A/N: Third chapter. Writing these longer things are… odd. Hope that they’re well received though! 🙂
Absence made the heart grow fonder.
It was one of the mortals’ expressions that Persephone had found to be completely true.
She had missed her mother dearly in her time underground. She’d missed her cooking, her company, her hugs, her protection. She’d missed her mother’s unconditional love.
Her mother was just generally a very… mothering kind of person.
But by no longer being separated by Hades’ cruelty, Persephone came to remember that her mother was also very, very annoying.
Mostly it was just that she was being overprotective. Extremely so. And refused to realise that Persephone wasn’t a little child any longer. She was a grown woman, though Demeter refused to acknowledge the fact. Something that was made painfully obvious when Persephone got home to find that her bed had been moved into her mother’s room.
She looked at it in horror. She’d missed her bed with the cotton sheets in a pale yellow, so different from the silken ones she’d been given in the Underworld. She’d looked forward to sleeping in it again, but that was when she’d thought she would also get her own room.
“Mother!” she said, struggling for words.
“What is my bed doing in your room?”
“Well, I moved it in here, of course. Can’t have you sleeping alone after the awful, awful things you’ve gone through. Though I suppose…” Demeter hesitated. “I can only imagine the traumas you must have been experiencing. You must suffer from the most horrendous nightmares. Perhaps it would be better if we shared a bed.”
“What? No! Mother, I’m not a child. I can’t share my mother’s bed. My friends don’t even live with their mother, let alone sleep with her. It’s… it’s weird.”
A strangled sob cut her off. Her mother’s eyes were glistening with tears, and Persephone knew her mother well enough to know that she was few short minutes away from breaking down in tears. She had forgotten how melodramatic she could be.
“My, darling, my pretty darling,” Demeter began with a quivering voice. “You are not your friends. You were forced into marriage with the most horrendous creature to ever exist. And all I get is… is five months.” The first couple of tears escaped, and Persephone couldn‘t help but feel guilty. Though she’d been miserable underground she could only imagine the horror her mother had gone through, not knowing what was happening to her. It was something no parent should ever go through.
“I’m sorry, mother,” she said, contrite. “I was being insensitive. I suppose sleeping together for a couple of nights won’t hurt any.”
Her mothers tears immediately disappeared, and she smiled brilliantly at her daughter.
“You’re such a sweet child. Now lets burn those clothes.”
Persephone frowned, sure she must have misheard. “What?”
“They’ve been in the Underworld,” Demeter explained as if it was obvious. “I don’t want you to have anything that could serve as memories of that… that awful place.”
Silently Persephone wondered how her mother would have reacted if she’d come dressed in any of the colourful, luxurious fabrics of the Underworld. Better not to know probably. Still, burning her clothes would hardly hurt anyone, and so she didn’t protest when her mother helped her out of her garments and into one of the many white dresses that Persephone had despised her entire life.
She allowed her mother to dress her up like a doll, and willingly looked on as her mother went through her luggage, burning every item as she went. Though wasteful, she wasn’t going to miss them. And it was easier to just let her mother have her way. At least until Demeter came to the book of the Underworld.
Catching sight of the book, Demeter’s face contracted in fury and it was only Persephone’s reflexes that caused the book to not immediately be thrown into the fire with the rest of her stuff.
Demeter turned towards her with a shocked expression, and Persephone chose her words carefully. She would rather avoid a breakdown.
“I’d rather keep that, Mother. I promise that there are no unfortunate memories attached to it, and so far I’ve found it rather informative. I would rather like a chance to finish it.”
“Informative?! Kore, it’s a book about the Underworld!”
“I’m aware.” Persephone struggled to keep the annoyance out of her voice. “A place that I’m required to live in for seven months every year. It is only logical to learn as much about it as I can.”
A lot of what she was saying was almost identical to what Hades had told her when he’d first presented to book to her, but Persephone preferred not to tell her mother that. It would hardly help her case.
“There’s no need for you to learn anything about that dreadful place,” Demeter said firmly. “I will try to find a way for you to not ever have to go back there, and I will not have you talk about it as if it was inevitable. You are just a little girl, Kore dear. You shouldn’t worry about these things. Let your mother worry about decisions like that. I’m sure you’d much rather chat with your friends and dance than read a boring book anyway.” And with these words the book was thrown into the fire.
Persephone gasped. It wasn’t the first time her mother had taken a decision out of Persephone’s hands, but she usually didn’t go directly against her daughter’s expressed wishes. Usually Demeter took her time to convince her daughter why she’d been right all along, and Persephone – knowing her mother was far more experienced than her in almost every aspect of life – acquainted.
But she couldn’t agree on burning a book simply because it was about a place Demeter hated. Her mother didn’t even know the book was from Hades. With a resigned sigh Persephone agreed to never bring anything with her from the Underworld ever again. If nothing else then burning perfectly fine stuff was terribly wasteful.
Unable to completely suppress her annoyance with her mother, Persephone followed her willingly to the dining room nonetheless. Here the table was filled with all the dishes Persephone had loved in her childhood, and her irritation with her mother simply melted away. Sure, her mother could be overbearing at times, but she loved her.
Even though she did have the remind herself at times.