Honestly, I'm very disappointed in myself. This chapter took me much longer than I ever planned on it taking. I planned to have been up to at least chapter five by now, but I'm just getting the first intermission done. I can already tell that the intermission chapters are gonna' take longer to get out than the others.
Honestly, I have no excuse as to the wait besides the fact that I got disheartened after rewriting this chapter nearly twenty times in two weeks, and then getting distracted by things like Life is Strange (I swear, that game plays subliminal messages that gets you absolute addicted to it) and reading the marvellous stories by Engineer4Ever and Bonesboy15. If you guys ever have the chance, check both of them out. They both write their own Percy Jackson crossovers; E4E generally writing Harry Potter and Percy Jackson crossovers (my favourite being either Consul of the Underworld, or The Unrelenting Frozen Seas) and Bones writing Naruto and Percy Jackson ones (my personal favourite being the Fils de l'Amour series). They also do Reading the Story stories of each other using the canon HoO characters.
Oh, and they're actually treated as a series. So E4E's Reading: Sun's Heir, Death's Guardian/Sound of Madness/Fils de l'Amour are all being read one after the other, as is Bonesboy's Reading The Ever Twisting Wind/The Unrelenting Frozen Seas/Consul of the Underworld. They're actually very fun reads.
Anyway, here's the first intermission! We've got us some Persephone talking to Hestia, Persephone talking to Athena, Persephone's ever so persistent ADHD (caused by my own), and a bit of angst/brooding. So, all in all, a hopefully enjoyable read.
—Hestia's First Person POV—
I watched everyone stand upon hearing my sister's words, my oldest and youngest brother's children all looking at Poseidon's girl curiously before standing themselves. They all walked out of the Hall, the gods from the future following their respective parents. My brother seemed to stay back at first, but when Persephone looked at him, he nodded and left himself, leaving his daughter and I alone.
The girl smiled softly in my direction, her eyes that were formerly more open and expressive closed themselves off again. However, I knew what was behind the curtains she put up. Despite having watched every individual's reactions to certain topics during the readings, Persephone was the girl I'd watched the most. The girl was very much similar to her namesake (the both of them coincidentally being my nieces, though of different fathers) when she thought no one was paying close enough attention. When she was being watched or analysed, much like how my nephews were appraising her earlier, she hid her eyes behind a veil of content mixed with weariness. But when she thought no one was watching, that veil seemed to disappear and she let everything through. The pain, betrayal, everything was visible.
I returned her smile and slowly stood up from the Hearth, the flames parting way for me to step out. I few tendrils wrapped around my form as I shifted into my young-adult form—the form I saved for my family and the ones that I could see needed someone to talk to. Persephone smiled at me gratefully. Had she never seen my child form before? No, that couldn't have been. She had stayed at Camp before, and I resided in all forms of domestic fires.
"For the last several months," Persephone spoke, breaking myself out of my musings, "I've talked to you in the future." Her smile turned weary and melancholic. "Since the end of the Second Gigantomachy and my mom's death, you said you'd talk to me whenever I needed to." The girl's mother died? Despite how expectant it was, Persephone's mother having been the granddaughter of both my niece and father and all, it was still very unfortunate that she had to have died with her daughter at such a young age.
I smiled at her sadly. "I'm sorry, young Persephone." She blushed and pouted. Did I say anything wrong?
"Just Percy, please auntie." I blushed a little myself. She had introduced herself as 'Percy', and all of her friends called her by the name. "'Persephone' is a little too long and formal for me," she grumbled, "among my aunt's little… dislike for demigods." Oh yes, there was always that.
She looked back at me and the veil seemed to disappear again. I smiled softly, she and my future self must be very close, if how she spoke and acted around me were an indicator. Even when speaking to my younger brother, she seemed very guarded and distant. Yet when speaking to her friends, lovers, and even myself, she was much more open. Though I do wonder what happened between the two of us to build that sort of connection in the future.
Her stare seemed to get distant again. "I helped you in the future." Her voice also seemed to be somewhere else, possibly from her own time. Helped me? "Get your throne back," she continued, "from Dionysus."
