to her daughter and I fear any upset to her relationship with Persephone should bring a downfall to a great many things, our offerings included. You would not want to upset the other gods, Hades. As powerful as you are, there are too many of them.”
Hades knew his brother spoke truth in his words, but his rage got the best of him. Hades let out a high-pitched whistle, as loud as a wolf’s howl, and out from the ground came his fiery chariot, the four black stallions pulling it out of the Earth.
Zeus called out to his brother as Hades made to get into his chariot, “Don’t lose your temper, elder brother! We shall convince Demeter together!”
However, Hades was not set to engage in half-hearted talks with his brother. He took the reins and whipped his horses, commanding them to vanish back below the surface of the earth, as a single thought occurred to him. He knew his brother loved Demeter far too much to force her into giving the god of the underworld their daughter.