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Hermes Bonus Chapter from Kore

Updated: Apr 7

Hello. Welcome, it is I! Hermes – the one and only of course. Now, I know what you are probably thinking – “Hermes! You were hardly in this story and Ambrosia clearly states your book isn’t a part of this series!” And you would be correct, but, as correct as that may be, I thought I would share my side of things – or at least a particular little bit that I had a hand in. I am actually quite proud of my work – thank you.

That is not all I have to share; I am sure you are also wondering, “Hermes, how do you know modern words like ‘sis’ and ‘hang’?” Well, that is where this story begins. Now grab some wine, some sweet honey wheat bread, and a nice comfy seat because I am about to give you a bit of the behind-the-scenes – which was me! I am the behind-the-scenes!

To start this tale off right, I must remind you that I am the God of Messages and being as such – I have come across a lot of secrets and actions. From hidden affairs to secret divine-mortal unions. I have seen it all. A lot of my tasks take me far and wide. So, I am sure you can imagine the things I have collected.

Anyway, it was upon one request from Zeus to the Fates that I stumbled upon the most curious of discussions between the creepy ancient ones and the Goddess of Witchcraft. I will say, my vocabulary is all due to this particular day as well, as I like to browse the Fabrics of Time. It is safe to say I had quite the day in their cavern, but the information that was shared between them and Hecate was of most interest.

This was before Demeter had conceived Kore, so I hadn’t known all too well of whom they spoke at the time.

I had tried tricking the information out of Hecate the following day – but she was not having any of my antics. She did, however, manage to track me down a moon later. Stating I would be beneficial to the Fates' plans and thus she informed me of the imbalance that had begun to rise within the Underworld. The Fates need balance, and so, they crafted a divine into the golden tapestry that held all the gods and goddesses’ threads of destiny.

A divine that was to be the Queen of the Underworld – but there was a fallback to this plan, as with most of the Fates’ plans; Hades and this new divine had to come together naturally and without knowing this destiny was crafted for them. Elsewise, the imbalance would only grow stronger and out of divine control.

So, keep all that information in mind; A new divine is to be Queen of the Underworld and Hades is not to know.

But I know; Hecate knows, and the Fates know.

I also may or may not have slipped it up to my sweet Alena one night after a few too many kantharoi of wine. And Hecate had to inform the Erinyes for one reason or another, but she would not share that with me.

All in all, those of us who helped Kore did so because we knew she was to be our queen. Not to mention, she is my youngest half-sister, and being a Chthonian God, I can sense the darkness that creeps in all of us, the darkness that allows us to roam the Underworld.

Kore has always held a strange pulsating power, darkness hidden under her bright, cheery face. Darkness that cried to be where she was destined to be.

It was a nice little secret that I enjoyed holding, and it is probably worth mentioning that Hecate said she would turn me into a goat and send me to reside with the Erinyes if I was to tell anyone.

Being on Hecate’s bad side is not on my to-do list, but, as I mentioned, she said I could not tell anyone of this, least of all Hades – but, she did not say I could not give a slight shove in the right direction.

So, that is why we will now move forward, to my sweet baby sister’s seventeenth year!

Now, I am no God of Love, but I do what I can, where I can, and this was a time where I could do just that.

 

 

***

 

“Hermes!” Zeus thundered, a summons really, to the Throne room for my daily tasks. An agitating wake-up call.

I enjoy a slow rise; One that starts when Helios swept away the clouds from his bright sun before riding it around for the mortals. A peaceful way to wake up, really, because something about the beaming rays opened the flowers in the garden – their scents flooding all the chambers and halls like a washing wave of serenity.

When Zeus woke one, you got none of that, it was abrasive and jarring. I jerked up, white furs falling about my waist, and I rubbed my eyes as I struggled to see but it was all still so dark, and it took my eyes a moment to adjust.

“Hermes!” Zeus called again.

I groaned; it would be nice to collect myself before starting my duties off – but duties call.

I swiftly jumped to my feet, free and bare, and had half a mind to present myself as such, since he wanted to wake me from such a blissful slumber. But as joyous as that would seem it would only slow my day down.

I grabbed my white chiton and slipped it on, tied a golden belt at my waist, and slipped on my golden talaria. I walked over to the reflective metal plate to see myself over. My hair fell angelically around my face, as always – perfection. Not much needed to be done to obtain this level of beauty, really, but I ran my hands through my golden locks a few times before shifting to the Dining Chamber for some ambrosia and nectar. Most of the divines complained of the two, but I absolutely love it! The sweetness is everything.

I gathered my kantharos of nectar and shifted to the Throne room to greet my dear father. As you can imagine, my shifting cloud is a glorious white puff with a splash of golden dust – but can you guess its smell? Now, if you guessed honey then you know me all too well.

