His Pomegranate Queen

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Η Κατάρα του Δία


“It is both a blessing and a curse

to feel everything so very deeply.”

-d.j.


“You won’t see Persephone ever again!”

The Lord of the Underworld moved through the long hallways of Zeus’ golden palace. His brother’s words still ringing inside his head. A heavy dark smoke surrounded his already dark figure, warning everyone around him that the Lord of the Dead was beyond furious –a ticking time bomb ready to explode in any second. Everyone let him pass by unbothered and undisturbed, not wanting to be the one receiving his brewing wrath.

Hades was absolutely livid with his “dearest” brother and the way he had handled everything for once more. His mighty brother had presented everything in a suitable way for him, taking advantage of the whole situation in order to make sure the Lord of the Dead wasn’t any threat towards his rule and his throne. The hate that they both had for each other had resurfaced and the two brothers started their fights again after hundreds of years of supposed peace.

Zeus didn’t care about his daughter –he didn’t care about her well being or that purity of hers. The only thing he ever cared about was himself, his power, and his crown. He had proved this time and time again during the numerous centuries that had passed.

He had sacrificed a lot of his children’s happiness and lives in order to make sure that he remained in his position -making them sacrifice everything to become heroes that would be well known throughout the world’s history. The power of the crown had clouded his just mind and turned him into an arrogant king. Persephone was another one of his numerous children that he was willing to take advantage of in order to remain in his powerful position.

“You won’t ever see her again!”

Hades gritted his teeth and balled his fists at the thought of Zeus using her as an object. His silver gaze was like a sword made out of the toughest steel, a sharp and deathly blade that could kill anyone he set his eyes on.

He hated the fact that his brother had found his only weakness after so many years and he was using her against him. He hated that Persephone was involved in something that was beyond her powers and had nothing to do with her. She was used as a mere pawn in a play of chess, a powerless pawn that had to follow the orders of their master.

After so many years of sorrow and pain, he had finally received light in his darkness. The Fates had seen his emptiness and loneliness and had taken pity on his way of living, deciding that it was the time that something good was to happen to him. The powerful Moirai had graced him with his soul’s other half, a person made specifically for him and him alone. A woman he could finally love and cherish, someone to call his own.

The Lord of the Darkness never had any weaknesses in his immortal life –until she came and changed his whole world.

The flower maiden was his only weakness.

He didn’t care about himself or the punishment his brother had cast upon him. His sweet girl was worthy of every sacrifice he had to make in order to keep her safe. He didn’t want her to suffer for something that wasn’t her mistake. He would pay her price too if it meant that no harm came upon her.

“She is mine, brother! And you cannot do anything about it!“, Hades smirked at his brother’s fuming form as he quickly turned around to face him.

“What do you mean, Aidonious?“, Zeus’ asked as he clenched his fists, “I’m her father and King! I’ve every right to forbid you from meeting her!”

Hades’ eyes lightened up in defiance and the King wasn’t ready for the words that would follow.

“The Fates promised her to me! Her soul is connected with mine. Our threads are entwined together! You have no right to keep me away from her! She belongs with me!“, Hades announced, taking pleasure at Zeus’ shocked expression.

Hera gasped at the fact, not expecting such a turn of the events. So, the Moirai had decided to finally grace her cold brother with a much-needed mate. It was about time he found his soul’s other half. She smiled inwardly at the thought of her beloved brother’s happiness and came to his rescue. He had protected her in the past. It was time she returned the favor.

“If it is decided by the Fates, then it is over”, she spoke to Zeus, who glared at her with fury shining in his blue orbs.

“Gods can’t intervene in a decided destiny. Whatever the Fates choose, comes true one way or another.”

She continued sending Hades an encouraging smile while Zeus wasn’t looking.

“I will not give my precious daughter to a man like you, Pluton!“, the God’s voice bounced around the walls of the throne room.

Hades held his head high, unafraid of his brother’s fury.

“This time, brother of mine, you have no choice in this”, Hades responded unbothered by his behavior.

A booming sound of thunder echoed around the room as a lightning bolt hit a column a few feet away from them, destroying the marble completely.

“I am the King!”

Furious blue eyes met lethal silver ones.

“What I say is the law! Who do you think you are to overpass my rules?“, he yelled at the top of his lungs as if this would change the facts.

Hades clenched his fist as he was once again underestimated and insulted. He was a king too, and a powerful one nonetheless –the King of the Underworld and Ruler of the dead. He would bow down to no one, but his fated queen. His brother wasn’t anything to him, but a blood relative. He started to surround himself in heavy black smoke as his fury got the best of him.

