Harry Potter was furious. Thunder roared, lighting danced, it was a storm the likes of which are rare to be seen by likes of mortal eyes before. It had but one source, and Harry was it, the heart and eye of the storm.
"Father…." Harry drawled it, a greeting that was as low and dangerous as the thunder's approach, rumbling out of his throat, as if his own father is a threat. It is his only greeting for the black haired man, whose hair is wispy and wind blown, as if he'd gotten out of bed and never brushed it. It was a similarity between father and son.
"Harry." Zeus's smile is, for once, strained.
"Surely you do not seek to be but one of them?" Ares protested mutely, for Hera's sake, who was yet seated silently between Harry and Zeus. His mother had made not one word of protest since Harry had approached Zeus, for an appeal that was as much demand as plea. Ares did not like that Harry was denied his place among them, as Olympian as any had right to claim – that he was hidden high up and not let down to walk among mortals – as any immortal had right to do. That Harry would then ask to deny any claim to immortality – Ares had never foreseen.
"Surely I do." Harry demanded, eyes never straying from Zeus.
"Am I not my mother's son?" Harry pressed, when Zeus did not speak or stir. At this, it was Hera who spoke. The storm about them grew eerie and silent, a respectful shadow of itself.
"Do you deny that I have raised you, milked you from my own breast, if not born of my body – are you not my son, Harry?" Ares shut his eyes, pained. Athena, beside him, made a sound like she had been wounded, a protest. Harry met her bovine brown eyes, black and glittering like wet stars.
"I am the son of Zeus, am I but a bastard." Athena had told him this, Ares knew – and hated her for it. Harry did not deserve it. Hera bowed her head, and Ares saw tears on his mother's cheeks. Dionysus, himself half mortal and another son of Zeus, shook his head in mute denial. None though spoke, for Hera would speak first and only Zeus could speak before her.
"So be it. With my blessing, go to Earth and be but half-god – as you claim you are, until such time as you can claim again to be a son of mine." There is wrath in her, as much fury as any storm can claim, but sorrow as deep as the night sky. Harry bows his head to her, in thanks – or agreement, or reverent apology to do as he must and not ask for forgiveness. It is then, as Hera turns her back upon him, that he lets out a cry.
To be a god and immortal, and then not, is a painful thing to deny. A dreadful thing to endure – it goes on for a lifetime, until Harry is but a half-god, born again, a boy. He looks up to see them all staring, as if he is the god and they are all but mortal, in their eyes they plead for Harry to take it back, to appeal again. Hera would give into him, loves him – only that he's hurt her can be made up for.
"Cowards…." Harry hisses at them, his words as treacherous as his snake green eyes. He is in pain, Apollo knows- more pain then any Olympian could say to take with ease.
"You would hide away, upon the heights of Olympus, while all your children suffer and die. Damn you all. I choose to take your fight, father and siblings – to Gaia, and stand at the side of those who might die in your hiding. You'll find me there, if you care to look. Or perhaps I will entertain Hades before spring's end." Demeter looks to Persephone, who holds her chin high, though there is a flush that paints her cheeks, and knowledge of what Harry means glints in her eyes.
Harry smiles to see it, knowing the strike is true. He bows, mockingly, to lovely Persephone, who is titled Queen of the Underworld by her high birth alone. It is Artemis who first holds her head high and meets Harry eye to eye, and offers her hand to Harry. It is for Harry to take or not.
"Come, brother. We have work to do. I would not see my Hunters become but the hunted." Harry takes that slender white hand and stands up from where he is on his knees. He pants for breath, as if he can not get enough, as if he can die from lack of it. Ares remembers that now he can. Ares sighs, and stirs. He steps foreword, a grim smile on his lips as his eyes meet those of Zeus.
"Forgive me my fondness for my own brother, father. As you once bid me when I was but a babe and the Titans would have struck you down, I go to war - and I take all who would call themselves of my host with me." Ares scans the shadows, and they are there. Like blood that seeps from the foundation upon which Olympus stands, those who shed blood and have shed blood stand now to side with Ares. Enyo his twin, who answers to none but him (if she wills to)- cries out, for bloodlust and ruin of his enemies, to summon to their side all who would answer her cry.
Enyalios answers at once, his howl as warlike as his name. He is his mother's son. Eris, great goddess of strife, stirs to sing – she the very daughter of Nyx, and if ever Ares doubted that he was right, this settles his worry. Eris is as old as any who can claim Titan blood, born before Gaia herself; it is she whom Gaia ought to fear of all the old ones. Her black wings unfold, and once she is so stirred, her children born for war, do not hesitate in answer: the Hysminai scream out for a fight, the Makhai beat upon their shields, and the Androktasiai one and all raised up their swords.
Polemus only grins when Ares pauses upon him; so Alala's war cry is like a blessing. Kydoimos tilts his head back to listen, lazy and sure of what he hears – battle is coming, for he is its herald. He looks last to his sons by Aphrodite, Deimos who bows with a wink to his whim, his hair like a golden mane and Phobos who does not even hesitate to summon the horses, burning Aithôn, bright Phlogeus, and whinnying Conabus.
Last of all, Ares looks to Aphrodite, hesitating, it is she who sighs and smiles - as if his gesture of rebellion is romantic. Aphrodite has warred before, and it would do Zeus well to remember she is a daughter of Heaven.
"War." She says softly, agreement – for his sake, of for the sake of their sons Deimos and Phobos.
Eros and Himeros, twins born by her alone, look both to Anterôs – Ares son, who sided with his mother and Harmonia when he had had to choose, while Deimos and Phobos had taken to Ares. He only nods to his father, but it is enough to know that Aphrodite will not go alone to side with him. Aphrodite takes Ares outstretched hand, and when Apollo only bows to Zeus before taking up his side to Artemis's back, it's enough – he knows it must be.
It is all he has managed to summon for Harry's sake. Ares looks to Dionysus – to Hermes – to Hephaestus - all lovers of Aphrodite, all his brothers. They do not meet his eyes. Athena meets his eyes, but looks to Zeus – to Hephaestus, and shakes her head. She shall try from within to win him their support, but she will not go to war at his word alone. Demeter sneers as she does at all things to do with war, and Poseidon but looks on with longing. Hera, his own mother, is absent, and Zeus will be no help to him.
Burning red eyes meet his, boldly, as Hestia smiles.
Eris opens her black eyes, and they are gone, snatched from high Olympus itself.