The Winter Solstice was, hands down, the most chaotic time of the year and it was starting to grate on Hestia's nerves. She never understood why it was, exactly, that her siblings had to fight. Sure, they fought at ever other meeting, too, and the Summer Solstice was also bad, but the Winter one was the worst simply because Demeter got into the fighting as well. Hades only came to the Winter Solstice meeting because it was the only time that Zeus would allow him to come. This, of course, led to Demeter throwing a fit considering that Hades had kidnapped her daughter just a few centuries ago. She would switch between demanding him being completely banished from Olympus and screaming at him to give back her daughter. Never mind the fact that Persephone didn't want to leave Hades, but Demeter didn't like to listen.
While Demeter was screaming at Hades, who was trying to ignore her, Hestia found that her main headache was no coming from them this Solstice. Instead it was coming from where Poseidon was verbally attacking both Hera and Zeus. A rare sight, since Poseidon, next to Hades, was the calmest of her brothers and never started an argument. That's why it was getting on Hestia's nerves - she had never before seen her little brother so angry and distraught. She knew that, out of all her siblings, Poseidon loved his mortal children the most and that was why she kept quiet despite the noise giving her a headache and getting on her nerves. He had just learned that, not only had Zeus seduced his only mortal daughter (a princess named Lamia) and been sleeping with her for well over a year, but Hera had the audacity to curse her and turn her into a monster. Hestia believed her brother had ever right to be throwing a fit - it was taboo for a god or goddess to attack another's godling directly unless said godling had offended the attacking god or goddess directly. Sleeping with said god or goddess' lover or spouse did not count as a direct offence, but Hera believed that her title as Queen of the Gods meant that she was exempt from this taboo and was refusing to undo the curse. Zeus was doing the wise thing by cowering into his throne - Poseidon was, after all, the strongest of the gods and goddesses.
Hestia shook her head at Hera's stupidity, feeling a small amount of pity for her little sister. Ah well, she thought. This would have happened eventually, given Hera's ego. Hestia turned her attention from her siblings to watch her brother's children. Apollo and Artemis were in a heated "discussion" (it was an argument, the Hearth Goddess could tell, but at least they were keeping their voices low) while Hermes and Dionysus were talking about something or other (probably some wine deliveries) while Athena was starting at Poseidon, looking a little put out (now that was a surprise - it seemed that Athena just wanted attention whenever she attempted to argue with Poseidon. It was no wonder the Wisdom Goddess had yet to figure out that he was only humoring her). That, of course, left Ares, Hephaestus, and, of course, Aphrodite. Hestia didn't much like Aphrodite, who was less the goddess of love and more the goddess of lust, especially since she kept goading the conflict between Hephaestus and Ares. Hestia knew that Hephaestus wouldn't care nearly so much if it wasn't for the fact that Ares liked to pick fights and Aphrodite loved to cause heartache.
Since Hestia was the only one who was no talking to anyone, merely watching and tending her hearth, she was the first to spot the sudden arrivals. Hestia wasn't sure what to make of the silent five when she did spot them, for they were so strange. The tallest of them was a man with tanned skin and eyes colored like a cloudless sky. He had a scar on his upper lip and a few other scars scattered on his arms, so he was likely a warrior. He was not wearing any kind of tunic, but instead a strange piece of cloth that covered only his upper torso. His legs were covered by a garment like she had never before seen, as it wrapped around both legs but only attached together at the waist. The cloth covering his chest was an intriguing shade of purple with strange runes on it in a more gold coloring while the garment covering his legs was a strange faded blue. Hestia noticed that there was only one other wearing similar clothing - the second shortest of the bunch, a young woman (probably a maiden who had just entered adulthood). She was clearly a foreigner from the south, with her dark skin and her unruly brown hair. However, Hestia got the uncomfortable feeling that she was the daughter of one of her brothers or Demeter, as she had gold eyes. It was a rare thing, but only one of her four siblings had mortal children with gold eyes. It was only their children, for some odd reason, and only their mortal children. Truthfully, she was betting on Zeus since he had a thing for woman considered exotic (Poseidon's poor daughter, Lamia, being a prime example of this as, normally, gods and goddesses have to ask for permission to go after another's mortal child). The woman was wearing a similar attire to the first of the five she had examined, the only difference being the color of the leg garments. They more of a dark blue than a faded blue.