My eyes widened in shock. "But-But…" I stuttered. I had given my throne up for a reason. Olympus could not have an uneven amount of seats in power. There would be no middle ground, there'd always be a side that would win. I also did not wish for any serious fights between my family—of course, the fights were unavoidable, but hindsight as 20/20 after all. "The balance of Olympus! My family!" I cried.
Perseph—Percy's vision got more distant, and her smile once again changed, though it became mostly melancholic. "Dionysus was removed from the council." What? How did she manage that? Despite how Zeus acted about Dionysus, he did love his son after all. Obviously more than his sister. "Alcohol is no longer a major part of the Western's lifestyle, nor is theatre or ritual madness. It made no sense to keep a deity whose domains are no longer major to Western Civilisation on the Council."
Of course, it made sense. "But, what about Hades?" I asked. "Death and wealth have always been major to the West, and yet my brother—" I may have spat that out on accident, though I am still disappointed and angry that my brother was still not allowed a spot on the council "—still refuses him a seat on the council."
Her smile grew wide this time—the same sort of crooked smile that Poseidon and our father would get. She definitely took after her father and great-grandfather, though hopefully she only got a few quirks from Saturn. I frowned, that smile was the one the two would get when they were planning either a prank or, in father's case, a harsh punishment to anyone that spoke or acted against him. Why would she be smirking now?
Her next words answered my question. "Did I mention that there are now sixteen Seats of Power on the Council?" Wait, hold on. Sixteen seats?
"That's… a lot of seats." Of course, "a lot" was a huge understatement. The Seats of Power represent the ideas and powers that the Western Civilisation held above all others—the Sky and Marriage once being the highest held at the highest in the Pantheon, thus why my siblings held as the King and Queen.
However, because of wishing for the Council to be more controllable, my brother had forbade more than twelve council seats, and made the mortals' minds unable to hold more than twelve ideals and powers above all—a decision that I was, and still am, against.
The girl nodded, maintaining her grin. "Whom all hold seats in your time, then?" I was honestly curious. Had it been anyone else, I'd have just looked into her mind. Yet it seemed impossible to do it to her. It was easy to do it with her companions—yet Percy's mind was sealed tight to me.
She raised her hands to tick them off. "From order of least importance to most importance," she started, looking sick at the word 'importance', "Demeter, Hermes, Ares, Zeus,—" Wait, what? Zeus is only the twelfth important of sixteen? "—Hades, Poseidon,—" I snorted softly. So the Big Three weren't nearly as "big" anymore. "—Artemis, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Apollo,—" Oh Artemis was going to have a hay day when she learns that her brother is more important than her in the modern world. "—Athena, Hera, you,—" Fourth important? Me? Really? "—Nico, Thalia, and…" Percy blushed a little, most likely out of embarrassment. I did raise a curious eyebrow. It wasn't every day that you see a demigod turned Queen of Olympus be embarrassed at being what she was. If Heracles had been the King of Olympus, that boy would be unable to shut his mouth about it. "Well… myself, I guess?"
I stared at her, a little dumbfounded. Zeus wasn't the King of Olympus anymore—Hades (sorry, brother), he wasn't even that important anymore to the West. Neither were any of my other brothers—even Demeter, the sister that had always been worshipped above nearly all of the other Olympians had fallen to among the least important of them.
"H-How did all of that happen?" Not only had the shift in the power structure of the Council been on such a high level, but it had happened so quickly. I'd been watching Poseidon's girl here and there since she'd been born—with my brother's permission, of course—and she was only seven at this point. The future version of that girl looked no older than seventeen, eighteen at most.
"Ten years from now," she started, "after the end of the Second Gigantomachy, Zeus and the rest of the Council all offered us a great boon for assisting Olympus and preventing its demise—for Annabeth, Thalia, Nico, and I, for the second time in our lives. They offered us all a wish, as well as godhood." Of course. My youngest brother was thick-headed and paranoid, but he wasn't an ungrateful idiot. Though his pride did seem to hide that fact. "I was sort of…" she blushed, "…unconscious, for lack of a better word, after using too much energy against Gaea and Polybotes, so I don't know what anyone else's wish was. But I wished for you to get the respect you deserved." I blushed. "Zeus was angry, of course, but I made sure to make the entire Council on the Styx, so he had to go through with it."
