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Chapter 1: Origins
I stretch out on the long couch, glancing casually over my shoulder at the massive drop straight down the mountain beside me. Far, far away I can see the vague outlines of the Muggles, scurrying like ants in the city far below.
I am Zeus Olympus, and those silly Muggles named a mountain after me.
Those silly Muggles, in fact, have done a lot of silly things since The Great Battle I won for mankind several years ago. They’ve some interesting theories about me and my family. Apparently, we’re immortal. Deities, too. I am by no means immortal, though I am flattered by the concept. A brilliant wizard, yes. A wizard whose power remains unmatched throughout the world, yes. A wizard who has managed to take the place of King over every single polis in the land without having to lift a finger in leadership, yes. A wizard whose ego knows no bounds, yes. An immortal god? Alas, not.
There are some other rumours, however, which I certainly feel the need to quash. I have no idea where they got the idea that I married my sister, but that in particular is something I need to set straight. Hera is not my sister. I don’t have sisters. I have brothers; Hera has sisters; I do not have sisters; Hera does not have brothers. Explain to me then how she and I could possibly be related. How vile.
Hera’s sisters annoy me. Demeter is a relatively simple Herbologist who went into a sulk after my creepy brother Hades married her daughter, and therefore refused to help the Muggles with their farming. At the end of the day, the Muggles suck at agriculture and they need Demeter’s help, so I convinced dear brother Hades to let the woman Persephone go for half the year. This half happens to coincide with spring and summer and such, so the Muggles are under the impression Demeter is a harvest goddess or some rubbish and that their crops thrive because Demeter is happy her gormless child is with her.
Hestia is a relatively boring woman, though full credit to her for coming up with the newfangled Fidelius Charm, designed to hide and protect houses. She’s always working on protective charms for houses, though when some of us suggested to maybe concentrate on protective charms for people, she went off in a huff and stoked the fireplace.
Mind you, my brothers aren’t much better. We really are a dysfunctional family, which means I can’t wait to hear the other embellished stories the Muggles come up with to explain family dynamics. As mentioned previously, my brother Hades is creepy. He doesn’t live up here on Mount Olympus (That’s right. Some families have houses or estates. The Olympus family, we get an entire freaking mountain.) No, Hades lives in a cave. By himself. Except he’s not quite alone—he likes to have ten thousand Dementors chilling in his cave with him. I’m wondering why he hasn’t killed himself out of despair yet—I can’t stand those Dementor things. To their credit, though, they haven’t sucked out his soul, though I suppose he must have some degree of control over the things.
Poseidon and I have had a bit of a falling out since he realised my daughter is smarter than he is, which is a bit of a shame because he always was my favourite brother. Though to be fair that’s not hard when your other brother is thought of as the Agent of Death by the Muggles. Poseidon’s favourite trick is to control the sea—he likes to put engorgement charms on the waves and such. The Muggles are now convinced he controls everything in the sea, oh, and tectonic movement as well. Did I tell you they were gullible? Well, they’re gullible.
My wife and I are very talented at Transfiguration. It’s a good system—I Transfigure myself to sneak unseen into the Muggle cities and, well, share the magic, Hera finds out conveniently after any magical children are born, and avenges herself by Transfiguring the poor woman into something—tree, cow, you name it. I’ve tried to talk her out of it, but she’s stubborn.
I have a number of offspring who live on Olympus with me, and only two are Hera’s. Needless to say she’s not happy with this arrangement, but when you look at our children you wouldn’t be surprised that I looked elsewhere. Ares is psychotic, throwing curses everywhere and challenging everyone to duels. Last I heard, he was down in Athens challenging some Muggle soldiers to take him on. Considering the lad is proficient in Avada Kedavra I don’t really think it’s a fair contest, however we’re not exactly above showing off our superiority to the Muggles.
Hephaestus—in the name of all that is magical I don’t know what went wrong there. Hera took one look at him and nearly hurled him off the edge of the mountain, he was so damn ugly. He’s practically a Squib too, can’t cast a spell to save himself and has redeemed himself only slightly because he can make pretty things out of metal. He was the other son I had with Hera. Once again, is it any surprise I looked for other women to bear my offspring?
Aphrodite is a worry. She is, naturally, extremely beautiful, but to add to that she’s taken it upon herself to invent a startlingly powerful potion she’s named Amortentia, which from all reports causes disturbingly strong infatuation. She loves wrecking havoc among the Muggles with that stuff.
Athene, she’s my biggest success story. Of course I was that much more fond of her when she humiliated my brother competing to govern Athens, but she was a brilliant witch anyway. I mean, the Muggles named a city after her. She’s smart, and she can fight too. Uses tactics. It’s always fun to watch her dueling with Ares—he always ends up knocked out and it takes a while for him to come around again. I try not to laugh—but I do anyway.
Apollo and Artemis are twins, and its hard to pick out exactly what their strengths are. They like killing people, I’ll give them that. Ruthless, they are. They like to slip into the Muggle cities and avada kedavra anyone who annoys them, and the Muggles are beginning to think they’re behind the deaths of absolutely everyone. It doesn’t reflect well on the family, having a couple of serial killers, so I’ve told them to lay off the homicide.
Dionysus is particularly gifted at Transfiguration, and his favourite trick is to turn any liquid into wine. As a result, he always has plenty of friends, both magical and Muggle, and I suppose it helps that he doesn’t kill or Transfigure any Muggles either.
Hermes can fly. Bet your son can’t.
I do feel sorry for the Muggles sometimes. Not only for not having magic, but for expecting that we’ll help them with all their troubles—for eternity. And for all their efforts, half their population has been killed or Transfigured by my family. Athene is the only one who hasn’t gone on killing/Transfiguration rampages to date, and that’s probably because the Muggles’ biggest city is dedicated to her—I can see her ego getting bigger than mine in years to come.
I have no delusions that we are the only wizarding family in the world, though we certainly are the only wizarding family in this part of it. I wonder if the founding wizards in other nations are worshipped as deities. It’s quite likely, of course, these Muggles like the concept of gods, and I think it brings out the best in them. Our Muggles, they’ve built some very pretty temples and things already, and I can imagine they will only get better as time goes on. Chances are I’ll be dead by then, which is a shame, though apparently the Muggles won’t know that.
I pick up my wand, idly twisting it and looking at it admiringly. I don’t know how Hepheastus did it, but the kid is talented with crafts, and he managed to retrieve the core of my original wand and thread it through this fantastic 24-carat gold lightning bolt. It makes a nice change from the generic stick shape, and I know Poseidon appreciates his trident wand a lot as well. I prefer mine though—makes it seem like I’m actually holding lightning, and I can tell you it looks spectacular if I happen to cast a spell that uses yellow light. The Muggles probably think of me as a god of lightning or some nonsense. What do I keep telling you about these silly gullible Muggles?
Oh, they make me laugh. God of lightning, king of the gods, immortal god, they honour me so. I would love to see their reactions if I came down from the mountain, shook their hands and sat down to a meal with them, maybe complimented them on their Temples To Zeus—that would blow those theories right out of the water, I would imagine.
Then again, I figure it would be fun to let them believe what they want.