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The Shadows Beneath Her Skin
By Tory Jessica

AN: Welcome one and all to my Zelda fanfiction. This started when I was 12, and ended up on here when I was 15. I am now 18 and very soon turning 19. If you see a large flux in the way it is written, well I am very sorry. The stories core has not changed, though I believe a few specific details I wanted to add in might have. Hope you like it, and please forgive my earlier chapters, they're not that great. In fact now that I reread over this I think the real story begins at Chapter 11, but for those of you who like meaty backgrounds then go ahead, there are some important people you learn about in the earlier chapters.

In a far away part of the universe through the dimensions of time and space and imagination there is a world called Hyrule. In this land of Hyrule lived many different beings. Our most famous are The Hero of Time and Princess Zelda. Along with an evil enemy, Ganondorf. With the power of the sages and the Hero of Time this evil was locked away forever and peace went raining with its blessings on everyone. How ever with every defeat there is a vengeance. Lurking from the shadows a new surprising type of enemy is emerging.

Chapter One
Finally Home

There was soft gentle music in the forest of The Lost Woods. Gentle as it seemed sad it was still. A boy with blonde hair attiring in green stood outside a dimensional doorway from which he returned. It seemed as no time had passed when he returned from Termina during this one beautiful morning. Except maybe a few days.
"Heh maybe it was three?" he joked with himself. He put the blue instrument he played on away in his pocket. Even after his first adventure he knew he had the maturity of an adult, but now since he traveled time again and again his body unchanged still, he felt older even more. Not physically old and not old man old, but more mature then he was before. In his soul he felt like his twenties instead of a late teenager like he was before. An old soul is what someone would call him. He was wiser and he understood the meanings of love, trust, honor, and things like true cruelty and hate and true evil. Unlike he would if he were normally a ten-year-old boy in his mind as well with his current state of body.
Most people would agree that my state of mind and all the things I think about are probably too much for a ten-year-old boy. I really don't mind being this wise at my current age. It would be something to show off to my friends. Link paused at his thoughts and laughed at himself.
"Seems like I still am a kid," he said smiling contently with himself. He looked over at his sleeping horse. Well not his horse, but Malon's. He saddened as he thought about having to return her.

"Don't worry fairy boy, you can borrow Epona forever if you like," Malon said cheerfully as she handed the horse to him.

He knew she only said that because of her age and he would have to return Epona to her sometime.
Epona opened her eyes and looked at him trying to comfort him. Her heart unlike all other animals was the same as humans. She too had gone through time as Link restarted the three days over and over again. Her heart and soul understood the meaning of having a wise but young body. It was hard. Your physical mind didn't want to think like an adult, but your heart did. Double thoughts would work into a mind and you even think your a little crazy. Of course being a horse she couldn't necessarily tell this to Link, but with her soft, dark gaze she knew that he understood her.

"Thank you Epona," he said to her. She stood up and nuzzled her nose under his chin. He chuckled as she breathed. Her breath tickled his neck.
Link sighed.
"All right Epona, it's time to go home," he said mounting her back. She nodded as she began to trot. Unlike last time there were no fairies to confuse her route. With her animal instinct she knew exactly how to get out of the forest and into Hyrule field. As they drew closer she became excited and began to walk faster.
"We must be close, you seem excited Epona," Link said to his horse. Epona whinnied a yes and Link urged to go faster to humor them both. Faster and faster they rode on until out of nowhere the bright light, the sun blinded Link's eyes. Epona slowed down and backed on her hind legs gleefully and leaned back forward.
Once Link's vision returned he saw that she had led them right into Hyrule field. Not out of the Kokiri forest exit but on more farther from the castle. Close to Lake Hylia but far enough to make it a good walk. Link smiled and patted his friend on her neck.
"Good girl Epona, right back into Hyrule where I belong," he said happily.

Link sighed in deep relief. He was finally home.

...Finally home....