I smiled kindly at the girl. "And what made you accept godhood? You don't seem like the type of person that would want to leave behind your mortal companions."
To my surprise, she giggled a little bashfully. "I… well, I didn't accept godhood." Of course she didn't. Wait… then how was she a goddess? And the Queen at that? "I denied godhood, having been the last person to be asked, and instead made another request of the Council."
"And that was…?"
She gave a tiny smile. "I requested that the council make a companionship between the Greek and Roman camps—like a sort of 'study abroad' sort of program, y'know?" I knew, of course. "Roman and Greek half-bloods would be allowed to go between camps for a few weeks a month—make new friends, get training in more combat aspects, things like that. And as a result, I requested that Athena. Annie, and Hephaestus construct a city similar to Nova Roma—Camp Half-Blood's own ΝέαΑθήνα." 'New Athens'? Well, the girl never said she was original. Though I was still confused as to how she was still a goddess when she had turned down godhood. She continued, "Thals, Nico, and Annie all looked upset that I'd turned down godhood—and of course Zeus was pissed that I'd done it a second time. But they grudgingly accepted that it was my decision.
"Later that day, after the celebrations had ended, the Moirai came in order to give my friends their domains." She giggled a little, "I remember Zeus' little bit of anger mixed with pride when he'd heard that Thalia had taken his domains of the Sky, Law, and Justice from him, as well as Jason getting the winds. But I guess, as the God of Lightning and Thunder, he'd still be able to use the winds to his advantage, so he wasn't too angry." I remembered how my youngest brother's shock had been laced with hints of anger as well when his daughter introduced herself, and giggled slightly. "Then they turned to me and glared at me," she shuddered. "Like, they all glared at me as if they wanted me dead.
"Then, they began to speak to me. Atropos said that I wasn't supposed to give up godhood this time." Even before she became the Goddess of Fate, she was still unable to go against the Moirai? "She said something about how it was because of my father, the sea being unrestrained and unpredictable and all that—" I giggled. Poseidon said that a lot whenever he went against Zeus' orders. "—Clotho said something about how she'd spun my String from birth, and how Lachesis made sure Atropos cut it at the right moment—when it came to my choice of taking godhood or not. When Clotho had realised her sister had come to kill me, she had to do something she'd never done before."
What could the Spinner have done to keep her sister, the Inflexible Protogenoi of Fate, from killing the daughter of Poseidon? "They all flashed into the Hall of Clotho began to add thread into my String, prolonging my life." To say I was shocked would be another dramatic understatement. Clotho never took a String and added to it. Khaos made sure the three sisters knew that once Lachesis told Atropos to cut the thread that it was never to be added on to.
"They explained that my survival was crucial to the survival of Olympus and to the West, and so they gave me an ultimatum." Before she even told me, I knew what the ultimatum was. "Either the Olympians offer me immortality and I accept it, or we do nothing and I die right there and watch from the Void as everything I knew and loved got torn down by a revived Kronos and a reawakened Gaea." Her face turned grim as she clenched her fists together, her sea-green eyes flashing gold briefly. "I was so angry, I wanted to shout, 'Why can't I just live out my life happily and grow old with my loved ones!'"
I could feel the ground begin to shake slightly, and placed a comforting hand on the girl's shoulders. Her golden eyes faded back to her sea-green and the ground nearly immediately stopped. She sighed and ran her hands through her hair, looked in my direction, and smiled sadly. "Thanks, auntie, I lost control for a bit." I smiled back and nodded. It seems that becoming a goddess and obtaining her own domains didn't keep her from having access to her inherited powers from Poseidon.