The next of the new arrivals that Hestia studied was the shortest of the bunch - a man who was wearing all black and was clearly one of Hades' rare mortal children (his mortal children were rare not because he rarely had affairs, but because he had only a small window of time to have them before his very possessive wife came home and because he rare ended up knocking up his mortal lovers since he took the time to win their hearts instead of making it a lust affair like Zeus did). The man had ghostly white skin and dark brown eyes (so different from the black eyes of her brother), but he had the same black colored hair as his father. The hair was short and shaggy - as though he had only just gotten out of bed and threw on the odd cloak along with all black garments that were like the garments of the first two. There was one other in black, who was also wearing silver. She had the shortest hair that Hestia had ever seen on any woman or girl and it was rather spiky. It was black in color and her skin is oddly pale, though nowhere near as pale as the shortest of the five. Hestia caught sight of Artemis' Lieutenant Circlet on her head but wondered if it was just a replica that was made by someone else, as Hestia knew that Artemis would have mentioned that her lieutenant was so odd-looking for a maiden. She wore an odd black cloak, like the boy from before, as well as some silver decorations that Hestia could not identify. She wore a silver bracelet and hooked to her belt was an odd object that Hestia did not know.
When at last Hestia looked at the final member of the bunch - the second tallest, wearing an orange garment with strange runes, and twiddling an odd bronze stick between his fingers - she could not help the gasp that passed her lips. If it were not for the fact that he was currently still fighting with Hera, she would have thought that Poseidon was standing before her and had taken a younger form. His face was Poseidon's completely, especially with the way it was hard to tell if he was bored or brooding. His complexion was a tan that only sailors and seafarers could have, his eyes were the exact same shade of sea-green, and his messy black hair even had the same windswept look that Poseidon's had. He looked so much like her brother did at a younger age that she could not tear her eyes from him or deny that he had to be the son of Poseidon. The resemblance was much too spot on and only fools or the blind could not realize whose son he was.
"Who - who are you?" Hestia asked, her soft voice cutting through the suddenly still and silent air. "Where do you come from and why are you here?"
The young man turned to her, her breath catching as he locked eyes with her fearlessly. A smile, sarcastic and that of a troublemaker, came to his face, though his eyes held something haunted within them. He went to answer her question, keeping his eyes on her as if he was answer her and her alone, not the entire room's same question. However, before he could answer, something suddenly caught his attention and she, too, looked to see what it was. At the base of the thrones, a spot which before had been empty, stood three people. Hestia immediately recognized the men - Theseus, who had just been recognized as the heir of Athens and a son of Poseidon, Orion, the only man to ever be recognized by Artemis and another of Poseidon's current children, and last was Heracles, Theseus' friend who had just gotten married and a one of Zeus's children. The three men each immediately turned to their respective father with a confused look and instinctively seeking guidance. When they found no answers, everyone turned their attention to the five strangers. Clearing his throat, the shortest and probably youngest stepped forward.
"I apologize for our sudden appearance and intrusion upon Olympus," the man began as he pulled something from his odd cloak. "However, this letter we have with us will explain if you allow us to read it. It will also explain why Heracles, Orion, and Theseus have been summoned here."
The gods and goddesses glance at each other before Zeus nodded, sitting up more regally in this throne while his siblings, children, and Aphrodite returned to theirs. Hestia saw that Poseidon's attention was mainly on his double, though he did occasionally glance at his two children, as though reassuring himself that they were safe. A smile tugged at her lips at his concern for his children while she returned her attention to the man with the scroll, which he now had unfurled.
"Dear Gods, Goddesses, and Godlings,
It has come to our attention that the future is quite a messy place and that many things could have been avoided if they had been addressed sooner. Seeing as it took a long time to be addressed in the future, as Zeus has allowed his place in charge to slowly start going to his head and too many years of peace have come and gone, we decided to send these five heroes back in time from their place over a thousand years into the future. The reason we chose these five specifically is because of the fact that, in their time, they are the only children of the Big Three that are living. Another reason that we are doing this at all is because the Grecian Pantheon is weakening. Humans have become so independent from the Gods and Goddesses that they no longer need them or even believe they exist - this leaves godlings as the only link to existence that they gods still have. Things must change, must be reversed. Certain rivalries must never happen and certain events must be prevented. As soon as everyone is comfortable, a book (a more advanced form of a scroll) shall appear for you all to read. Once you are done with it, the next shall appear. You will read ten books total. Remember that this is for the good of the future, the gods, and their godlings. It is also to ensure that a rule will never been put in place by Hera, who does not understand the importance of godlings and mortals.
The Moirai, Ananke, and Chronus"
"And before anyone asks, that last name is Chron-us and not Kron-os," the male added when he finished reading the scroll. "As in the Primordial God of Time and Space, rather than the Titan of Time. He was kind of our ticket to this point in time. Lady Ananke was the one who confirmed that the Grecian Pantheon was on the verge of collapsing."
