Disclaimer – I do not own the characters. They are credited to Rick Riordan and ancient Greeks. This is in response to a challenge in the forum – CAMP JUPITER.
Chapter 1) – Of Impulsiveness and Power (Red)
Chapter 2) – Of Virtue and Life (Green)
Chapter 3) – Of Serenity and Faith (Violet)
Sisters of the Spectrum
Of Serenity and Faith
Rhea, the queen of Titans lay in her bed, her hands tightly clutching the tiny bundle in front of her chest. She was still in disbelief that this was her baby. The little girl had a light dusting of freckles on her cheeks and tiny auburn hair on her head.
Standing up carefully, with the baby tucked in her arms, she walked to the throne room where she assumed Kronos would be. With the guards escorting her, she stepped into the chamber. Kronos looked at her and beckoned her to sit on her throne.
"Rhea, how are you and the child doing? Have you decided what to name her?"
"My lord, both I and the child are in good health." Rhea spoke in a joyous tone. "As for the name, I think it is befitting to call her Hestia, 'the fire which provides'."
Kronos looked pleased at her decision. He stood up and offered his hand to Rhea, helped her up, and took the baby in his arms.
"Titans" Kronos bellowed, his voice reaching every corner of Mount Othrys, "All hail Hestia, the eldest of my offspring and the heir to my throne.
Before their brethren could erupt in cheers, the earth began to shake violently and a strong gust of wind blew into the room. In a gravelly sound, two voices, one male and one female spoke together –
"Not so soon Kronos." The voices cackled, "This was our fate and this shall be yours too. Your children will overthrow you just like you overthrew us. Rejoice, dear son, you bane has arrived."
Kronos growled. His demeanour changed and his eyes flashed with rage. He began growing in size till he towered over them. He lifted Hestia by her blankets and held her above his head.
Rhea gasped, the sound of her shriek breaking the shocked silence around them.
"N-no no, Uranus and Gaea are lying. Kronos do not believe them." She pleaded. "Do not harm her , she is our child. She cannot bring you any harm." Tears escaped her eyes when she heard the loud wails of her newborn daughter.
"No" Kronos shouted. "This child you have borne is my curse. She is a threat to my rule. Any child you bear cannot be allowed to survive."
Rhea had a tortured look in her eyes, and she started shreiking loudly, as if all the spirits had possessed her at once. She now looked at Hestia with an angry gaze, all love and affection lost in her eyes.
The last thing the newborn goddess remembered was her mother screaming at her, "This is all your fault." An all-encompassing darkness smothered her. She hoped that she could see light once again.
Hestia sat in front of her hearth in the centre of the Olympian throne room. She had a throne but she preferred to sit here as it brought her closer to her domain. She felt peaceful and satisfied when she witnessed mortals enjoying a hearty meal with their families.
Hera had always preached that every woman longed to marry and have children but Hestia felt no desire for these things. Yes, she believed that families were important but binding herself to another person felt scary to her.
When she thought of marriage, all she could remember was the torture her own mother had experienced and the pain Hera was facing now. She still had nightmares of Kronos swallowing her and her siblings, and that memory destroyed the longing for motherhood in her.
Hestia thought of her mother's first words to her, - 'This is all your fault.' A mortal child may not remember such things, but her powers as a goddess let her remember everything. It was more of curse than a blessing for Hestia. She had always felt that if her own mother could not love her, then no one else would.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when she felt someone calling her name. She turned around and saw that it was Poseidon. The sea god had been frequently visiting her nowadays and while she loved meeting her brother, she was a bit suspicious.
"Poseidon, what are you doing here?"
"Hestia, how are you? I came by to visit you. It has been too long since we saw each other."
Hestia was surprised. She spoke cautiously, "Brother, we saw each other in the council meeting this morning."
Poseidon looked unsatisfied with her statement. He was about to say something when a bright flash appeared behind him.
"Lady Hestia, what a pleasure to see you today. You are glowing with beauty, just like the flames you foster."
Hestia was even more surprised now. She was the silent goddess, the unnoticed, unimportant one. She was not used to compliments. Something was not right here. She felt out of place. She was jolted out of her thoughts when she heard a loud bang.
"APOLLO" Poseidon thundered, turning to face the younger god, a huge wave of water crashing against the marble floor. "How dare you interrupt us? Can you not see that Hestia is speaking to me?"
"Ha! don't jest, old man. Lady Hestia would not even consider speaking to you when I am present."