Percy started speaking again before I was able to ask her. "Instead of yelling, I had to grudgingly accept." Her eyes narrowed again. "No matter what I wanted, I couldn't bear to be the cause of the West's end." Her eyes faintly glowed gold again, and I couldn't help but feel bad for the girl. It was obvious she didn't want to live for eternity—or for however long she'd live until she faded. Though, thinking about her domains, the odds of her fading for any reason besides being weakened enough in battle are little to all out non-existent. "And so, there it happened. The Moirai started the christening, and bam, new Goddess of Time and Fate, among other things, and new Queen of Olympus."
She laughed a little and smiled grimly. "Man, was Hera pissed about that." Yes, I imagined she would be angry. My little sister had always liked being in power—having been the youngest daughter. "Even Zeus was upset, but mainly because they then booted him from his position as King." She rolled her eyes. "It's very ironic, if you think about it. The youngest son and daughter of Kronos and Rhea happened to be the most like their father."
I will admit that I laughed a little at the comment, imagining how my younger brother and sister would react if they had heard that.
"Anyway," she continued, "once my christening was over, the change in the power structure of Olympus happened nearly instantly. Apollo's eyes started to glow and a mist came out of his mouth—almost like when the Oracle is possessed by the Oracle of Delphi's spirit, but it was… different somehow." Wait, different? It couldn't have been… Necessity? "He started to speak, but it wasn't his voice, nor the Oracle's voice. It was a much older and much more powerful voice." So it was, "Ananke, the long since faded Protogenoi of Fate and Necessity." I raised a pleased eyebrow at her. It was a little surprising that the girl would know of Ananke, a primordial that faded near the end of the First Age, while nearly the rest of history has forgotten of her existence—even many of the Gods and nigh all of the Titans.
"Ananke spoke through Apollo about how 'change was coming'," Percy continued, the faraway look in her eyes returning, "and how Zeus would need to accept it, or fade." She paused to laugh softly again. "And…" she stopped, her eyes glowing a pale green. The girl cringed and nodded, muttering something much too quiet for even me to hear. "Sorry, auntie," she spoke, "but I can't tell you anymore right now. Lady Ananke wants me to show the Olympians the entirety of the events as a whole later."
I pouted a little, but nodded acceptingly. "I guess you better go," I said. "Your friends must be waiting for you, and you look like you need to eat."
She blushed and looked away a little. "Actually," she whispered, "why don't you go? I'll stay in the Hall for a bit." I gave her a stern look, and she sighed. "Athena's on her way back to the Hall, and I need to ask her about something." I sighed, but nodded, getting up from the hearth. "Have a good lunch, Auntie," she spoke, smiling softly and… sadly at me? "And please, make sure to keep everyone under control, so that they can actually speak as… well," she sighed and smiled whimsically, "as a family." I nodded and smiled at her, turning towards the door and walking out. Before the door closed, I swear I heard her mutter "Khaos knows how long they'll have left to do so."
—Persephone's Third Person POV—
I went back and plopped back onto the loveseat, sighing. I looked around the empty Hall, smiling morosely while reminiscing about my time—could it even be called reminiscing when the memories were about future events? Hades if I know. Everything is in the past for me, even—Nope. Stop right there Percy, none of those depressing thoughts right now. You guys are here to stop that from happening, to make the future you see nothing but… well… a myth. Chaos, how did Khronos and Kronos deal with this?
Maybe always seeing everything is what drove great-grandfather… grandfather… whatever he is to me into that insanity. From what I remember Auntie teaching me, Kronos wasn't always the oppressive douche he turned into. When she were born, Kronos had not yet heard of the prophecy, and so had raised Hestia has if she had been a little Titan, not a godling. Of course, once he had learnt of the prophecy, he quickly devoured Hestia and proceeded to do so to the rest of his children when they were born.
I'm starting to think it wasn't just his lust for power that led him to that decision.
"Everyone wants to know the future," I quietly growled, "never once do they consider the ramifications of having that knowledge."
"Just like when they wish to have true knowledge," Athena's voice sounded from the doors, "yet don't consider the pain and sadness that could come from knowing all."
I glanced up and gave her a wry grin, rebuilding my walls. "So says the Goddess of Knowledge."
"As nothing but a response to the Goddess of Time."