Anyway, I arrived right in front of Zeus, who lazed back in his large white and golden marble throne. The oval chamber sat flanked by high-reaching columns – as most all of our décor was. Large, golden tapestries draped from one column to the next. Creating a beautiful wall of designs behind him. It would also catch Helios and his sun’s rays, lighting the entire chamber in blinding chaos.

I bowed, as one must when greeting the King of Gods. His snow-streaked hair fell calmly around his face and rested on his shoulders. His beard was short-trimmed this day, but usually, it was a nest at his chin.

“You called for me?” I asked, taking another sip of nectar. My eyes on his.

“Today is Kore’s birthday. Did you get her a gift?” He inquired.

He never got her a gift, that too, was one of my duties – along with reminding him of the day. I was pleasantly surprised he had remembered on his own. However, if he remembered the day – I did not see why he had not retrieved a gift for her himself.

“They just returned from their work not but two days ago. I haven’t had the chance to ask what she favours,” I said, finishing off my nectar and dissolving the kantharos into a mist.

“You visited them frequently during their work. Had you not asked then?” He countered.

“I suppose not.”

“You know what that child likes. Just get her something you have given her once before –” His voice trailed off as his eyes drifted past me to the entrance. A large smile spread across his face.

“Hera! Good morning, my little peacock!” He said in a booming voice.

I turned to find the lovely, but not so kind Hera – Queen of the Gods. Her red-blonde hair fell in waves over her shoulders and down to her rib cage. Her deep blue eyes studied me as she sauntered closer to us.

“Hera,” I greeted with a bow.

“Hermes. Pleasant surprise to see you here, in the palace, this early – still,” she said in a condescending tone, hinting for me to get started with my duties away from Mt Olympus.

I wish I could say she disliked me for being one of Zeus’ children but that wasn’t it. She did not like that I was a Chthonian God and that I spend a great deal of time in the Underworld – a location she despised nearly as much as she despised the women Zeus went off with.

I smiled politely to her, “I was just leaving.” I turned back to Zeus, “Was that all?”

He nodded quickly and took Hera by the hand, she shot one last look to me through slanted eyes before heading to the throne with her husband. I turned and headed from the chamber. I needed just a bit of time to think of what to get Kore.

There were few things she cared for because there were very few things she knew of. But if I had to guess, the one thing she most definitely asked about frequently over the last three winters, was Hades. Or Aidoneus as she calls him. Cute in a sense – he hadn’t used that name in centuries, I had assumed he disliked it.

I thought he would make a nice gift; my only issue was figuring out how to package him up and deliver him because he would never do so willingly – he is about as dense as a rock when it comes to romantic feelings. Where he sees curiosity, I see an odd infatuation – but at least she was a tad bit older now. Not to mention I could not just tell him to go see her. I had to plant the idea like a seed and make him think he thought of it on his own.

“Hermes!” I heard Apollo’s voice echo through the corridor. I spun around to see him already bounding my way with parchments in hand.

“Apollo,” I greeted cheerfully.

“I have messages for my mother if you could take them to her on Delos.” He handed me the parchment and leaned closer, “And these – are from Helios. He said you would know what to do with them.” His voice low as he spoke.

He handed me a few bundles wrapped in leather and tied with twine. I nodded and took them as well, balancing the parchments for Leto and the bundles from Helios, I manifested a satchel at my side and slid them in.

“It shall be done.” I clasp my hand around his forearm, and he did the same with me before he departed for Helios’ Temple.

Delos was a distance from Olympus, and the bundle Helios needed me to deliver was an even further distance, plus I still had shades to guide.

I knew I would have to tell Hades something so I thought I would let him know of my busy day – possibly toss in the fact that it was Kore’s birthday. I would be busy all day anyway, might as well warn him of the late coming shades.

I shifted to the Underworld, finding myself in the Judgement Hall, which Hades also used as his Throne Room. His throne, however, was not as ostentatious as Zeus’. It was rather plain actually, large even. He could lay down if he felt the need, and he is a good bit taller than me, wider too. But he sat, leaning back with his arm resting on the flat armrest slab and resting his chin in his hand. Looking just as bored as he always did.

He didn’t take much notice of my entrance, only flashing his eyes up to me and waiting.

“Careful, my Lord, all that excitement to see me may hurt your back!” I toyed with a bow, but still, he was quiet, only pulling his brows down in response.

“I come bearing news. Some you might enjoy,” I chuckled.

“I do not enjoy news, Hermes,” he said boorishly.

I laughed again – his tone always so flat and unmoved.

“Well, I thought I would inform you of my lack of shades this day. You see, I have some distant drop-offs to make, and it is dear Kore’s seventeenth year – so Zeus has ordered me to drop off a gift to her. One I will have to find myself and take to her in Demeter’s Meadow, so I will be bringing my share of shades through a bit later than usual,” I informed.

As I spoke, I watched his body and posture for any change at the sound of her name. there wasn’t much movement in his body, but his eyes seemed to light up a bit. I smiled as I watched the thoughts roll around in his mind.

