I know that Kore was a pretty popular short story that a lot of people wanted to see a sequel for, so here it is! Kore was about Persephone, the Greek goddess, in case you missed it 😉 you should go click the link I embedded above to read it before this story! This one is the taking of Persephone, so we get to meet Hades!
Everything was a blur, including her memory. The last thing she remembered was lounging in a straw field with Attica and Icaria. They stepped away for a moment and suddenly everything went black and… that was it. That was all she remembered.
Persephone’s eyes shot open as she tried to struggle out of what seemed like a bed. As she propped herself on her elbows, she took a look around the room.
It was luscious, with stark white walls and flowers adorning the room, yellow and pink and blue and purple everywhere. There were soft furs hanging off a rack and the bed she laid on was plump and firm with goose-feather pillows. Yet there was something off about the room- as if someone turned up the saturation too high or put the temperature much too low.
Where was she?
And then the door opened.
“Ah, my lady,” a voice began. A man strode through the door, tall and broad-chested, looking like Hades himself with dark skin that seemed pale in a way, gelled dark hair, and a tidy suit. He was handsome and elegant and dark-
Persephone gasped. He was Hades. Which meant… she was in the Underworld.
Her mother had warned her against ever going to the Underworld. It’s only trouble, Persephone could hear her saying. Nothing good ever comes out of that damned place.
“Don’t be worried, Persephone.”
Hades sat at the edge of her bed, sending Persephone scrambling away from him. She suddenly realized that she had been changed out of her yellow dress and into a short sheer nightgown that was definitely way too short-
She pulled her knees down, trying to keep her cheeks from blazing. Persephone just hoped that Hades hadn’t been the one to change her. Mother would be so worried right now, she thought.
“What do you want?” she demanded. “Why did you bring me here?”
Hades cocked his head at her, smiling slightly. Persephone expected it to be cold and unforgiving, yet there was a warm smirk on his face.
“I’ve been watching you with your friends for a while,” he started.
Persephone groaned and rolled her eyes. “So you’re a stalker. Let me guess: you just want to get in my pants.”
Hades had the audacity to look offended. “Of course not! As I was saying, I was struck by your beauty and decided to bring you here, to the Underworld-”
“And you’re going to keep me here for all of eternity and blah blah blah.” Persephone interrupted.
Hades leaned forward, eyes blazing. “No! If you would just let me finish, you would know that you are allowed to leave any time that you want. I just wished… that maybe someone as beautiful as you would care for me, even a little bit. The Underworld can be beautiful like you, you know.” His voice got softer at the end.
It’s a ruse, Persephone told herself. He’s tricking you into feeling bad for him.
But it was working.
“What about my mother?”
Hades coughed awkwardly. “She’s currently tearing up the world in search for you. You know, good old mother stuff.”
Persephone leaped out of the bed, all thoughts about pitying Hades replaced by anger and worry. “You stole me and didn’t even tell my mother?!”
“I swear, I told her! Hermes is on his way right now, to pick you up.”
Persephone sighed in relief and slumped down on the bed. She was suddenly aware of how Hades’ eyes seemed sadder than before.
“You made all the plants in here triple in size,” he said quietly. “You could make all of the Underworld beautiful.”
Persephone looked at him for a long moment before standing up. “Fine. Hermes is coming anyway, I might as well do something good for the Underworld. You’ve been… kind, I suppose.”
Hades’ smile was brighter. “Great! Let me take you to the gardens.”
And that’s how Persephone found herself with her hand on Hades’ arm, strolling through the gardens, her powers automatically. They really were beautiful, in their own way.
Suddenly, they stopped by a pomegranate tree. Persephone’s hand grabbed the pomegranate and closed around it. She remembered her visit with the old crone last year. Pomegranates. This was her destiny, and she knew it. She had to have this pomegranate.
She tore open the soft shell, popping a few seeds in her mouth. For some reason, Hades looked vaguely worried, his eyes locked to where the pomegranate had smudged her lips.
She had more, just finishing one-third of the pomegranate when a bright flash of light erupted in front of her. Before she could register anything, Hades swatted the pomegranate out of her hand.
“Hello, Lord Hades, Persephone!” It was Hermes, chipper as usual (well, the last two times Persephone had met him). He had a head full of curls and his signature sandals.
After the introductions, Hermes got right down to business. “I’m here to pick up Persephone and take her home. Before we go, I have to ask you a few questions.”
Hermes pulled out a pair of reading glasses that Persephone didn’t know that he had.
“Have you kissed anyone here?” he asked primly.
“What?! No!” Persephone said indignantly.
“Slept with anyone?”
“Of course not! That’s even worse!”
“Exchanged contact that’s mouth to-”
“No, I haven’t! I haven’t done anything!”
Hermes nodded apologetically. “Sorry, Persephone. It’s just procedure.”
Persephone crossed her arms over her chest. “Are we done here?”
Hades shifted slightly where he was standing.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Hermes said, pointing at Persephone. “Last question: have you eaten anything?”
Persephone froze. “I, uh- yes? I had a pomegranate.”
Hermes and Hades cursed in unison.
“You had a full pomegranate?!” Hermes exclaimed.
Persephone blinked. “I don’t see why it matters. And it was, uh-” She leaned down to pick up the pomegranate. “Only a third.”
Hermes sighed in relief, then rounded on Hades. “You didn’t tell her?!”
“Tell me what?”
Hades sighed and turned to Persephone. “If you eat a full pomegranate, you have to stay the whole year with me in the Underworld. You ate a third, so you have to stay in the Underworld for a third of a year.”
Persephone just stared at him for a long moment. “You’re- you’re kidding.” From his expression, he wasn’t kidding. “I- how- what- I don’t know- why didn’t you- what about my mother? And my friends? And this isn’t my home! And-”
Hermes placed a hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be fine, kiddo. You get to stay with your mom for two-thirds of the year and in the Underworld for a third of a year.”
Hades looked really sorry. “I’m sorry, Persephone. I just couldn’t stop you, if felt like it was the right decision for you to make.”
Somewhere inside of herself, Persephone knew that he was right. She remembered the old woman and the potion again.
“Fine,” she huffed. “Tell my mother that- that I’ll come back soon. Thank you, Hermes.”
Hermes tipped his hat. “Sure thing, Persephone! Have fun!” He winked and Persephone groaned internally.
“So I’m your queen now, huh?” she mumbled.
“What?” Hades asked, startled. “Uh- no. No, no- that’s not how it works, Persephone.”
“Oh,” Persephone said, her cheeks heating. “I- okay. Okay. Good.”
But Hades smiled, looking younger and shyer than Persephone could imagine. “Maybe we can start with baby steps?”
Persephone nodded, smiling back.
“Let me show you to your room.”
I kind of like this 😉
Did you like this? Have you read any Greek mythology stories? Was the ending satisfying?