A/N: Okay, for the first time I have actually decided to write something longer, which means that it will be split up. This is the first part of my story Loved By Death, a fanfiction of the myth of Hades and Persephone.
Please take the time to review, either good or bad. Thanks!!
Ironically enough it was Demeter who finally got Persephone to forgive her husband.
When Hades had first taken her, Persephone had been furious. How dared he to grab her off the ground as if she was some mere mortal? She was a goddess, daughter of two out of the six Originals. She was the goddess of Spring, born by the goddess of the Earth and sired by the King of Gods and Ruler of the Sky. She wasn’t some man’s mere plaything.
It hadn’t helped much to realise that she wasn’t there to please Hades. At least in that way. No, instead she found that the King of the Underworld, Ruler of Death, had fallen in love with her, however ludicrous the thought might be. He hadn’t taken her in order to force her to share his bed. He took her with the plan to marry her, to make her Queen of the Underworld.
But still, Persephone was furious. She screamed and raged, cried and did everything in her power to make him miserable. Every gift that he sent her was either sent back unopened or only reluctantly accepted, every plea to talk went unanswered. She refused to eat or to let him show her around her new home. Instead she barricaded herself in her new rooms, ignoring him and his many attempts to reach her. He tried persuasion, anger and finally pleading, but the Lord of the Underworld was unable to make his own wife speak a single word to him.
Persephone wanted her husband to be miserable and she succeeded immensely well.
She wasn’t the only thing that he had to worry about either. He still had his many duties as King of the Underworld, and these duties only grew as Demeter raged over her lost daughter. Thousands of mortals died every day of starvation as Demeter refused to serve her duty as the Goddess of the Earth. Finally Zeus had had enough, and he sent Hermes as a messenger to the Underworld with the explicit order not to return without Persephone.
Hades received the messenger with grim determination. He told Hermes – didn’t ask, never asked, because the only person Hades had ever asked anything of was his wife – that he would send Persephone with him after one last goodbye.
Thinking that Hades merely wanted one last quick round in the sheets with his wife, and unwilling to refuse the feared Lord anything, Hermes willingly agreed to wait.
For the first time ever Hades barged into Persephone’s room without at least trying to ask for permission – a question that had always gone unanswered anyway – and ignored her indignant command that he immediately leave.
”I love you,” he vehemently told her.
Persephone shot him a look filled with disgust. ”And I hate you,” she answered.
Hades merely laughed bitterly. ”I‘m quite aware, my dear wife,” he told her. “But nevertheless then I have no intention to lose you. To anyone. Even the King of Gods.”
Persephone’s eyes widened. “Zeus have commanded that you release me,” she guessed, the hope and joy evident in her voice. It hurt Hades even more than her earlier declaration of hatred.
Triumph was clear in her face. “Even you can’t go against Zeus,” she told him.
“And there are laws even Zeus can’t go against,” her husband answered her.
Persephone frowned. Which laws? She supposed that he could try to force her to make an oath on Styx, but she knew that he wouldn’t succeed. She was too stubborn, wanted to leave too badly.
Instead Hades went to a bowl of fruit standing on a nearby table. He’d made sure there was always food freely available for Persephone in the hope that his wife would one day actually eat something. Now, however, he had no more time to spare for waiting.
Picking of a pomegranate at random he tore it open and bit into it, careful not to swallow, and turned towards his reluctant wife. In three strides he was at her side and he kissed her.
It wasn’t like he’d imagined their first kiss to be like. He’d imagined that he’d slowly win Persephone over, get her to fall in love with him, and their first kiss would be gentle, sweet and, most importantly, consensual.
Instead his own wife struggled against him as he pressed her against his chest, a firm hand holding her head still. She bit him, and the metallic taste of blood mixed with the juice of the pomegranate. Still he kissed her until he was sure that the seeds had slid down her throat, sealing her destiny. Only then did he let her go.
Persephone pushed him away with horror written across her face. She knew the unwritten rules as well as he did. No one who had eaten the food of the Underworld could leave it. He’d won.
Except, looking at her wounded face, he felt like anything but a winner.
As expected it didn’t go smoothly from there. Zeus was furious, Demeter even more so. She didn’t care about the unwritten rules, she wanted her daughter home with her; safe from her beast of a husband.
Zeus, however, overruled her. “She ate the fruit of the underworld,” he told his sister and former lover. “I cannot force Hades to give her up. However,” he added as he saw that she was about to protest. “You shall have her back. You daughter ate seven seeds and for seven months she shall remain with her husband. For the remaining five she shall be with you.”
He turned towards Hades. “You will not force or trick her to eat anymore of the Underworld’s food,” he ordered. “You have gotten your wat, and as Persephone has been with you for a bit over eight months, it is now Demeter’s turn.”
Hades considered refusing. He considered threatening Zeus with a war if he didn’t give him what he wanted. But then he thought of his wife, and the loathing in her eyes, which just barely covered her misery. He knew that she was feeling homesick. Hopefully letting her return for a short time would help alleviate this and not merely give Demeter time to pit his own wife against him.
Still he needed one assurance.
“On one condition,” he said. “If I can neither force or trick or persuade Persephone to eat the food of my world, then Demeter cannot do the same to make her daughter take the vow of the virgin goddess.”
Zeus startled. “The virgin goddess? You can’t take that vow without being untouched, and surely you have already…” his voice died out as he realised the truth. “You haven’t slept with her.” It was clear that this was simply incomprehensible to the insatiable Zeus.
Hades didn’t answer, and he knew that Zeus wondered if there were truth to the rumours that he was also dead from the waist down. He could have told him that the exact opposite was truth, that he yearned to make love to his wife, dreamed of it, but refused to do so by force. He could have said all of this, but he stayed silent.
Zeus cleared his throat awkwardly. “Very well. Demeter, I forbid you from forcing, persuading, tricking or even asking Persephone to take the vow of the virgin goddess or any similar vow.”
Demeter made a move to protest, but a single glance from Zeus silenced her. The King of Gods then turned towards his brother.
“You have until sunrise,” he told him. “I suggest you spend the remaining hours with your wife.”
Hades nodded gravely. “Very well,” he told his brother. “I shall send her up tomorrow.”
And pretend that his heart didn’t ache painfully at the mere thought.
One thought on “Loved By Death; Chapter 1”
Reblogged this on The Spirit of Writing and commented:
This is a reblog post of the first chapter: Loved By Death by Maria Sjöstrand