“I am the King of the realm of the dead, brother. A cursed kingdom you forced upon me when you betrayed my trust all these years ago. I am the man you forced to live in eternal darkness, who rules over the souls of the dead and keeps the prisoners of Tartarus locked inside of it.”

Hades reminded his brother, who seemed to forget his position and the reason he was so feared.

Zeus watched him as he slowly made his way around the water mirror of Castalia that was in the center of the room. Hades was approaching him slowly to stand right in front of his huge form, looking briefly at his worried sister’s sudden interference. Hera had put herself between the two powerful men as a shield so they wouldn’t hurt one another, ignoring any harm that could fall upon her.

“You will do well to remember who I am.”

Hades’ sandals clicked on the marble floor as he approached him.

“Because I can raise hell to heaven if I want to...and off goes your precious crown from your mindless head”, he whispered to him as he stood right in front of him.

Zeus looked at his brother in spite and hate, being fed up with his behavior. Why couldn’t he just accept his power? Everything would be so much easier if his older brother got some sense in that brainless head of his.

“You have no power to do so, Aidonious”, Zeus let out a mocking laugh.

Silver eyes glowed at the challenge.

“Don’t I?,” Hades cut his laughter off, watching as a glint of fear appeared in his sky blue orbs.

“You may have exiled me in the darkness of the Underworld, but we both know that I have powers that you can only dream of, brother.”

Zeus gulped nervously at his words.

“Between us...we both know that I am more powerful than you. I just chose not to embarrass you in front of the whole Pantheon by proving it”, Hades smirked as he watched Zeus tremble.

Not knowing what to say, Zeus changed his tactics. Being an excellent manipulator, he changed the conversation in a way that gave him the upper hand. He would not have his power and reign defied by his hateful brother in his own palace. It was time that Hades learned not to go against him and drop this arrogant attitude of his. This was the perfect timing to give to him what he deserved –something that he had waited for centuries to do.

“I forbid you from seeing my daughter. I don’t want you anywhere near her”, Zeus stated firmly, making Hades lose his smirk.

“Careful now, brother”, his tone turned colder and lethal, sending chills down everyone’s spine, “I let you take my crown, but I will burn in Tartarus before I let you take my promised queen.”

Zeus’ clenched his fists feeling his fury clouding his mind. A soft touch made his head snap towards a pair of familiar hazel eyes he once loved. Hera was trying to calm his livid form down by gently caressing his bare forearm as she gazed at him with her enchanting orbs.

“Even immortals can’t change what is fated, my husband. It is decided and therefore, it will come true.”

Hera defended Hades as she tried to reason with a stubborn Zeus.

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Zeus agreed with his wife, making her let a breath of relief.

“But that doesn’t mean that Gods have absolutely no say in it.”

Hera froze at her husband’s words as she realized that he wouldn’t give up so easily. He always found a way around things, getting involved in situations that he wasn’t supposed to. Hades felt that he would burst from all his anger and fury as he saw Zeus smirking. What could he possibly come up with this time?

Persephone was and would always be his. Nothing would separate him from his flower maiden –not even her father. He would make sure of it.

“She is mine!”, he roared, making Hera jump back as his voice echoed around the room.

The possessive word repeated itself around the silent room in a booming sound until it completely disappeared. Hera was sure that everyone from the Underworld until Olympus had heard the Lord of the Darkness calling the spring Goddess possessively his. A claim that surely wouldn’t go unnoticed.

“How will she be yours, if you can’t be with her?”

Zeus chuckled at his brother’s possessiveness, pleased that he finally found a way to harm him.

Hera’s eyes widened in shock, already knowing what was going to follow. She held Zeus’ arm tightly and looked at him with tearful eyes. She couldn’t allow this to happen to her brother.

“No...Please don’t...“, she barely made out before her husband cut her off.

Sky blue eyes met widened amber ones.

“This is not your decision to make, my wife”, Zeus spat out angrily.

Turning around he met the dark form of his older brother, wanting to end this nonsense once and for all.

“...I Xenious Zeus, Lord of the Skies and King of the Gods, curse you Hades, God of the Underworld and Ruler of the Dead, to be forever imprisoned in the darkness of Erebus...”

Hera cried out, begging him not to continue.

“...You shall stay in this Kingdom of yours for the rest of your immortality, unable to walk on the world of the living neither in the great halls of Olympus, but for only one day every nine years...”

Hades felt a burning sensation in his right hand, right above his wrist. He clenched his teeth at the fiery pain, not wanting to give Zeus the satisfaction of seeing him in pain. He didn’t have to look at his arm to know what it was.

