Athene was watching the drift of the crowds when a small brown form dropped onto her shoulder. No one saw it and she barely felt it as its eight legs skittered across her pale sculpted shoulder towards her ear. She smiled as she heard its message and with a causal gesture placed it on the pedestal behind her. So the host was here but biding his time. She didn’t blame him, he was sure to get different reactions from those who bothered attending, she herself vacillated between wanting to strangle him on sight and hug him. He was ever a scamp and she always forgave him.
She felt a brush of power against her and turned to see Apollo approaching. He was a sight, like gold that had somehow tarnished. He was unshaven and his hair was a tumbled mess of bright curls, she saw about his face a melancholy that troubled her. Of all those that had faced the hordes at Etna he and Persephone were the most changed. Persephone made sense, she’d lost her husband and never having been a strong goddess the loss had changed her. For the better in Athene’s opinion as the girl had begun to exert herself. But Apollo, he seemed lessened by the experience and she had no real sense of why. This greatly troubled the goddess of wisdom and she found herself puzzling at the source. She smiled at his question and spoke, her voice low and smooth against the faint sounds of the string quartet in one of the galleries which was subtly being piped through the whole affair.
“For the most part. The others will soon arrive I suspect. I am surprised to see you here Harper, but pleased.”
She took a small sip of the champagne and let the full sparkling tartness of it linger on her tongue as her eyes drifted over the crowd of servers still setting up drinks and bustling about, likely providing visual distraction for the early guests so they wouldn’t feel so out of place. One in particular caught her eye for a brief second, slight youth with bright gold hair, the sort that Apollo himself once sported but before her eyes could take him in fully another figure caught the grey eyes of the goddess. She said nothing simply let the figure approach, affection making her hold her tongue, she wouldn’t want to spoil Artemis’ surprise especially since she was likely the only reason that Apollo had come.
As the twins greeted each other she offered them affectionate smiled but made her excuses as she headed across the room to the patch of darkness which held her favorite sibling. He’d slipped in quietly and stood with his back to the room seemingly in deep contemplation of the portraits that decorated the walls. She knew he was aware; his keen mind likely had taken in everyone there. She wondered what he was waiting for, was it her or Her. Either way she made her way to him. He’d been scarce since the battle and she had hated it. Pausing a few feet from him she spoke, the set of her shoulders strong but the look in her eyes much less so, even so great affection filled her low voice.
“Greetings brother, I am pleased to see you, I have missed you these past months.”