Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - .The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Space@xs.clara.net)
It was dark. Raining heavily. A flash of lighting lit up the sky. Princess Zelda shivered, and drew her wrap around herself, trying to keep warm. She was standing at the side of a long road. The lights of a village, far in the distance could be seen, and a larger, darker structure beyond. North Castle, her home. Suddenly, she heard the clatter of hooves. Turning towards the sound, she saw a rider galloping along the road. They slowed down, as they approached her. The rider was tall, and wearing a hooded cloak that hid most of his face. His red eyes burned right into her green ones. She stepped away, afraid. The rider pulled down his hood, and the Princess gasped. "Ah, Zelda," the man sneered. He was dark skinned, with flaming red hair. She had no idea who he was, yet he seemed eerily familiar, in a disturbing way.
"Who... what..." Zelda began. She was at loss for words. A second lighting flash ripped open the heavens. Zelda noticed a sword in the man's left hand, dripping with blood. A sack was in his right hand. He smiled evilly at her.
"It's all over... Zelda," the man said.
"No..." Zelda replied, shivering again.
"The power of gold is finally mine... Hyrule is mine!" he cried. As it lightened again, he laughed. A deep, malevolent laugh.
"No, this can't be happening," Zelda said, suddenly feeling very dizzy.
"You will obey me or die!" the man shouted.
"Never!" Zelda cried defiantly.
"Very well. You might as well end up like that wretched hero of yours," the man replied. He raised his sword. Zelda screamed...
"Zel!" a voice shouted. Zelda felt someone shaking her. She sat up woozily, taking short breaths. It was dark.
"Link?" she murmured sleepily. She felt her husband draw her close into a hug.
"Zel... did you have a bad dream?" Link questioned. Zelda sat there, and let her breathing return to normal.
"I think so," she finally said, trying to recall the details of the dream she'd just had.
"You screamed," Link replied, stroking the top of her head in an effort to comfort her. Zelda nodded.
"Yes," she said. It all came back to her then. Vividly. "It was a bad dream," she murmured.
"You're okay, it's finished now," Link answered. She cuddled up close to him, it was warmer. In the middle of winter, the castle could get very cold during the night, even under the covers in bed. Princess Zelda was the only child of King Harkinian, the ruler of the kingdom of Hyrule. She'd been married to the country's greatest hero Link, for just over six years. They lived in North Castle together, along with the King, and his second wife, Fenella. Fenella had her own daughter from a previous marriage, Zelda's step sister, Fayette. Fayette now lived in Alsace, the capital of Brynnel, with her rich merchant husband and young children. Hyrule was finally at peace, after many years of battling against the evil wizard Ganon. He had been vanquished six years back, by Link and the Princess herself. Peace was maintained by the powerful artefact, the legendary Triforce. It was a golden prism, that could be separated into three parts; courage, power and wisdom. It was a relic left behind by the three goddesses, Din, Farore and Nayru, who had created Hyrule.
"Link?" Zelda asked.
"This dream..." she began.
"Zel, don't worry about it," Link replied, pulling the covers around them.
"But... but Link! It was so real... so terrible!" Zelda cried.
"Nightmares are like that. Try to forget about it, you need your sleep. After all, it's going to be a busy few days after tomorrow," Link smiled. He kissed her lightly.
"Yes, you're right," Zelda replied. "Goodnight," she whispered, leaning her head against his chest and closing her eyes.
A few hours later, North Castle was a flurry of activity. In a day's time, the great Trinity Festival would begin. Over a period of three days, worship and celebration of the three goddesses who had created Hyrule, would take place. The first Goddess celebrated was the goddess of Wisdom, Nayru. The people of Hyrule gave each other presents, and it was generally a time for family and friends to be together. The next day was Farore's day, she was the goddess of courage. Great sporting events like archery, fencing and jousting took place in each of the towns in Hyrule, in which all the men could participate, and show off their skills. Finally, the last goddess celebrated was Din, the goddess of power. On her day, the coming of the new year was celebrated. Of course, everyone just had a big party the evening before, and stayed up until well past midnight. It was certainly a wonderful time of the year. Zelda was stood up in the galley, looking down to the floor below, where the Great Hall was. It was being decorated in preparation for the great festivities that would soon be taking place. Link was striding along the passage, dressed in his favourite green tunic, sword in hand. "Where are you going?" Zelda asked, turning towards him.
"Oh, just out for a bit of training with Aaron, then I'm taking him to Mido to see him off when he goes to East Hyrule to see his family," Link replied, walking right up to her.
