"Uh... U-Uncle Hephaestus... sir..." An unsure young masculine voice rang inside the almost empty temple of the God of Fire, forges, and volcanoes.
"I-I don't think he likes it if we intrude his temple, Eros. I-I mean, mom always say to stay away from him, right?" The slightly older, yet still young voice called to the one now known as Eros, winged god of love, with slight fear etched in her voice. Yet, the boy disregarded her caution and still went inside, much to the girl's ire. He grinned at the young goddess and said before running up the stairs:
"Come on, Harmonia! How bad can he be? I just want to meet him. I heard he can make many things. He even built weapons to kill monsters! I want to see how cool he is."
The goddess of harmony sighed as she followed him upstairs. The temple looked like it hasn't been cleaned up in a long while. Although there was no cracks on the ceiling and walls, the place looked too cluttered for her tastes. It felt like the whole place was still in discord with balance.
To her, it felt like the owner of the place is not in sync with happiness. All she felt was loneliness.
But it didn't make any sense in her mind. How could someone as highly regarded as Hephaestus be giving off the same vibe as a lowly slave? She would always hear his name whenever it is asked who made what. He is the reason that all the symbols of power the gods of Olympus has became reality. She, too, in her naive look, wanted to know more about him. But for some unknown reason, her mother always tells them to stay away from him.
She never understood her reason. But as much as she wanted to follow her, she had a nagging feeling to be here.
After all, it was in her domain to ensure that everything is in harmony with all.
Think of it as your mission! And with that, she went inside the one of the doors and saw a grinning Eros. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow and was about to ask when he showed her a framed photo and said "Looked at what I found!"
She turned her eyes towards the photo and let out a gasp. I.. I can't believe this! This is...
"Fire in the heavens, fire along the hills,
and fire made solid in the flinty stone.
thick mass'd or scatter'd pebble, fire that fills,
the breathless hour that lives on fire alone."
The flames are his only constant company.
The forge is the only place he can call home.
After pouring molten gold into a cast, Hephaestus, God of the blacksmiths, the Olympian who has done numerous marvels such as Athena's spear, Hades' sword and helm, Hermes' sandals and many more, wiped the sweat forming on his forehead away and sighed. The furnace beside him roared with an intensity that could cook a man in just seconds, but the god didn't paid it any mind. His mind was blissfully blank as cleared his work space and began bringing out his special thongs and the gems needed for his next item... or assignment.
He is making another jewelry piece. Hephaestus is making a golden necklace studded with Earth's richest minerals for Aphrodite.
Aphrodite... He muttered sadly as he submerged the heated molder into a big basin of water, which resulted into a steaming hiss. As much as he prided himself with his current feats and contribution, no one, even himself, can't deny that he's the outsider of the group. The outcast. The godly pariah. His face made the others cringe at sight. No one had talked to him other than a message for him to attend the Council or requests to make something.
His history wasn't that bright either. Hera firstly intended him to be the start for her husband, Zeus, to become loyal to her. Millennium after millennium, the godly couple would fight about his infidelity, and the Queen of the Gods wanted it to stop. She had high hopes for their future son but even a month after his conception, Zeus went back to his old ways which eventually leads to Hera, shocked beyond belief, when she caught him with another woman.
The hope she had has turned into anger.
And it was he who suffered in the end.
The day he was born into this world, Hera was appalled by her newborn baby's looks. She did not realize that all the bitterness and hatred she felt the whole time she was conceiving Hephaestus would actually take a toll on his appearance. His head appeared hideous with veins bulging out like he is constantly in pain. His crying did not helped his image either as Hera, still shocked on how... ugly her new son looked accidentally dropped him. Making the young one cry harder.
After a while when things calmed down, Zeus appears inside their chambers, excited to see their new son. But when he took a peek, his excited turned to shock, then to laughter and joked it was not his. Hera, who was never been more angry at him than ever, did the unthinkable: she threw the baby outside the window and down to the base of Mount Olympus. With a glare that made even the king of gods stop, she screamed at him "THERE GOES YOUR SEED! I AM DONE WITH IT."
It took Zeus years before he went to his wife's good side again. They are immortal and he knew that she would forgive him the time comes. But, neither of them realized that they have done a grave sin, and yet they didn't beg for his forgiveness.
