A/N: Okay, I promise you that there will be plenty of PersephoneXHades in the next chapter! Promise!
But until then, you will just have to make due with this! 😀
Persephone found herself unsurprised when she’d learned about her mother’s banishment. Truthfully speaking she actually thought that her mother had gotten off rather easily considering that she’d accused one of the three grand rulers.
At part of Persephone even thought that perhaps her mother had gotten off too easily. It had just been such a horrible thing to do!
Persephone had been so angry that she’d at first even refused to accept Demeter’s invitation for lunch. Her refusal had promptly been met with a second letter, which had brought tears to her eyes. Her mother wrote about the nightmares that she’d suffered when Persephone had been away, she’d written how it hurt her to her very core to see her own daughter turn against her, and she’d written how she would surely wilt away to nothing if she lost Persephone’s love. Persephone had given in and accepted the invitation, which was how she was currently finding herself sitting at the dining table that she remembered from her childhood.
“A bit more fruit, dear?” Demeter asked her kindly, and Persephone nodded willingly, accepting the offered strawberries.
“Thank you, mother,” she said absent-mindedly, unable to stop thinking about her earlier meeting with Hades. It seemed like they had talked for hours about nothing and everything. When he’d learned that she wished that she was more well-read, he’d even suggested some works that he thought she might like. And immediately hereafter offered to lend them to her. But despite the fact that she was so clearly less experienced than him in just about every corner of life, he had still seemed so honestly interested in every opinion that she’d dared to share. It’d been… nice. She still found herself unable to completely forget the kiss they’d shared. That’d been nice too.
The sound of someone knocking forced her out of her daydreaming, and Persephone could only stare at the door in shock. Nobody ever visited here unless invited. Demeter had made sure of that centuries ago.
“Be a dear and open the door, Kore, will you?”
Persephone pulled herself out of her stupor. “Of course mother,” she said automatically and went to the door to find Hermes of all gods on the other side.
“Hermes!” she exclaimed. “Whatever are you doing here?”
Hermes grinned sheepishly at her, looking rather like a small child who’d been caught with his hand still in the cookie jar. “Well, to be completely honest I’ve come to apologise,” he said. “I admit, it’s rather late to do so, and I’ll admit I’ve been rather embarrassed by my own behaviour. Haven’t wanted to face you to say the truth.”
“Embarrassed?” Persephone repeated incomprehensibly, finding it the last word she’d ever connect with the mischievous god.
“Well, yes, apologies don’t come easy to me. I hope you’ll forgive me?”
“Of course,” she answered confusedly. “I just don’t understand what you’re apologising for.”
“Well, you see, I was the one Zeus send in order to bring you home and all. And well, when Hades demanded a last goodbye, I didn’t refuse him. Which I probably should have had. Get what I’m saying? I can’t help but think that if I have, he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to force you to eat the pomegranate, and you’d be free of him forever. So I want to tell you I’m sorry.”
“I… see,” Persephone said slowly, unable to decipher what she was feeling. She supposed that Hermes did have a point, but he couldn’t possibly have known what would happen. Not to mention that seven months underground didn’t seem as awful as it once had. “I forgive you,” she finally said, because she didn’t know what else she could say.
Hermes grinned at her, clearly pleased beyond measure, and Persephone couldn’t help but notice that he had a nice smile. Open and free. Unlike Hades’, which always seemed oddly private and secretive. It wasn’t however Hermes’ smile that made her stomach clench uncomfortably.
“I guess these are overkill then?” Hermes asked jokingly, handing her a bouquet of periwinkles.
“Oh, no – not at all. They were my favourite flowers as a child,” Persephone assured him, accepting them with a kind smile. “I’ll just find some water to put them in.”
“Invite him in,” Demeter’s voice sounded behind her. Persephone gaped at her. She couldn’t in her wildest dreams had imagined Demeter willingly allow a man into her sacred home. And while Persephone was present no less!
“Of course, mother,” she said, turning back to Hermes. “If you want to of course,” she added quickly.
Hermes grinned easily. “No, thank you,” he said. “I’m afraid I must get going. But perhaps you’ll follow me a bit of the way?”
Persephone fidgeted nervously. “I’m afraid that mother won’t allow that,” she admitted embarrassingly. Somehow it was harder to go against Demeter while in her childhood home.
“No, you go along with him,” Demeter said to her great shock.
“Go with him. It’ll be impolite to just let him travel alone. But take a shawl with you. It’s chilly outside.”
The last comment was so very Demeter that the rest of the sentence seemed even more misplaced than it already was. But perhaps her mother was trying to make up for her earlier accusation against Hades. Persephone had made it clear to her that she was displeased. Yes, that was probably it. Demeter wanted her forgiveness back and was willing to allow her a bit more freedom in return.
Relieved that she once again understood the world, Persephone obediently found a shawl and followed Hermes out the front door.
“I hope I wasn’t disturbing,” Hermes said after a short while.
“No, not at all,” Persephone assured him. “I actually wanted to go for a walk.”
“Well, why didn’t you though?”
Persephone blushed. “Mother wouldn’t allow it,” she admitted. “Not alone at least. And when I’m visiting it’s just kind of easier to… well, you know.”
“Let her get her way?” Hermes grinned. “I imagine so. I suppose there’s a whole lot of things Demeter won’t allow you to do. Fun things as well, I’ll bet.”
“Yes,” Persephone said slowly, beginning to feel suspicious. Did he want something that he supposed that Demeter would be against?
“Such as gossip?” Hermes suggested.
Persephone stopped. “Gossip?”
Hermes nodded. “Demeter has always been very against it,” he told her. “Says that peoples’ lives are private. But gossip is just so very thrilling. Would you like to hear some?”
Persephone hesitated. Demeter had tried to teach her that gossip was only harmful, but Persephone had lived a whole life unable to hear most of the otherwise poorly hid secrets that everybody else seemed to share. She’d always felt outside, hearing about stuff centuries after the other gods. She’d been jealous, and there was something wonderfully scandalous about the idea.
“Yes,” she said. “I do. Do you have any?”
Hermes’ eyes twinkled merrily. “Do I have any?!” he exclaimed, sounding positively insulted. “Why, nobody has as much gossip as me in any of the many worlds! By Zeus, you wouldn’t believe half of what I have to share! Which is ironic because almost half of it is indeed about Zeus! I’ve got scandalous stories that’ll make you blush to your toes!”
“Really?” Persephone asked, unable to mask the excitement in her voice. It was thrilling to have someone letting her in on the secrets. She’d never had someone do that before.
“I swear,” Hermes solemnly promised, before he lowered his voice and told Persephone some of the most scandalous and immoral tales she’d ever heard.
She loved every single one of them.