"Link, it's snowing outside!" Zelda exclaimed. Link shrugged.
"Gotta keep in shape, whatever the weather," he replied, grinning.
"But you're supposed to be helping here to get ready for the Trinity Festival! There's so many things to do!" Zelda replied.
"Well.... Umm... like what?" Link questioned, putting his sword through his belt. Zelda looked thoughtful, mentally going through the list of things that needed to be taken care of.
"Well, you could help out with the decorating downstairs," she said. Link peered downstairs.
"There's a whole load of people doing that," he replied. Zelda folded her arms.
"You're not getting out of working that easily," she warned.
"When's Fayette arriving?" Link asked, changing the subject. Zelda frowned at the mention of her step-sister.
"Probably tonight," she said shortly. They began to walk along the corridor together. "I wish she'd stay in Brynnel for a change. I don't see why she has to come here, with her awful family," the Princess complained. Link put his arm around her shoulders.
"It'll be okay," he comforted. "She spoils every Trinity. Anyhow, they don't even celebrate it in any other countries but Hyrule and Catalia, so what's the point?" Zelda continued.
"Zel, her mother is married to your father. Besides it's the only time she ever visits, and I'm sure Fenella would refuse not to let her visit," Link replied. They began to make their way down the stairs.
"I guess so," Zelda said, still looking miserable. Link led her outside into the courtyard. It was a truly beautiful sight, to see the snow falling down onto the ground, covering everything in a glistening, crisp layer of white. "It's going to be magical by tomorrow. How the children will love to play outside in this!" Zelda said, immediately smiling.
"You'll be even happier when you see the presents I got for you!" Link grinned.
"I suppose I can cope with Fayette then," Zelda sighed.
"Of course you can. You've been putting up with her for years anyway," Link answered. Zelda nodded, thinking back. She'd spent most of her childhood with Fayette; their mothers had been very good friends. Zelda's mother, Alina, had died when she was six, and Fayette had lost her father six years later. Six years ago, their remaining parents had decided to get married, much to their horror. Fayette and Zelda both hated each other intensely. But they had learnt to tolerate each other in the past few years. As Link and Zelda leaned close to exchange a kiss, Aaron, one-time apprentice of Link's, and now the Triforce Protector, came outside.
"Do you two never quit that?" he joked, laughing.
"Jealous?" Link queried, a big smile on his face.
"Nah. I've got Aimée, remember?" Aaron grinned.
"Speaking of Aimée, where is she?" Zelda asked, referring to Aaron's young wife, a seamstress working at North Castle.
"Just packing up a few more things, and getting little Timmy ready," Aaron replied.
"Well, I hope you have a great Trinity. Give your parents my best wishes," Zelda said smiling. "Where're you going off to in such a hurry?" Link asked, turning back to Zelda.
"I'm cold," she replied. "Besides, I thought you were going to get some practising done," she added. She disappeared back inside.
"She can't tolerate the cold," Link grinned.
"Well, I sure wish I was staying at North Castle for the festivities, but me and Aimée want to see our folks," Aaron answered.
"Well, at least it means I won't have any serious competition for the games on Farore's day," Link said, grinning. He drew his sword. "But I still need to practise!" Aaron nodded.
"We'll see about that. I want to get back for then. But anyway, a hero's work is never done," he quoted, drawing his own weapon.
Ganondorf paced around the silver moon pearl slowly. Shards of light leapt from it, cutting through the darkness like a sword through skin. He grinned darkly. He knew it would not be long now before he would be powerful enough to leave this cursed realm, and enter a world which was rightfully his own, and it still would be if not for a certain young boy. He grimaced at the thought of the first time he had been sealed into this realm. He had remained there for an age, or so it had seemed. He had escaped then but now, this time he was to escape as a different, all together more powerful person. He had been transformed from a weak sorcerer into a powerful necromancer. This time no one would send him back here, for when he left, the sheer power that he would emit would destroy the realm itself. He rubbed his hands with glee, and examined his reflection carefully in the moon pearl. Even the Triforce in its true form would be no match for him, he would destroy that also - then nothing would stop him. He let out a deep, malevolent laugh, that boomed through the dank and barren landscape. He would also rid himself of pests such as Link and Zelda, so that their own line would never be continued. Yes, it would not be long now.
