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EDIT: GOsh i’m sorry i forgot to credit the prompters! arg!
In Greece there was a goddess, whose name was Persephone, and to her were given the wild growing things of Nature, and she was beautiful, with hair the colour of ripe wheat and skin like the softest dark earth. Two gods of Olympus, Hermes and Apollo, had wooed her, but her mother Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away.
This day, while Persephone was gathering flowers with the Oceanids, as well as Artemis and Athena, she spied a cleft in the earth. Through it, she could see the Underworld, where mighty Hades bent to his work, seeing to the proper movement of souls. And Persephone did grow enamoured of Hades, and wished him for her own.
So, bending her head, and hiding her working from her companions (though truth be told Artemis and Athena were well distracted with each other), Persephony did send down roots of the most tenacious trees, and captured Hades, and had him carried back to her garden.
And when she returned to her garden, Hades saw her, and he railed that this woman had trapped him, and he struggled against the vines that held him, and demanded in a voice most thunderous to be released. But Persephone saw his strength, and was pleased. And she saw his struggle, and the fires of the Underworld in his eyes, and she was pleased. She answered his thunder with a gentle song, and waited patiently, for even the gods grow hoarse and weary.
Then did Persephone plant blossoms around her beloved, in the favored colours of spring (for such was her garden, and her skill at gardening, that she could keep them in bloom year-round, and would eventually teach the most rudimentary of her skills to man). And Hades again railed at her, for they were so unlike his home that they disturbed him. So Persephone told him their names, and taught him their uses, and he came to understand them, though he still asked for some Nightshade or Asphodel, those being the plants that grew in the Underworld. And Persephone did smile at him, and touch his cheek, and said nothing. And Hades sighed and quieted, though he never learned to love corn, and always despised its countenance.
But while Persephone was working her way on Hades, his duties in the Underworld lay abandoned, and Cerberous would howl for his master, and let none else enter. Thus the realms around the Underworld became crowded with spirits, who gathered on the edges of the Styx, uneasy. And so great did the crowd grow that it overspilled onto the world, and everywhere spirits wandered, frightening the people and casting a cold pallor over the land. In some places, you could not see your own hand before your face, so thick were the shades of the dead, and in others, the chill filled the air so high that it did not rain, but snowed.
Then the people cried out to Hades, and to Zeus, and to any god that might hear them, and begged them to right the world. And then did Zeus, when he tired of hearing these cries, went to consult with Helios, who sees most everything from his chariot in the sky. And Helios did bid him speak to Demeter, and to the daughter of Demeter, so Zeus traveled from Olympus to the garden. Demeter, upon meeting him, percieved that her daughter had done wrong, and had harmed the world’s balance, and sternly told her to set things right.
Persephone bowed to the will of her mother, and to that of Zeus, but first she and Hades did conspire to meet again, for Hades had grown fond of her (and of the garden, though he would never be caught saying so aloud). Hades did eat seven pomegranate seeds, grown from the earth, so that Persephone could later call him from the Underworld, and back into her garden.
And so it is, that for a third of the year, Persephone calls Hades from the Underworld, and the spirits of the dead wander the earth, bringing chill weather. And sometimes Persephone calls him early, or lingers before letting him leave, so that not all winters are the same.
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