The gods and goddesses nodded mutely, none quite sure how to respond to that message from the Fates and two Primordials. Zeus was the one to recover first, for once glad that he had figured out how the whole king-thing worked when it came to emotional cover-ups and other things like that. Before, he had never understood the necessity, but at least it helped him cover his shock and slight fear. He wondered, briefly, why there were only five children from him and his two brothers - normally he and Poseidon had at least five (well, he usually had ten ever other year while Poseidon tried to have only five every fifty or so years). Even so, he regained his composure and addressed the five from the future (over a thousand years? Could things really change that much in only a thousand or so years?).
"Very well," he said. "Please state your names, parentage, and accomplishments."
He was rather curious what his future children had accomplished. As he scanned them while they decided who would go first, he felt certain that the foreign-looking woman was the sister of Poseidon's mini-me while the blond and the other woman were his, leaving the shortest of the five to Hades. He guessed the foreign woman's relations based off the way she stood closest to her brother's doppelgänger than any of the others (he didn't blame her for staying closest to him - he looked so much like Poseidon that he probably gave off the same calming aura). In the end, the same man that spoke up before stepped forward.
"I am Nico, son of Hades. I am the Ghost King and Ambassador of Pluto, who is the Roman form of my father. That should be explained in the books - I apologize, but we were asked to allow the books to give you the bulk of the information you need. I participated in the second Titan War, leading my father's troops from the Underworld, and the second Giant War," the man, Nico, explained. When he noticed their confused expressions at the mention of a second Giant war, he elaborated. "The first Giant war will happen sometime in the near future, which Heracles shall be participating in. I do not have a whole lot of titles at the moment, as I have been mostly doing errands for Father rather than quests asked of me by others, you see."
"I am Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto, the Roman form of Hades," the foreign woman went next, surprising the gods and goddesses. "I helped defeat the Giant known as Clytius, the Giant Alcyoneus, defeated Pasiphae, Mother of the Minotaur, and a participant in the Second Giant War."
"These giants," Hera spoke up, disdain her voice as she looked at the godlings. "They don't seem that hard to beat."
"Actually, ma'am, they take the combined power of a godling and god to defeat," Hazel informed her. "Neither god nor godling can take one on alone. They simply cannot be killed without the two working together."
"My turn, I suppose," sighed the other strange woman. "Thalia, daughter of Zeus. No, I don't care what you think, Hera, so keep your trap shut before I sick my honorary brother on you." The dropped jaws of the gods, goddesses, and past heroes were ignored. "I am the Lieutenant of the Huntresses of Artemis and, subsequently, defeater of a crap tone of monsters I don't care to recite. I helped out in the Second Titan War and in the Second Giant War."
"I apologize for my sister," the blond man spoke up. "I am Jason, full-blood brother of Thalia, son of Jupiter, Roman form of Zeus. I'm a consul to godlings, former praetor of the Twelfth Legion. I slew the Trojan Sea Monster, I toppled the black throne of Kronos, defeated the Titan Krios, the Giant Polybotes, and the Giant Porphyrion. I am also the Pontifex Maximus - that will be explained in the books, I am sure."
"My name is Perseus, but I prefer to go by Percy," the final stranger, Poseidon's double, spoke. "I was named after Perseus, son of Zeus, because of the fact he is one of the few Heroes known to have a happy ending and, as names hold power, my mother hoped to bring me good luck with this name. I'm guess, considering all the stares I was already getting, that you all know I'm Poseidon's son. Seeing as the first five books will cover my accomplishments, I'll just let you all read about them. I really don't want to recite them all and some of them I'd rather forget all together, honestly."
The gods and goddesses shared looks at this, unsure what to make of Poseidon's youngest child. Well, all but Poseidon were unsure what to make of him. Poseidon had actually perked up, though he was a little disappointed to not hear all of the titles. Even so, he was pleased that the first five books would focus on his child, meaning that his son was rather powerful. Poseidon waved a hand, creating a place for the godlings to all sit. Three chairs were at the base of his throne, to which he motioned for Percy to join his brothers. Percy gave a single glance to his friends, who all nodded at him, and he walked over to his father and sat with his two brothers, who looked at him curiously. Jason and Thalia went to sit on the chairs at the foot of their father's throne while Hazel and Nico sat with their own father. Once everyone was setting, Hestia was surprised to find that the book appeared to her first.
Everyone gave Hestia their attention as she looked at the title of the book with curiosity. She glanced up at them, a little uncomfortable to suddenly have everyone's attention while sitting at her hearth. However, the warm smile that she received from the future godlings set her at ease, so she read off the title.
"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," she read, pausing for a moment afterwards. "Oh, goodness. It seems mortals and godlings do, indeed, become quite bold in the future."
"Indeed," Zeus agreed, eyeing the godling named for his son. "It best not have been you, godling."
All he got in response was an eye roll, startling Zeus. He then shared an amused look with Hades - it would seem that Poseidon's godling was one who didn't care about reputations or status. This was certainty going to be an interesting read.