Link watched as Aaron, his wife, and Timmy boarded the boat. "Well, hope you have a happy Trinity!" called Link as the boat was launched. Aaron waved and shouted something back, but Link couldn't make out what he'd said. He was still wary of people crossing this stretch of water after what had happened a few years back. His good friend, Nicholas of Dalsona had been returning home after Link and Zelda's wedding when a portal of some sort had opened over the ship, and someone, or something, had killed everyone on board. When the bodies were collected, Nick was nowhere to be found. Link watched as the small boat sailed over the horizon and disappeared. He turned round and came face to face with a familiar friend. "Dion!" exclaimed Link.
"Hi!" replied Dion grinning.
"Visiting your parents for Trinity?" inquired Link.
"Yep, I certainly am," replied Dion, taking Link's hand and shaking it vigorously.
"Good to see you again," he said when he finally released Link form the handshake.
"Good to see you too Dion. How's everything?" replied Link.
"Everything is just fine Link, and how's about you?" answered Dion.
"Oh, yeah everything's great. Remember Fayette? She and her family are coming tonight, Zel ain't looking forward to it," said Link grinning broadly.
"Now that will be interesting," said Dion, winking conspiratoriously.
"You still coming to the castle after dinner?" asked Link casually.
"Well, it wouldn't be polite to turn down an invite," quipped Dion.
"Well, I'll see you then Dion," called Link as he mounted Carefree.
"You can count on it!" cried Dion after Link, as he set off back towards North Castle. Link guessed Zelda wouldn't be too happy if he shirked all of the work that was going towards the Trinity festival.
Zelda paced up and down her room. It was early evening, and she was getting ready for dinner. It usually didn't take her very long, but she was out to impress. She couldn't have Fayette outshine her in any way at all. It was pretty stupid, she figured, but she hated to let her step sister get the better of her. No doubt Fayette would turn up in some fabulous new gown, custom made and shipped exclusively from the renowned tailors in either Moldera or Sosaria. She opened up her wardrobe, and sighed. There was no particularly special dresses in there; most were nice, and suited her, but they weren't ones that would make her stand out. She took out her new Trinity dress and looked at it thoughtfully. She really wanted to keep it for Nayru's day tomorrow. She quickly put it back, and pulled out a deep, wine coloured gown made from velvet. This one was festive enough, and it could be dressed up with some nice jewellery, she decided. She quickly slipped the dress on, and tied it round the waist with a gold silk sash. The Princess admired herself in the mirror for a moment, something she didn't do often. One thing that she could be proud of, was her lovely slim figure. Even after bearing a child, she hadn't lost her small waistline, but that was probably because she liked to keep fit, by going for long rides or walks, and practising archery. Fayette on the other hand, had always been slightly plump, not that it spoiled her appearance, but she was lazy. Despite the fact that her stepsister was coming to visit, Zelda was suddenly in a good mood. As she brushed her hair, she sang quietly to herself an old Hylian Trinity song. The words were in Hylian; a hard language for most people to understand in this age, but as a young girl, the Princess had taught herself the dialect diligently, so that she could speak, read and write it to perfection. She found her mother's ruby necklace and earrings and put those on, then checked herself in the mirror once more. Perfect, she thought, stepping back. As she closed the window shutters and pulled the heavy brocade drapes over them, she suddenly remembered her dream from the night before. She glanced down into the courtyard, which was ablaze with light. She could see horses, and a carriage, so she figured that Fayette had obviously arrived. A shiver ran down her spine as she recalled the details of the nightmare. That man... he had been so strange, like no-one she'd ever seen. But there had been something about him, that reminded her of someone else.
As she stood there thinking about it, feeling more and more puzzled, Link walked in the room. "Zel?" he questioned, seeing her stood over by the window, looking out into the darkness. She jumped in surprise, obviously having been deep in thought.
"Link, don't sneak up on me like that!" she said, quickly pulling up the shutters and closing the drapes over the top.
"I didn't. You were just daydreaming," Link replied, grinning. He walked over to his wardrobe, and opened it. A whole load of clothes fell out onto the floor in a heap. "Oops, looks like someone forgot to hang these up," he said sheepishly, before Zelda dared to comment. She didn't appeared to have noticed though, lost off in thought again. He searched through the few articles that were hung up and clean, and quickly picked out a dark blue tunic and some light blue trousers. "Fayette is here," he said conversationally, as he slipped into the new outfit.
"Mmmm?" Zelda asked, suddenly looking over at him, from the mirror she'd been emptily staring at. Her lips curved into a small smile. "You look great in those colours," she remarked, pulling down the sleeves of her dress. Link smiled at her, then pulled on a pair of boots.
"And you look lovely, as always," he replied.
"What was Fayette wearing?" Zelda asked.