Aaaaaaand, silence. I sighed softly, looking at my great-grandmother's eyes. "You wish to ask me something?" she asked me, arching a regally trimmed brow. Of course. Did she read my mind, or could she just tell? "It was written in your eyes. This is the first time I've read your mind since you've arrived."
I stood wearily. "Yeah," I started, "how is it that my mother didn't know about her being a legacy? Shouldn't she have been attacked, especially since she's a granddaughter of Saturn?"
Athena's eyes narrowed slightly at the Roman name, her form flickering briefly to Minerva—wait, hold up. I never interacted with the Roman council, did the Hall have a different layout during the Roman council meetings? I mean, considering the difference in power structure, and with Bellona replacing Minerva.
"That is a very good question…" Athena muttered, knocking me out of my ADHD ramble. "I'd have to ask your dad if he smelt any bit of immortal blood on her…" Her eyes closed and her brow furrowed. "The Titan ichor may have helped block the scent produced from godly ichor, maybe even have fully cancelled it out. Though… I'm sure that would have made your dad curious."
"Or she may have smelt like a distant legacy, which would explain her being clear-sighted," I added. The theory sounded plausible, but like she said, we'd have to ask my dad. I shrugged. "Sorry, it was just a question I'd been wondering."
The goddess of wisdom stared at me curiously, her eyes surfing over my frame. I arched a brow and cocked my head to the side in confusion. "Sorry," she said, her eyes snapping back to mine. "You're so unlike any other child Poseidon has ever had."
I furrowed my brows in confusion. "That's… well… that's not what you've said about me where I come from." At her curious glance, I continued, "Well, until you learnt I was your legacy, you'd tell me that I was just like all of dad's children."
Athena let lose a "Hmm…" of contemplation. "I assume that was simply my bias towards your father," she admitted. "As you know, Poseidon is not well known for having mortal daughters." Understatement of the millennia. More like he's more well known for generally not having mortal daughters. "Of course, there were Aethusa and Kymopoleia, but those two are the only ones whose names the Muses still sing of these days. Songs that only we on Olympus hear."
Oh yes, my two sisters—one of which birthed Eleuther to Apollo, and the other married Briareos (though I think he was going by the name Aegaeon at the time) after the First Gigantomachy. I've never met my sisters, nor do I ever meet them in my timeline. I think because they're either dead or faded… Honestly, I'd rather have died than have been cursed to fade eventually. At least I knew that when I died I'd be forgotten nearly instantly, like my sister Euadne, as compared to slowly being forgotten about. Though, I'd probably end up like Khronos and just fall into a slumber somewhere in the river of Time, considering the immortality that is Time itself.
I shivered a little. Hopefully I didn't go out like my sister Lamia. I'd quite like to not be cursed into being a monster by a vengeful goddess. Could gods even be turned into monsters?
"Persephone?" Athena's voice knocked me out of my thoughts, with me responding with an automatic, "Percy."
"Uhh…" I scratched the nip of my neck sheepishly. "Sorry… We haven't been immortals for that long, we're really only baby immortals to you guys, so our ADHD is still there."
The answer seemed to placate her, and then she smiled. "And just so you know, gods cannot be turned into monsters unless the Moirai or Khaos will it so." I think it went unsaid that she didn't know of any time when a deity was turned into an immortal monster, and really, I couldn't think of one either.
Any other bit of conversation that could have happened was instantly cut off by a massive rumbling in the Hall. Both my and Athena's eyes snapped to attention as we tried to sense the cause.
"I assume you're not the one causing this?" she asked a little hysterically. And honestly, if I weren't feeling a little similar, I probably would have chuckled or something at her face.
But I wasn't much better.
"N-No! And it's not dad either!"
Okay, so I guess I was a bit more hysterical than she let on. What of it? I'm sorry that I don't have a very tight hold on my emotions after recently getting out of Tartarus and seeing—
My dad burst the doors to the Hall open. "Percy! Stop this earthquake!" Oh gee, thanks dad. If only I'd have thought of that, or was even causing the quake in the first place.
