Deep in the heart of the Underworld, Hades sat on his throne. Today his mind was not on ruling his kingdom but on a maiden. The Lord of the Dead had only seen her once but once, was enough to make his heart skip a beat at the mere memory of her.
"Fates!", Hades bellowed.
The large stone door that led into the throne room opened once, closed, opened and closed twice more before three goddesses stood at the foot of Hades' throne. The three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, were the people Hades terned to for advice above all others. Clotho was a young girl, Lachesis a woman of middle age, and Atropos, the wisest of the three was an old matron. She alone did not curtsy when she entered. All three had milky white hair and all seeing eyes empty of all color save black.
"Ladies, being that you can see all I —"
"M'lord, you've found the maiden you wish to be your queen!" Clotho cried.
Hades sighed, frustrated, and rolling his eyes, "Yes I have".
"But," Atropos voice rang through the room, "she is one of Demeter's daughters isn't she Hades?"
Hades nodded, why don't they just tell me what I want to know instead of toying with me, he thought. " What do I do?"
" You'll have no luck getting Demeter's permission to take one of her daughters as your wife," Atropos said
" I KNOW!" Hades yelled. Clotho and Lachesis jumped. "Now tell me how to win her!"
" Go to Zeus, he will tell you what to do," Clotho peeped.
A grin spread over Hades' face as he rose to his feet . He then said thank you to each of the Fates in turn. After this he dashed from the room towards his stables.
Persephone, Goddess of Spring awoke as her maid pulled back the silk curtains in her bedchamber. The tantalizing smell of eggs, bacon and warm, freshly backed bread reached her nose.
"Miss," said the maid, " Lady Demeter awaits you in the great hall when you have finished".
"Thank you Helen," Persephone said climbing out of bed while Helen left the room.
When Persephone finished eating she put on a white blouse with loose sleeves and a jade-green skirt. Persephone rushed out of her room she nearly collided with the goddess of winter, her youngest sister Neala.
"C'mon Kore, we don't want to be late." Neala said.
Persephone allowed Neala to pull her to the winding staircase that led to the hall. She couldn't help but smile at her sister's pet name for her. Neala wasted no time in straddling the banister and sliding down. Persephone forced herself not to slide down after her.
"There she is," said Demeter as Persephone's feet touched the marble floor.
"Mother," Persephone exclaimed as the two women embraced.
Demeter, goddess of the harvest, was a plump woman with short nut-brown hair and sky blue eyes. The harvest goddess led her child into the great hall. As soon as they entered a chorus of happy birthday rang through the hall.
"Today," Demeter announced to the women seated at the table," the first of my babies turns eighteen..."
Persephone blushed, yes I am eighteen but most certainly not a baby! I am a full grown woman, perfectly capable of taking care of myself, she thought, why can't my mother see that?
"... and thank you for gracing us with your presence," Demeter finished and turned to leave. When Lady Demeter left the hall, the girls presented Persephone with their gifts. Persephone's guests were Lady Aphrodite, Lady Artemis, Lady Hestia, her sisters: Adrasteia the goddess of summer, Diana the goddess of autumn and Neala. Aphrodite's gift was a beautiful crown. It was made of delicate jeweled flowers and small silver butterflies that, when hit by the light, seemed to flutter. Artemis gave her a small bottomless phial of moon dust. Moon dust, when mixed with water creates a gel that can heal any wound, no matter how severe. Hestia's gift was a fire pearl bracelet which could light the darkest night.
Two hours, later the four goddesses of the seasons sat on Persephone's bed in her chambers.
Adrasteia pinned the crown in her sister's hair and stepped back, " It looks beautiful on you, Kore", she said.
A loud sigh came from a corner of the bed where Neala sat playing with Persephone's new bracelet. Diana glanced up from her embroidery and breathed "What's wrong Neala?"
Her little sister whined "I'm bored!"
Persephone leaned over and pulled the small girl into her lap and placed her head on her sister's shoulder and looked at her, "Well, then what do you want to do?" Then she began tickling her.
Neala managed to say between laughing "I don't know... go horseback riding?"
"Yeah, Please Kore!" exclaimed Adrasteia and Diana at the same time as the two often did.
Persephone stopped bugging her sister and smiled at her other siblings "All right, I suspect Kail has nothing better to do then escort us to the meadow."
"Thank you!" her sisters cried as they left her room to change clothes.