"Oh, just a normal dress, but I think they were her travel clothes. Fenella sent her up to one of the guestrooms, so that she and her family could freshen up for dinner," Link answered. Zelda nodded.
"Well, that gives us a little time alone, then," she said, lowering her eyes and giving him another small smile. Link studied her carefully, wondering at her sudden changes of mood. It seemed like she was worrying about something, and trying not to show it. But he couldn't imagine what she'd have to worry about; maybe Fayette, but he doubted it. In any case, he decided to dismiss it, and take the opportunity of her flirtatious mood. They gave each other a deep, long kiss. Zelda felt glad that she'd married Link, and for a moment, she stopped worrying about the dream. "Happy Trinity," she giggled, kissing him again. A small voice interrupted their private reverie a few moments later though.
"Mother, dad!" Zelda sighed, and unwillingly broke away from her equally unwilling husband. They looked over towards the doorway, where a small boy was standing. Their five year old son, Ewan. He had light brown hair, with a slightly reddish hue to it, bright blue eyes and a big, cheerful smile. He looked a lot like his father.
"What's the matter, sweetheart?" Zelda questioned, folding her arms and smiling down at him.
"Grandfather told me to come and get you," he said.
"We were just coming," Link said, straightening up his tunic, and taking his son's hand. He took Zelda's in the other, and they all went downstairs together.
"Oh Zelda, how wonderful it is to see you again!" Fayette exclaimed, hugging her step sister.
"Likewise," Zelda replied, smiling. They stepped back and studied each other, looking for changes from when they'd last seen each other.
"You never change!" Fayette exclaimed, smiling. It was true, Zelda had never really changed, her golden hair was still long and straight, and her figure trim. Fayette's usually curly red hair had been styled into long ringlets. It was a lot longer than it had been when she was younger. Some of it was tied back with a purple chiffon ribbon. She was wearing a heavily embroidered purple dress, the patterns looked Sosarian. Her prize possession, a large pearl necklace, hung around her neck. It had been a wedding present from her husband, Raymundo. Zelda looked over to where Fayette's husband was standing. He was a tall, heavyset man, with a tanned complexion, thick, black curly hair and a moustache. He was dressed in fine, richly coloured clothes, obviously imported from Brynnel's neighbouring country, Moldera.
"It's nice to see you again, Raymundo," Zelda said politely. He nodded, and leaned down to kiss her hand.
"It is always nice to see my wife's charming sister," he said, in a heavy Brynnelian accent. Zelda blanched at bit at being referred to as Fayette's 'sister', but she didn't bother to correct the man. The next moment, she was surrounded by Fayette's shrieking kids. First there was the five year old, brown haired Roderick. He was heavyset, like his father, with a rather impertinent expression about him. The four year old Rosella came next. She looked absolutely charming, with her rosy complexion, blue eyes, and long, wavy red hair. However, Zelda knew the girl could be rather petulant, when it suited her. Then there were the twins, Rosalind and Rosamund. They were nearly three years old. They were almost exact replicas of a typical Brynnelian, with their dark eyes, and thick black curly hair.
"Say hello to your auntie Zelda now," Fayette said. The children all chorused 'hello'.
"Aren't they just adorable?" Fenella interjected, walking over with the King. Ewan was hanging back shyly, with Link. Fayette walked over towards him, and smiled.
"Hello darling. Aren't you glad to see your cousins?" she questioned.
"Hello aunt Faye," he said shyly. She ruffled the top of his hair. Just then, the bell rang for dinner. Fayette walked along with Zelda down the passage.
"Not having any more?" she said, somewhat snidely.
"Oh, who knows?" Zelda answered flippantly.
"Well, I mean, you've been married six years already..." Fayette began.
"And?" Zelda said, a little more sharply than she'd meant. They couldn't continue the conversation however, because they'd arrived at the banquet hall.
"We'll talk later," Fayette whispered, as they went to take their places at the table.
An hour or so later, the men disappeared somewhere and left the King, the ladies and children up in the drawing room. Zelda wanted to go off with Link, Drake and the others, but her father insisted that she stay and talk to Fayette. The children all played quietly in one corner, and Fayette came over and sat next to Zelda. "What do you want?" Zelda said sulkily. She hated these little family conferences, and she was angry that Link had gone off and abandoned her.
"Just a little 'sister to sister' talk. You know. To catch up," Fayette replied sweetly.
"Oh, sure," Zelda answered, playing with her engagement ring distractedly. She was thinking about the dream again.
"I really thought you'd be having more children. Poor Ewan must get so lonely when his cousins aren't here," Fayette started.