“You are free to go now, brother. Go be King in your own realm!”

Zeus let out a humorless laugh, satisfied by the results of this whole situation.

He got exactly what he wanted; his brother basically imprisoned for the rest of eternity in the Underworld and in emotional pain at the loss of his soul’s companion. He had won once more, but why did he feel emptiness and guilt in his bones? Why didn’t he enjoy his victory against his older brother? Why wasn’t he happy for his brother’s banishment?

No. He wouldn’t let his feelings get to him now. The past was in the past and couldn’t affect the present. He wouldn’t leave a few distant memories to jeopardize his plans.

Hades didn’t answer to his brother’s words –he didn’t have anything else to say. He just turned around and left quickly the Olympian’s throne room as the thunder noises of his brother’s fury kept ringing in his ears.

Zeus had once again disappointed him and betrayed him, crushing what he held dear to him. He should have known better of his brother’s actions. He shouldn’t have the smallest of hopes of the brother he once knew ever coming back.

Hades looked down at the red mark that now decorated the inside of his right arm. They called it the anathema -a sign that the person was cursed by the Gods. He quickly put down his black sleeves as he reached the last steps of the exit of his brother’s palace. His dark chariot and loyal black Pegasus were waiting for him patiently to arrive right outside the palace’s golden gates.

“Hades! Hades!”

He ignored the voice that came from somewhere behind him.

“Please wait!”

Hera grasped his forearm, stopping him instantly.

He turned around to face his dearest sister, watching as pearly tears fell down her rosy cheeks. He hugged her tightly, knowing that this was probably the last time he saw her for a couple of years.

“I am so...so sorry it came to this”, Hera whispered in his chest as she hugged him back tightly.

“You don’t have to apologize for something that isn’t your fault, sister. We both know how much of an asshole your husband is”, he said to her, whipping her tears away.

“But the curse...the Underworld...Persephone!”

Hera mumbled as she watched his silver eyes close in pain.

“Her place is under the sun and between the colorful flowers, where the wind caresses her face and her auburn locks, while mine... mine is in the dark depths of the Earth, where the dead reside.”

His words tasted like ash in his mouth.

“How could this relationship work out, if I can’t follow her wherever she is going? If there is no place for me, where she is able to walk?”

He felt like a heavy weight was placed on his shoulders, almost unbearable to carry.

“Το πεπρωμένο φυγείν αδύνατον“, Hera tried to encourage him, but she gave him a saddened smile.

“One day, you’ll be reunited with her.”

Hades shook his head at his sister, feeling completely lost and hopeless. He gave her a small kiss on her forehead before he climbed onto his majestic chariot. He took hold of his horses’ reigns, but he didn’t leave Olympus immediately.

“Promise to me, sister.”

He asked her before he made his way to his kingdom.

“Promise to me that you’ll take care of her, while I can’t.”

Hera gave to him an encouraging smile. Yes, she wasn’t fond of the fact that the girl was her husband’s bastard child neither did she like her mother –more like hated her. However, Persephone was a sweet girl that never brought to her any harm. She couldn’t deny this favor from her favorite brother.

“I promise you, my brother.”

She bowed her head to him.

“I’ll keep her safe.”

The Lord of the Darkness nodded at her words, knowing that his sister wouldn’t harm him in any way. He moved the reigns of his chariot with a heavy heart and begun his descent to the world of the dead. He wanted to see his Goddess of Spring for one last time, but he knew that this wasn’t possible.

He wanted to kiss her forehead like he did whenever she was distraught and hug her small form like he did so many times before. But now, he had no choice due to his brother’s curse. He had to stay away from his only ray of happiness, the only person he ever loved. Feeling like the weight of the whole world was on his shoulder, he tried not to think about anything as he returned to Erebus.

“I promise, brother.”

Hera repeated her vow with a smile on her face as she watched the Lord of the Dead leaving Olympus.

“Until you return back to her.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

End of chapter 9!!

Title Translation:“The Curse of Zeus”

Greek Facts:

1. “Το πεπρωμένο φυγείν αδύνατον.” : It is impossible to run away from destiny.

2. Xenious is a nickname of Zeus because he is the protector of the strangers ( Ξένος (xenos)=stranger)

3. Ανάθεμα (=anathema) in Greek means “curse” and is related to anything evil.

4. The symbolism of the number 9 (Hades can come back every nine years to the world of the living):

I. It takes nine days to fall from heaven to earth, and nine more to fall from earth to Tartarus.

II. It is the number of the devil (Hades-Lord of the Dead)

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