Though before I could sass him, the three of us were tossed out of the Hall by… something. Truly, how rude. You're supposed to wait 'till someone's done with being snarky before interrupting. Ugh, the nerve of those primordial forces. Was there a primordial of gravity, or does that just fall into Lady Khaos' domain?
"WHAT IN THE NAME OF HADES IS HAPPENING!"
"WHY DO YOU INSIST ON USING MY NAME!"
Oh, right. The crowd of flustered gods and the whole earthquake in the Hall situation. Damn you, ADHD. Damn you to the deepest level of the Pit.
Actually, no. I don't need a hyperactive Primordial of Creation and Destruction that couldn't pay attention to anything for longer than a few minutes at most. I'd truly fear for existence.
Oh, and the earthquake stopped. Well isn't that nice of whoever caused it?
Khaos I need sleep. Now I understand why Apollo and Athena, despite her strict persona, never seemed to be 'there' during council meetings. Always knowing and seeing everything really gets tiring and truly wears the will down to nothing. So happy that we don't have our thrones, or else—
"Hey guys, it's the Hall from our time!"
…Damn you Khaos.
Sooooooo, what'd you guys think? Hope you all enjoyed the awkward blending of different accounts of mythology—like my using the account of Aethusa being a mortal daughter of Poseidon, instead of a daughter born to Poseidon by Alcyone (but was still bedded by Apollo). And the Moirai was a fun situation, considering there are three varying accounts of the three sisters of Fate. As you can see, I decided to blend Hesiod's "The Theogony" and Plato's "Republic"—making them daughters of Nyx and the protogenoi of Fate, while having them only take up that mantle because Ananke, the original protogenoi of Fate faded eons before the series.
Hope everyone enjoyed by totally not bullshit and totally not plot hole filler explanation as to why Sally didn't have to deal with monsters before Persephone was born. Really, if you think about it the way that I did, it's actually pretty logical. I couldn't find any records of mortal children born of Titans (besides the ones like Hecate and such, deities that have just been accepted as third generation deities instead of the second generation that they are), so the scent would be both familiar while also being unfamiliar—Persephone's granddad didn't smell like a demigod, but he still smelt like a demi-deity, Saturn. And I doubt the monsters would be very keen on attacking anyone that smelt like the Crooked One, even demi-deities.
The entire hierarchy used for the Olympians was a huge issue with me. I get that people would be thinking that, with someone like Persephone as the Queen of Olympus, there'd be no hierarchy, with all the deities being as important as the other. Unfortunately, that's not so. Persephone understands that Olympus depends entirely on Western Civilisation. And unfortunately, the West does not believe that everything is equal. There are concepts, ideals, and even Earthly elements that people hold above the others—for example, loyalty and family. Both are extremely important concepts to the West, yet many would hold loyalty above family, whether it be loyalty to your friends, to your country, to your ideals, whatever.
Crafting the hierarchy required quite a bit of thought and consideration, with one major question—what concepts do the West believe in the most? As is stated earlier, Time and Fate are essentially eternal, thus Persephone became the Queen. I put Nico and Thalia at the top for actually rather simple reasons—Thalia's basically taken Zeus and Ourenos' place as the Ruler of the Heavens, while also representing the law and justice. Nico represents Darkness (a domain that humans are naturally afraid of) and Fear in general. Grudges and fear both can easily make humans lose control of themselves.
And then from there, it was all about the base ideals of the West—equality, peace, a sense of love and home, technological and mental advancement, etc. I was very tempted to move Hera lower, especially after the whole Ashley Madison issue. But decided against it, if purely to spite Zeus. Besides, I don't mind Hera. She may be a bitch to the demigods, but considering she's the Goddess of Marriage, and many demigods are born outside of marriage, it makes sense why she instinctually hates them. It's just amplified for children of Zeus/Jupiter.
And… I think that's it for now. The next chapter will be the Hall from Persephone's time, as well as a recount of what happened when they all became deities. That should be up… preferably sometime in the next week or two, it will most likely be longer though because I'm also working on Child of Greece and Rome, as well as a new Life is Strange fic. I have the prologue for that done, so that should also be up sometime later today (to see if people are actually interested in reading).