"He's not lonely. He plays with Timothy, Aaron's son," Zelda answered.
"But it isn't the same as having a sister of brother, is it?" Fayette asked, smiling over at her children.
"I coped without one. I'm sure you did too," Zelda replied.
"But Zelda, see how happy my children are!" Fayette exclaimed.
"Ewan is happy," Zelda said, looking down at the floor and studying it closely. The carpet had intricate Hylian patterns on it.
"Zelda, you don't have to ignore me!" Fayette whined.
"There's better things I could be doing," Zelda replied simply. She looked up at Fayette. Her step sister looked annoyed.
"Yes well, you have to be here. And we might as well talk," Fayette said. Zelda sighed.
"I guess so."
"I have a secret for you," Fayette said, leaning over towards her.
"Oh?" Zelda said. Fayette nodded.
"I think... I hope I'm expecting another," she said quietly.
"Haven't you got enough already?" Zelda asked in surprise.
"Oh, certainly not! I just adore children! Besides, many Brynnelians have big families. It's normal other there," Fayette smiled.
"Well I've got quite enough with just one," Zelda answered firmly. "Oh, so you're not going to have anymore?" Fayette questioned.
"I don't know," Zelda replied.
"Zelda, you always were cold. I'm surprised you've even had any children, the way you act! Poor Ewan!" Fayette said snidely.
"I don't know what you're talking about! I love Ewan very much, he means the world to me!" Zelda retorted, feeling herself getting angry.
"Poor Link too, he would have been better off marrying me," Fayette said.
"You take that back at once!" Zelda said, raising her voice at little.
"Well, you're obviously, 'abstaining' from a real love life, aren't you?" Fayette remarked in a syrupy tone. Zelda fought to keep herself from yelling.
"That's nothing to do with you, besides how many children you have isn't even a measure of how often you're intimate with someone!" Fayette just smiled. Fenella and the King looked up from the conversation in surprise, to hear Zelda's raised voice.
"Really, can you two still not have a conversation without upsetting each other?" Harkinian asked in surprise.
"I only asked her a simple question. It's not my fault she's so touchy," Fayette remarked coolly.
"You were not asking questions! You were making unnecessary comments!" Zelda retorted.
"Oh, can't you both act grown-up for once?" Fenella said. Zelda stood up.
"I'm going to join the guys," she decided.
"You'll do nothing of the sort. Sit down at once!" Harkinian ordered. Zelda sat down again, looking sulky. It was going to be a long night...
The moongate finally opened again, and Leigh tumbled out onto the cold snow. "Oh great," she muttered, standing up and brushing herself off. Her short orange tunic and cloak was not very suitable for the weather. As the moongate closed behind her, she surveyed her surroundings. Everything was covered in snow. "Trust the moongate to send me somewhere freezing cold! Why couldn't I have ended up somewhere hot?" Leigh whined out loud, running a hand through her long blonde hair. She saw a magnificent castle standing before her, tall white towers with blue slates, a purple and gold flag fluttering in the breeze. Beyond it seemed to be a forest, and further beyond, brown mountains capped with glistening white snow. She turned around, and could make out smoke coming from the east. That was probably the castle's village or town, she thought. The castle would probably be the best place to go, she decided.
Leigh was actually The Avatar. Legendary protector of the realm of Sosaria. She was a beautiful young woman, and an experienced warrior. Leigh could use any weapon, and perform any spell. She even knew the skills of the healer, and was also a great scholar. She was the prefect woman. She stood 5'9, slim and curvy, but strong of body. She had long, straight blonde hair, and clear blue eyes. Full, red lips and a small, upturned nose, skin just ever so tanned. Leigh had come to Sosaria from another world entirely, the same world as Sosaria's leader, Lord British. Leigh had made a code of conduct for the Sosarian people to follow, the eight virtues. Honesty, compassion, valour, justice, honour, sacrifice, humility and spirituality. The people of Sosaria would try to keep each one of these virtues, and all those who followed the way of the avatar wore an ankh around their neck, Leigh's symbol. She had saved the country hundreds of times from disaster, and was well-liked and respected by all. Until now, that is. Leigh was in trouble. By accident, she had divulged that Lord British, had been having an affair with his chambermaid Nell. It had been entirely by accident; Leigh tried to keep the virtues herself, and when someone had asked her, she hadn't been able to help but tell the truth. Now she had been banished, and travelling through the moongate to go home, something had gone wrong. Shaking her head, she trudged onwards to the castle.
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