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The Final Battle by HPFF United
Chapter 48 : Through the Eyes of the Gods
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 7

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Through the Eyes of the Gods
by searching4neverland (wildcat)

The gods of Olympus are majestic. Theirs is the glory of every trouble that reverberates on earth. The life they touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place their touch will be felt. But the gods are fickle creatures, they are bored easily, angered even more effortlessly and hold their grudge for eternity. A silly argument of which goddess is more beautiful can cause ten years of war and an entire city to disappear. The gods don’t have much respect for human life, but the world of men will always be their battlefield. Men’s wars are the wars of the gods as well.

In their magnificence, they seldom understand men, but they understand their weaknesses and love them for their passions as one would love its most prized position. They single out some of them sometimes and play with them, like children with toys, until they break them. Then it’s time to chose a new one. They don’t realize, or most likely don’t care that upon the earth, the games they play are taken very seriously and do terrible damage.

Athena and Aphrodite, for example, never agreed on anything, their fight sometimes getting so Hysterical that Zeus had to intervene to stop the anger from spreading into a battle.

“Why did you have to trick him to death? You only did it to spite me!” Aphrodite was furious, her brilliant hair spinning around her like sunlight in her rage. Her most beloved human had just now made his entry into the kingdom of Hades and she was determined to show how displeased she was. Athena on the other hand was as cal as ever.

“That man was never yours, and that is the thing that spites you, not his death.” Athena would never understand this love that her sister so proclaimed was above all things. It only mad men’s minds confused and brought them to a swifter demise, as if their lives weren’t short enough already. She heard Aphrodite’s cry of rage as reverberated through the heavens, but she knew that Goddess of Love would have never dared to attack her. Not even Zeus’s lightings could pass through her shield.

Aphrodite fled Olympus in fury, determined to get her revenge. Ever since the affair with Paris prince of Troy and that silly golden apple, she and Athena had never found themselves on the same side of a battle. Even if they didn’t want to, they would help different sides just to spite each other. Through centuries those two alone caused more wars that Anya, the goddess of chaos herself. By the time one would hurt the other, some plan earlier devised would take its action on the first and so on, for eternity… which as nothing at all in the gods yes. Time is such a curious thing for them, like a river they could bathe in, it took all shapes against their forms, molding like water to their wishes.

But men take it so seriously. For them time had only one direction, from past to present and into the future. If anyone was to tell them that it could flow to the contrary of that, that the past chases the future – which happens often – or that past present and future can meet in the same point, they would be most confused.

But even for the gods, some events are marked. As the final battle of the world of wizards approached, the gods in Olympus got restless and anxious. Still that fateful night, when all the universe was in motion, the gods were ordered to stay put in their home in the clouds and none dared go against Zeus’s orders. None of the gods could reconcile with the fact that now that all fates would be decided, he wanted them to keep out of the battle. They all had their favorite in the mist of all the chaos, each choosing a side and the only goddess that was unwelcome by both sides was Anya, the goddess of Chaos.

Athena, who was always one to favor those with the brightest mind, has a soft spot for both leaders of the movement, but it’s her favorite human soul that makes her choice for her. She goes wherever he goes, because he is her pet, so much loved that no one could compare to him since the time of Odysseus.

Severus Snape, with his brilliant mind has always held an otherworldly seduction for her. She had gifted him with his uncanny wit and watches over him fiercely as he battles in the names of his love and his regret. Love… It’s not like Athena has something against the feeling itself, but at the damages that it does to the soul of men. She admits that it makes these weak, fragile creature so extraordinary things in its name, but in the end, she always wonders if it’s worth it. Thought eternity of thinking about it, she still hasn’t found an answer. The sadistic games that the goddess of love plays can put Mars and his violent, carnal brutality to shame. Aphrodite always plays with her food before she finishes it. She fills the minds and hearts of men with silly dreams, presents them with the illusion of love to lure their adoration and then breaks their hearts, scarring their souls. In all her millenniums, Athena had yet to see a love story that ended well for both lovers.

She has always resented Aphrodite for contaminating her creation with that weakling feeling. She did it in revenge, because Athena had once stolen her one of her playthings, some Merlin or other. Athena herself has often tried to dissuade Severus from this weakness, but he was adorned with the will of the gods that she herself has driven into his heart, a heart that is true to the one it chooses. If he were not her own perfect creation, she would have been thwarted and resent him for his unrelenting stubbornness. But instead she loves him and in her love watches him from above and guides his hand, closes his mind against those who try to invade it.

