The return trip to Olympus seemed quick in comparison to my journey to the Underworld. The place was overwhelmed with immortals, and decorations covered every square inch. Flowers of every color hung off columns and tables were lined with every type of dish you could imagine. Gross. It would have been a great party I was sure if only the reason for it had been different. Swiping a bottle of ambrosia off a nearby table as I passed, I quickly unscrewed the lid and took a long sip to Hermes’ yell of “Hey!”
Flipping him off I continued upstairs, pushing past immortals who kept me from my room. I didn’t want to be here for this damned event, but I had nowhere else to go. I planned to just skip the whole gathering all together. The weird feeling in my stomach had returned as soon as I got here and it only pissed me off more. Guilt. That’s what Hades had told me. I took another long gulp as I pushed the door to my room open.
“Ahh!” Melinoë gasped turning towards me. “I thought you were downstairs already.”
I rolled my eyes, kicking the door closed behind me. She had one of my dresses held in front of her and tossed it to the side. I noticed a number of my dresses littered the floor around her.
“If you wanted a dress, M, you could have just asked.”
“Yes, but, where is the fun in that?” she giggled.
She slipped the next dress onto her tiny form and surveyed herself in the long glass mirror. We were about the same size, so it wasn’t uncommon for her to steal my clothes, but I just wasn’t in the mood for company right now. This day had gone to shit and it was my own fault. Sighing, I took another long drink from the bottle, set it down on the armoire, and flopped onto my bed.
“Ok, I picked the perfect one. What do you think?”
I raised up, propping myself on one arm as I looked at her. “Looks like you’ve been in my closet and stole one of my dresses.”
“So, I look great then? Wonderful!”
She clapped her hands together and headed for the door. As soon as she realized I wasn’t following, she turned to the side.
“Atë, you coming?”
“Yeah. Head down without me. I’ll be there soon.” Lie.
She waved and left my room. I flipped over and stared out the large window as lights started to dance below. Laughter soon filled the air as they all gathered, it seemed like the party was starting off on the right foot. Sighing, I got up, walked to the balcony doors and closed the long drapes. Turning, I saw just how many garments Melinoë had thrown aside and shook my head. Might as well clean up, but as I bent over, grabbing a few dresses, a dull ache formed in my head. Jerking upright I massaged the area, closing my eyes. Oh fuck.
I walked the long staircase leading up to Zeus’ chambers. The headache I had wasn’t a headache at all, but a summons. Sure, I could ignore it, maybe disappear to some mortal plane for a minute, but what’s the use? When he called, you came, and if you didn’t, you only annoyed him more. I reached the large double doors that resembled gates fit for a king and raised my hand to knock. I didn’t get a chance though, they opened before me, catching me off guard.
Hera met my gaze briefly before lowering her eyes and stepping past me. The sound of her heels clicking behind me as she left made my heart sink. He knew.
“Atë, enter,” Zeus’ voice commanded.
I swallowed a lump in my throat, my heart pounding rapidly in my chest. He stood with his hands clasped in front of him and his back to me, staring out over the large balcony off of his room, if that’s what you wanted to call it, it was more like a mausoleum. He was dressed in a long white toga, with a shimmering gold sash draped across his shoulder, and his long white hair hanging to mid-back.
I slowly entered the room, my feet reluctant to move. It didn’t matter what I was the Goddess of, I could be the Goddess of destruction herself, and my father would still have frightened me. As soon as I was clear of the door, it slammed shut behind me, hard enough to shake the very foundation. I jumped before catching myself and took a deep breath.
He knew. Hera had sold me out. And he fucking knew.
“Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
I went to speak and for a second nothing came out, my voice seemed to get stuck inside of me. The palms of my hands started to sweat and my heart thundered in my chest.
Come on, Atë. Pull it together.
“Look, what Hera told you, I’m sure is not the whole truth.”
He scoffed, raising one hand as if to rub his face. He still didn’t turn to face me, which put my nerves on higher alert. The hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood as the room filled with static electricity and I knew without a shadow of a doubt he was pissed.
“What Hera told me? You mean how you tricked me? Not only have your tricks gone too far, but you’ve disrupted the cords of fate that I had set out for my favorite sons? This is more about you and your complete lackadaisical regard for your powers and the effects it has on your family.”
It was my turn to be in shock. “My powers? What are you talking about? A small deception is not worth this reaction.”
“Small? My family’s safety is not something I take lightly. You’ve gone too far this time, Atë! And I fear you will only escalate from here,” Zeus yelled, lightning cracking across the sky. He turned to me, his eyes alight with fury.
The roar of the thunder caused me to jump like a scared child. The lightning sent a chill up my spine. My powers? This is what this is about? Is that why he’s been so cold lately? My own father should have known that I would never do anything to harm our family.
“I know you saw the Moirai!” I snapped, wishing I could take the words back as soon as they left my mouth.
“You followed me?” he asked, his brows furrowing.
He started to step forward, the power emitting from him caused me to stumble backwards. I pivoted on my heel, not realizing I had my back to the balcony until I felt the cool night breeze.
“Yes, I followed you. You’ve been acting strangely, so of course, I did, and then I saw how angry you were afterward. And now I know you’ve been avoiding me because of something they told you.”
“They only told me what I already feared, and you proved me right. Do you really think Hera would ever betray me? She only did what I asked.”
“What you asked…” the words left my lips like venom as I realized I had been deceived.
He tricked me. They tricked me. I scoffed, taken aback. My chest actually hurt and my eyes burned. “I am the Goddess of mischi-”
“ENOUGH!” Zeus blared once more, the rage making his voice vibrate.
I went silent at his shout, the feeling of betrayal and anger bubbling in my chest.
“So that’s it? You are judge and executioner?? And for what? Because of what I am, what you made me. What did I do that was so wrong?” I meant for my words to come out stronger, but my voice cracked as tears blurred my vision. The atmosphere became even more oppressive with electricity as he looked at me, no emotion apparent on his face.
“I love you, Atë, but I can’t do this anymore. You’ve gone too far. I’ve made excuses and excuses for you, and I can’t any longer. You are done, no statutes will be built in your honor, none of the mortals will recall your name, and soon none of the gods will either,” Zeus continued.
“Please, Father, don’t do this,” I begged as tears fell.
“It’s done,” his voice was barely a whisper above the pounding in my chest. “When the first drop of rain falls from the sky, you will be forgotten. My family will be safe, with you a forgotten memory. Best be gone from Olympus by then.”
“No! Please!” I fell to my knees as I clasped my hands in front of him. “Please. I promise I’ll stop. No more mischief, no more ruin. I’ll do anything. Don’t banish me.”
I thought his face softened for a bit, but I could have only been seeing what I had hoped. The room felt tighter as the sky erupted once more. He walked to me and grabbed me by my arm, hoisting me upwards. Electricity ripped through me as bands of lightning encased my body, holding me like rope binds.
“You cannot change your nature, any more than I.”
“You can’t do this!” I screamed as he dragged me through the open doors. My feet scraped against the marble floor, trying desperately to dig into anything. He stopped at the edge of the balcony and lifted me, his hands a steel grip on my arms. I met his cold gaze, searching for the father I knew. “I will never forgive you for this. Never.”
It was the last words I heard from him as he lifted me and tossed me from Olympus.