“Very well,” He muttered.

I bowed once more before shifting to drop off the remaining messages.

 

***

 

I walked the group of late shades to the Judgment Halls as I said I would. Helios and the false sun of the Underworld had both long since ended their day and were replaced by their beautiful counterparts. The false moon for this realm; Selene, and Artemis for the mortal realm.

The hall was luminescent with the glow of shades, it had been some time since I had seen them spill out as they did. The last time I had witnessed such an overflow was when Thanatos had gotten himself chained up.

I left the shades with the rest of the group and tucked myself behind the dark obsidian carved column, poking my head around, my eyes fell to the king at his throne.

He sat up straight, his brows pulled down, but I could see the ever so faint smile that ghosted across his face. For most who did not know him, he would have still appeared to be unfazed or indifferent – but I could tell he had not been attending his judgments the whole day and I could only take one guess as to where he had spent most of it.

The only way to be sure was to speak with Helios, as per our agreement, he should have news for me on this matter.

The light and airy sensation consumed me as I shifted from sight and headed back to the sweet tips of Olympus.

Arriving at the exquisite, yet pretentious Dining Hall. The long table carved of selenite crystal; loaded and spilling over with copious amounts of fruits and meats, cheeses and bread, and every form of ambrosia and nectar one could imagine. The air was heavy with cooked lamb and honeyed wine.

It was late, and most of the other divines had already passed through for their share. Yet still, the table remained cluttered from end to end.

I grabbed a small platter of figs and cheese. Demeter did not often bring up her delightful baking, so I had to make do with Hestia’s attempts – which unfortunately for the Goddess of the Hearth, was just not up to par with that of Demeter’s.

I had begun pouring my wine when I could feel my brother’s presence enter the hall. It was as loud as he was and just as bright of an energy.

“Hermes, glad to see you. How was my mother?” He asked, joining me at the table where he began to gather his meal.

“She is well, wishes for you to see her, as always,” I said, meeting his gaze.

His eyes fell dark at my words, but he did not leave. I felt there was more he needed to say.

“Have you seen the Dark One today?” He pressed.

“Only this morning. But I had deliveries to make – as you would know.”

“Of course. Well, Helios has sent for me to get you and you alone for his days' discoveries.”

“Perfect. I was on my way to visit him.”

His lip twitched into a smile as he held out his free arm. I took it and we shifted to Helios’ Temple. It sat at the highest peak, even surpassing that of Zeus’ Throne Room.

We arrived at the front steps, surrounded by puffy, white, and cream-colored clouds cloaking the great ball of fire and shielding it from the mortals below. Casting shadows and night about them.

“Come, he has been waiting,” Apollo urged as he ran up the steps and with one hand, swung open the great door.

The strong scent of sunflowers and fresh summer air drifted free with a wave of heat.

We entered the main chamber where the ancient god rested upon his sunstone throne with one leg slung lazily over the armrest. His icy-white hair stuck out in all directions like a blazing fire. His glowing golden eyes fell upon us as we made our way to the citrine seats that sat around a small floating bronze table.

He nodded once and we took our seats before him.

“Helios,” I greeted, and he nodded again.

“You sent for me?” I asked. His eyes closed as he nodded for the third time.

“So, you have seen Hades in the mortal realm?”

Again, he nodded.

“In Demeter’s Meadow?” I pressed. Perhaps I should lead with better questions.

“Demeter’s daughter is quite lovely. A vengeful child too. A darkness that seems to meet that of Lord Hades’ darkness,” He finally spoke, his deep voice echoing around the chamber.

“By how do you mean?”

 He was never one to give a straight answer, always ‘riddle me this’ and ‘riddle me that.’

“It would seem, the young goddess is far more fearless than her mother,” he began, “I had never seen something so sweet and soft – certainly not with divines so dark. It brought light to the meadow. For the Dark One gifted the child a precious crystal and to thank him, the sweet young Goddess of Spring gracefully melted her body to him, lifted on her delicate toes, and pressed her lips firmly against his. The Dark One did not halt this contact, surprisingly he welcomed it.”

 He told the event as if it were some old romantic tale, so many details to describe a kiss.

“And then?”

“She ran away from him.” He shrugged. I scrunched my nose at him.

“She ran away from him?” I repeated.

“She did not seem frightened – but she did seem to be in a hurry after departing from him,” Apollo added.

“Did he go after her?”

“No – I believe he just shifted back to his realm or wherever it is he likes to be,” Helios said.

I nodded, pleased with my work – his smile at the Judgment Hall was satisfaction enough that my plan had been a success. Though, I had not figured Kore to be so bold.

Helios shifted in his seat, moving his leg from the armrest, and straightening himself so that even while sitting, he seemed to tower over me.

“I have kept my eye on the Dark One and the Goddess of Spring as you have requested. Now, what of my request of you?”


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