Her fury is implacable when she senses pale-faced death approach her favorite human, moments before the battle breaks. Her wrath startles even the King of the Gods and he tries to calm her soul, but she refuses is gentleness and shows stubbornness in the face of his threats. She flees down Olympus against her father orders, a storm following her on her heel. The other gods are not to be treated any differently and Zeus is forced to give them permission to leave the celestial crown and join the battle with their humans.

Athena is the first to come upon land, instantly down with the mortals. She knew that the three Fate sisters are here, enjoying the scent of fresh blood to come but even she does not dare anger them, for even the gods are at their whimsical mercy. Instead she chooses to fight off Death herself, just to give her most loved possession the time to give his life a meaning, in the last gurgles of breath he has left. She would have loved nothing more than to make the emerald-eye boy her own, but all deities are forbidden from touching him… his mother’s sacrifice extends farther than he will ever know, saving him from the flimsy plays of the gods above and below.

Afterwards, when her Severus has passed on the last bit of himself, she takes him gently by the hand and does something she has not done even when her Odysseys passed the gates of Hades: she escorts him herself to the bricks of the river of the dead, assuring him of a peaceful travel in the afterworld.

Unknown to her, Persephone, the beautiful wife of the god of the afterlife, sits in a throne of gold, is waiting patiently for the soul of one man, the one man that has always fascinated her. His soul is strong and bright, more so than the fading others that are coming through the river Stinks these past few centuries. It has been long since she has seen a heart so strong and a mind so clear, in such a hurt but beautiful and complex soul. It has been since the days of the great Achilles that she has not seen such passion. Her unconcealed interest makes Hades proud forehead wrinkle in disapproval. Associating with the souls of mortals is tedious and can be dangerous, but most importantly of all, it’s forbidden - even to the gods. But his wife is not to be dissatisfied, she will have her way. And as she invites the bright soul of Severus Snape to join her for a few words, he feels the tinge of jealousy, which surprises him.

He turns to his side fast enough to see the fleeing robe of Anya, the goddess of anarchy and chaos and hears her fleeing laughter. He could set to catch her and he would, and then send her for a dive in the black tar river that sneaks around the walls of Syracuse, the city of fire, where all the evil souls get their retribution. But he wouldn’t be bothered and she is out too fast. He shall send word to his brother Zeus to punish her accordingly for coming into his kingdom without permission… but knows that the sniveling Anya is at no ones obedience. She loves to make a mess of the gods’ plans, making troubles is her pride and joy. The Castle of Magic has been her playground these past few months, as she jumped from one side to another, creating confusion and escaping punishment like only she could.

But what was she doing in the kingdom of the dead anyhow? All living and dead things knew that she was afraid of the underworld’s darkness and of Gaya’s ancient prophecy of her getting trapped in it. But when he saw the soul of the Weasley twin, one of Anya’s own chosen one, he understood why she had defied her fears only this once… but even in her grief the insufferable goddess could be a nuisance.

But no matter now, new souls are coming in, right from the battle that is divulging up there, and he is anxious for the Chosen Boy to find his destiny and complete it, to send him his reward in the form of the black soul of the man that has dared spark his resentment by bending the laws of nature and Death. Hades, he who by nature the most peaceful and calm of all the gods and titans, never takes interest in any battles, unlike his brothers and sisters in Olympus. He knows that all of them end in the same way – before his feet. But this one is different. He has a long lasting brawl with the leader of the Hooded Men, and cannot wait to get his hands on the one that has been avoiding his shaded kingdom for so long. The whips and flames in the depths of hell are crackling with desire to fasten on his soul and work on… but they are patient, for surely, a human cannot avoid them forever, not even a cunning one like the Snake above.

But the seed of jealousy has now been planted in him and he is not pleased at all to see his young wife enjoying herself that much with a mere human soul. He is tempted to send this soul to the gates of burning Syracuse, to be met there with the whips and chains – the punishment for all his earthly sins that are neither few, light nor easy to forgive. But Persephone is outraged.

“Should you let petty feelings get the better of you, husband, where would humans find their peace? Is the god of the afterlife going to be as whimsical as the others and toy with the last hope of these unfortunate souls for justice?”

But this is not what could placate the god of the underworld. Hades is even angrier that this mere soul has turned his beloved against him and is ready to show it just how much his ager can compare to the most fierce vengeance of Zeus himself, but his beautiful wife senses his mood and she placates him with gentleness instead of calls for righteousness… for the gods are fickle… more alike humans than they will ever understand.

“My love, my lord, you have always had my admiration for being the just among whimsical gods and their inconsiderate desires that so destroy the lives of these fragile humans.” She feels his anger concentrate in his breast, but he does not fly into the rage she fears, so she takes heart and goes on.