The baby landed with a thump at the bank of the river with his legs bent back to a degree that a little movement could break the whole limb completely. His crying intensified as the pain works all around his fragile body that despite his divine statute, they young is still fragile and is simply not adapted to it. He was alone at the bottom of the mountain for a while until a Oceanid saw the baby and took him away. She brought it to her patron, Tethys, and was greatly concerned for the baby.
And that was the time he got his name. Tethys cared for him like he was her own son. She fed him, nurtured him, and taught about his life as a god. Though learning about his heritage due to ichor flowing out of his body the day she saw him, she never understood why the injuries he took didn't healed back to perfect form. Though his head is not that greatly deformed anymore, the scars was still present, covering a large part of his face. His leg grew abnormally that it turned into a limp. But she deduced it to the Fates.
His scars may have something to do with what has transpired that day. I do hope that the Olympians who sired him would do something about this She mused, although she was unsure whether they would take action about their 'thrown' family member. It has been years since his disappearance and the god of Oceanids has yet to receive a message concerning about Hephaestus.
Not long after, he began to show fascination with tools when Tethys toured him around the Cyclopes' work place. His eyes widened with a certain gleam that makes the mother of aquatic beings smile when he saw them building something. The roaring of the furnace didn't scare his interest and asked her to be here as often as possible. Tethys chuckled and agreed. From that moment on, Hephaestus took the stead and was the Cyclopes' leader not long after. He's a genius when it comes to tools. The giants even wanted to follow him solely rather than be the blacksmiths for Olympus.
He would always make necklaces of silver and gold filled with pearls and offer them as gifts to the one who cared for him. Tethys would always smile and hug him, telling him that she loves him. Other than her, there are many sea nymphs who would play with him and share stories about the gods and demigods. They didn't mind his face and Hephaestus liked them as much as he likes Tethys. And it was during that time when he noticed someone in particular.
Up above the shore was a someone with beauty unlike anything the boy has ever seen. Her short curls of blonde hair rests just above her shoulders. Her green eyes seemingly hypnotizes him for a second. He was about to shrug it off when he saw her smile. That smile was the thing that made him stay for a bit longer. Oh, how much he wanted to come closer to her but the fear that she will reject him looms over his head.
I... Oh Fates, what should I do? T-That girl... His thoughts shattered when he realized that she was looking at him, eyes full of curiosity rather than disgust, and smiled faintly. He felt his heart stop and gulped. He shyly waved his hand at her, in which she waved back. Truthfully, he didn't know what he should do. As much as the nymphs are helping him, none could take his shyness away. They just kept staring, fiery gray clashes with bright greens.
"Daughter!" "Son!" Two voices rang behind them, turning their eyes, each other. The two rushed to see their 'parents', never once looking back at each other. A sea nymph cradled the short girl in her arms and smiled as they went to the deeper parts of the island. Meanwhile, Hephaestus hugged Tethys and the mother asked what he was doing here. He pointed at the place where he saw the girl but found they were no longer there. She chuckled and ushered him to go back to their palace. Hephaestus took a long final glance at the shore before returning to his home.
Hephaestus sighed as he looked through the glass any imperfections for his latest creation for his wife. When he found none errors, he puts it inside an ornamental box and settled it on top of his table. Wiping his brows from sweat, he takes the dirtied black apron off and began walking outside. It was time to deliver them to her. Many gods would question why did he always bother making her presents when she shamelessly flaunt her love life in front of him, with his brother no less.
They don't understand. They don't know.
Hephaestus doesn't mind the pain he feels whenever he hears the moans and smells the scent of sex inside their bedroom after Ares walks out of it. He doesn't mind if his wife doesn't give him the time of day and would always snide at his way. Hephaestus doesn't mind the pain he feels whenever he was rejected multiple times. The god of volcanoes doesn't mind it at all.
It is because off all the things she gave him, there was one thing that matters.
Aphrodite gave fire to his heart.
He, himself, cannot understand what he was feeling, but he knew that he loved the goddess of Love with every bit of him. Hephaestus sighed sadly as he continued to trek towards the familiar sight of Olympus. He would still give her gifts. She would say thanks and go back to her bedroom with her lover, no doubt. But for Hephaestus, as much as it pains him, he would still be happy for her. They thought I was a cold and gruff god.
But they were wrong.
Because, she is the fire to his heart.
"Love is the fire that burns me,
The smokes are thoughts confused.
Which dim my soul, dim my soul.
And hath my senses abused.
Though fire and ash turn me,
Yet doth the smoke more grieve me.
That dims my mind,
Whose light should still relieve me."