A feeling of dread crept into the goddess's mind. Everything was a blur now. Poseidon had summoned his trident and was threatening Apollo. Apollo was also armed with his bow, ready to shoot at the slightest provocation. Both were boasting on how she favoured them and would agree to marry them.
She realised then that a she was nothing more than a trophy for them; an achievement meant to be the symbol of their strength. They did not truly love or admire her. They just longed to possess her and that was one thing she could never allow.
She rose from her seat and sent a torrent of flames between the arguing gods. They jumped back in surprise. She then spoke, her voice serene but powerful.
"I Hestia, the eldest daughter of Kronos and Rhea swear on the name of my immortality and the domains I hold sacred that I shall remain a virgin till I exist. No man may seek my hand in marriage and I shall be exempt from the clutches of love. "
A bright flash of lightning struck the ground, sealing the oath. Hestia felt as if the centuries-old chains that had always brought fear and pain were now broken. She was free.
The two gods looked at her with betrayal flashing through their eyes, but Hestia paid no heed to them. Her mind was resounding with a single thought – 'She was free'.
The atmosphere in the Olympian throne room was tense. The Gods were discussing the gigantic problem which had descended on them in the form of Typhon. They had defeated him once, but now, they had to fight without Poseidon and Hades.
Zeus rose from his throne and held up his hand, silencing the council. His voice was tense, and his forehead was creased with worry. It seemed as if all the Olympians had aged at least a decade.
"It is time. We must face Typhon now or too many mortals would be harmed."
Athena, battle-clad in her celestial bronze armour voiced her doubts. Her voice was laced with worry. She was not sure they would succeed.
"This will not be easy, father. Without Lord Poseidon and Hades here, the battle will be even more difficult. All of us must go to war."
"I know that." Zeus scowled. "But Olympus cannot be left undefended. The demigods are strong, but Kronos is stronger. Defeating him will not be easy for our children."
In midst of all this chaos, the flame of the hearth grew and an aura of calmness seemed to radiate throughout the throne room. Hestia stood up from her seat and glowed, taking the form of an young woman.
"I will stay back. It is my responsibility to guard the hearth. The flame of the west must not be harmed. It is your duty to fight and mine to protect. "
Hestia had always preferred peace, but she knew that now there was no other choice. War was inevitable. She could feel the hope waning from the hearts of the demigods. She had to stay back and try to preserve what was left of that hope.
The Gods did not argue with her. One after the other, they summoned their chariots and rode away towards Typhon. Even the peaceful ones like Hera and Demeter were fully armed. There was no time to waste. This war would determine the very existence of the Gods.
Percy ran into the elevator, Pandora's jar clutched tightly in his arms and inserted the key-card which would take him to Olympus. Prometheus had told him that there was a single spirit in it – Elpis, the symbol of hope. They had told him to release Elpis when he was ready to surrender.
In the past few days, he had been tempted to open the jar but he knew that when Elpis was released, it meant that all hope is lost. No matter how hard they fought, it would be impossible to win without hope. The jar was not safe in his hands and he knew just the person he could entrust it to.
The first thing Percy noticed was the gloomy darkness surrounding the throne room. The thrones were empty and the room seemed lifeless. He could see a small light in the centre of the room and walked towards it.
The central hearth which always blazed with tall flames was reduced to small embers. It was as if the fluttering flames were trying to spread their warmth into the vast room. A figure sat before the flames, desperately trying to rekindle the flames.
"Lady Hestia" He called to her in a nervous voice.
Hestia looked surprised to see him. She had not expected him to come here. She looked tired and her eyes were swollen. She had not rested for a single moment out of fear that the flame would go out.
"What are you doing here, child?" She asked him. Even now, her voice seemed to soothe Percy and erase all his worries.
"Lady Hestia, I am here to give you something. You are the last Olympian, our final hope, and you are the only one fit to guard this." Percy said and handed her Pandora'a jar and waited as she carefully examined the relic.
Hestia was quiet for a moment before her eyes filled up. "Elpis" She laughed tearfully, and hugged to jar to her chest, as if embracing an old friend."It has been such a long time"
She gently placed the jar into the hearth and the flame grew, enveloping the throne room in it's warm glow once again. For the first time in her immortal life, Hestia truly felt happy. She felt loved and useful. She had a purpose now.
A genuine smile appeared on her face. She looked up at Percy and spoke confidently,
"Have faith Perseus Jackson. Your hopes will come true. Just as mine did."
AN – Hello readers!
What do you think of this story? This is the end of my first multi-chapter series. I hope you liked it.
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-Over and out