“Be the husband I love, give this soul the serenity it deserves for all that it has suffered. Let him travel the fields of peace.” At her touch and gentle words, the god of the underworlds lets his anger fade and as he speaks and grants this soul that so impressed his wife, the afterlife of peace he has earned, his mind is already working on a plan on how to punish Anya for the treacherous feeling that she dared put in his breast.

But the object of Hade’s revenge is now far away from his reach, above on the ground. The castle of magic has been her favorite home for quite some time now. Trouble seems so easy there. Infusing anarchy and disobedience in the heart of the young has never been so much fun, but being around wizards too much is also dangerous. Wizards are not quite as tedious as common mortal, even if the other gods refuse to see this. Once, a few centuries ago, she was almost caught by four of them, as she wrecked havoc in the castle. It was a knight and a lord that almost trapped her, using the plan of a witch that seemed to always know when she was there, and the strength of another that was so impossibly difficult to get to because she was just so good. Anya snorted at the memory.

But that is not what is on Anya’s mind in that instant. The two twins are her masterpiece and Juno just ruined it. She is angry with the vain queen for taking her frustration with her husband out on one of her beloved twins, but no matter, because words to Zeus has already been send word and he has taken care of her. Anya laughs cheekily at the face of the queen of the gods as she hangs upside down from the heavens.

Juno had once again outdone herself and gotten herself into trouble. - Thinking that Zeus, her husband, was secretly keeping the side of the wizards of the Phoenix, she wanted to wrong him in revenge for his latest escapade with some nymph that she had yet to punish… so she tried to trap the Chosen Boy underneath the ruins of an explosion in the midst of the full blown battle. Who would ever know what had happened?... But she should have known better than to defy the Three Sister of Fate. The chosen Boy’s string was not anyone’s to pull but theirs, and they showed Juno her punishment when they out her in the path of Demetra’s revenge. Because the one trapped in the ruins was not the Chosen Boy, but the Weasley twin.

It was Demetra, goddess of fertility and the protector of all mothers, that was keeping an eye on the Weasley matriarch. Out of all the gods, perhaps Demetra is the one that loves mortals most honestly, because she loves them for what they are and respects their frailty. She is a mother and all mother are the same, mortal and immortal. And she respects the Weasley woman for all the life that she has brought on earth and the fierceness with which she protects it. So when life was snatched out of one of the precious fire-haired children, Demetra’s wrath was so strong that Juno had to flee the battle to seek refuge up in the heavens… and not find it even there, because Demetra had chased her all the way. The goddesses went around the world fifty times before Demetra finally put her hand around Juno’s neck and brought her to Zeus’s feet, demanding retribution.

“If not for the sake of a life lost, then do it for your wronged pride, lord of heaves, for she wronged you and disobeyed you order. Had it not been for the mother’s sacrifice, the Chosen One would be in Hade’s kingdom by now.”

And Juno got her fair punishment for trying to temper fate – she was to hang by her ankles from the celestial crown, swinging upside down for all the gods to see, for three days and three nights…, which by earth time would count as many, many years, before Zeus forgives her, and allows Vulcan to cut her loose.

Down on earth, the battle has stilled and the gods are watching. Watching as destiny finally unfolds and the last piece clips together. They all watch, with interest, but none of them interfering as the Chosen One dies and comes back. Indeed he is not dead, because Hades never claims him, but he is not alive either. This thing is farther than even their immortal reach can go and Aphrodite swells her breast proudly, vainly showing off to the other god what her love can do.

But the calm that goes on earth is merely the breath before the storm, as the battle begins again. Demetra is fast at the Weasley’s side, Panic and Pain snicker perched on the shoulder of the one who loved them most, a strange conglomerate creature of the name of Bellatrix Black. Aphrodite whispers strength in the hearts of those who love as Athena watches from afar without the slightest bit of interest. Apollo is doing Demetra’s binding, as a favor for his friend, as he helps a platinum-haired family find each-other in the midst of the battle and Mars is hauling behind the vest of the Dark Lord – the god of war being the only one that can savor the violence and heat of battle that the strange soulless creature carries with him.

It is then that everything ends, with the first beam of light of the new day. The gods bear witness to the beginning of a new era, once again. This war ends as the one that started it leaves this world for the other, where what is left of his soul is long overdue… and life goes on.

Thought all the battles that men have, the gods are always there, taking their parts in them and men should not be surprised at all. Because the truth is that the gods are majestic and immortal, theirs is the glory, the magnificence…, and the envy. Because the gods have all eternity and men do not. Men’s existence is brief and thus intense. That’s why it’s called life and not merely existence and because of that, everything in men’s life is more beautiful… and the gods will forever envy that, and create new endless brawls, just so they can have a taste of what it means to live.

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