Dedicated to Kayla, "daughter of Hades"

Partial credit for the title goes to Elena on Yahoo Answers who suggested Ascendance as a title.

Name meanings (not given for the Greek gods, only for the characters I own):

Asphodel: A white flower, in mythology; it is the only flower that will grow in Hades.

Ava: can mean either voice or little bird or other similar meanings

Benjamin "Ben"- "son of the south" or "son of my right hand"

Prologue

The tall dark-haired man crossed the room to the child's crib. He lifted his infant daughter from the bed and cradled her in his arms. The door opened and a lovely woman slipped into the room. The man didn't look up as she crossed the room and placed a hand on his arm, didn't lift his eyes from the baby's face as he spoke, his voice rumbling from deep in his chest.

"Thousands of years, for thousands of years we had no child and now that we do..." Tears slipped silently down the woman's face as the couple remembered the events that had brought them to this moment.

"Persephone!" he strode toward her in the throne room of Olympus.

"Hades" she looked up, her face radiant with joy as she held their daughter out toward him.

Hades took the baby tenderly from her arms, scarcely noticing the other gods in the room,

"Asphodel" he cooed, his voice soft and loving,

His brother, Poseidon, smiled widely, exchanging a look with Zeus.

"Is this our brother, the feared lord of the dead?"

Zeus shook his head, looking delighted, "surely not, our dear older brother could never act so...cute"

Hades ignored his brothers.

Then did Apollo utter his dire prophecy, claiming that the child would grow up to defeat a great enemy of the gods, but the enemy would know of this prophecy and would seek to harm the child to prevent it from coming true.

Persephone made no attempt to wipe her tears as her mind returned to the present and her voice shook as she spoke,

"I have found a couple who are worthy, they will take care of her" her voice broke,

"Why, Hades? Why is this happening to us? How can the Fates be so cruel?!" Without a word, Hades reached out to her with his free arm and pulled her close to him. Minutes slipped by in silence while they stood as a family, one last time. Finally, he spoke,

"We must go, take me to this family you spoke of" A glow filled the room as they vanished.

They reappeared on a pretty, cozy-looking street, with streetlights glowing softly under the moon and stars. A cool October breeze made the baby shiver in her sleep and curl closer to her father's chest for warmth. The house they stood in front of was painted a soft blue color.

"The couple who lives here is young" Persephone said, "They long for a child more than anything, but the woman is barren. They are kind and true; they will raise our daughter well.

Through the window, Persephone and Hades could see the occupants of the house moving about.

The man, a tall, handsome youth with dark hair and blue eyes, called out to the woman and she laughed, rolling her emerald eyes as she pushed a fiery curl from her face. The woman glanced at the television set and the expression on her face turned swiftly from happiness to pain and longing.

Hades and Persephone looked at the device in confusion wondering what could elicit such a reaction. An advertisement was playing, for a company called CapitalOne1; a man appeared to be offering a small child various treats which she accepted delightedly.

Hades understood then, and knew that his wife had chosen wisely. He looked down at the child in his arms. He fashioned an ebony basket out of thin air and lay his daughter in it, wrapped in a blanket, dark as midnight, except for the child's name, Asphodel, scripted in gold, along with her birth date September 21, and the image of the white flower under it.

He placed the basket on the porch and knelt to tenderly kiss the infant's forehead. Persephone did the same. The Lord of the Dead put his arm around his wife and they both vanished in a flash of light.

"What was that?" Ava Jensen, blinked as a sudden flash of light lit the sky, seeming much to bright and close to be lightning. She opened the front door and peered out, then she looked down and gasped, "Ben! Ben, come here!"

Ben leaped from the couch and ran to his wife, "What is-" his voice trailed off as they both gaped down at the basket on their porch and the tiny baby nestled within it; she looked no more than a month old, with hair so pale blonde as to be almost white.

"There's a baby... on our porch...like Harry Potter"2 Ben said blankly. He shook his head as if to clear it,

"We can't just leave her here, let's take her inside" He carried the basket into the house and set it gently on the table. Then they both just stared at it.

The baby stirred and opened her eyes, which caused the couple even more amazement, for they were the most peculiar shade they had ever seen, a pinkish-purple color. She cooed and stretched out her arms. Ava felt her heart melt.

She bent down and gently disentangled the baby from her blankets. She rocked her in her arms smiling,

"Hey baby, where'd you come from, huh? I wish I knew your name, little one"

"Asphodel" Ben said.

"What?" Ava looked up.

Ben had been examining the little girl's basket,

"Asphodel, it's on her blanket" he held it up for his wife to inspect. Then he looked at the baby,

"But how could someone just leave her on our porch, she can't be more than a few weeks old, who would abandon their baby like that"

Ava frowned, "I don't know, but I have this feeling like...she was meant for us, like whoever put her here chose us specifically, that they knew how badly we wanted a child"

Ben looked down at the baby in his wife's arms, longing on his face,

"A baby of our own"

Ava smiled, tears in her eyes,

"Our own little daughter"

Ben wrapped his arms around Ava and gazed down at the baby.

"our Asphodel"

1I do not own CapitalOne or this ad, CapitalOne is a credit card company.

2The Harry Potter series belongs to J. K. Rowling.