"Well, I'm home but I have absolutely no idea as of what to do," he said in a confusing tone. As if answering him Epona trotted toward Lon Lon Ranch. Apparently she wanted to see Malon more then Link was willing to give her up. He smiled sadly.
"All right girl, I guess I really do have to take you home," he said to her. Once they reached Lon Lon Ranch Malon was so surprised to see him.
"Wow fairy boy, first you have no fairy and want to go look for her. I can't believe you were only gone three days," Malon said to him as he handed her the horse.
Link laughed as she said this and Malon looked at him confused.
"I don't think it's funny at all. I thought she was your friend!" Malon said getting upset. Link nodded.
"She is my friend Malon, but I think we're better off separated... I'm not really destined to be fairy boy forever, you know?" He said to her.
"Was does being destined have to do anything with looking for your friend?"
He laughed again," Don't worry about it Malon. I mean think about it? Wouldn't it be annoying if all you heard was HEY and LOOK OUT for the most obvious things... Like climbing a wall of vines for instance." He said this thinking about how Tatl never bugged him too much and only dinged like a music instrument when she needed to tell him something. So in the end he did miss his friend Navi, but not enough to search for her anymore. He was just glad that he was home now.
"Ooohhh, ok then," she said still not getting why he was only gone for a short time.
"I said you could take Epona forever though fairy boy?" she asked after taking her to the barn to get her fed and cleaned.
"Aren't you glad I brought her back though?" He asked her knowing what her answer would be.
"Yes! I am very glad. Epona is like one of my only friends," she said. She gasped as if she just remembered something.
"Speaking of friends fairy boy, I forgot to introduce you to my new friend Galek!" she said running out of the barn, dragging Link with her. She dragged him all the way to the center of the ranch. Where a boy rode on a creamy white horse with dark gray hair on its neck and tail. He was leading a slightly bigger horse. Link could tell that these horses were young still but the bigger of the two horses didn't seem older but younger. It must have been a special kind of horse.
"Prince Galek! Oh prince," cried out Malon still dragging the helpless Link.
Din, she's strong for a girl, Link thought. The boy hopped off the horse.
"Malon you don't have to call me a Prince, we're friends now," said the boy. Link looked at the boy's attire and was quite impressed. He wore a cap with a round gem on it holding a feather. His outfit included sleeveless armor, with a Triforce symbol on it. Sprouting from the Triforce was a special metal to hold the pieces of armor strong yet loose enough to be flexible. Clearly though you could tell that the armor wasn't made for protection. Under the armor was a very thick shirt with sleeves almost past his hands. His pants were simple, just a belt with the force symbol on it. However his belt was slightly covered by the thick undershirt the boy wore. It was obvious the shirt was too big for him. This is when Link started to realize that the boy was very small. Not like young small but just short and scrawny. He was pale and had red hair green eyes and freckles. His clothes looked too warm to be wearing out in Hyrule especially for training horses.
The boy bowed in front of Link and held out his hand.
"Nice to meet you sir," the boy said in a very high upper-class tone," I am Prince Galek of the Bluraria Kingdom.
"Bluraria Kingdom," Link asked forgetting his manners. Galek realized he didn't need to act formal for Link. He coughed and put down his hand.
With his real voice he spoke," E Yep, Bluraria mate. It's not a very dominant kingdom you see. We're more worried about politics and world trade then war and kingdom marriages. So that's probably why you never heard of our little country."
Link became curious.
"Really? You don't do kingdom marriages?" he asked all of a sudden thinking about Zelda.
Galek shook his head, then thought.
"Well that's not entirely true you see, unlike other kingdoms the choice of who we want to marry is up to the prince or princess, with some limits," he said as-a-matter-of-factly.
"Limits? What limits?" Link asked more. Galek smiled seeming to enjoy telling how Bluraria's politics worked.
"Well we can't marry family obviously," all three of the children shuddered," and if we are to marry someone outside of the kingdom for kingdom politics we rather find a suitor who will help trade and economics. People think that marrying a prince and princess would do this but nope. I think it's not right. I say get married to the daughter or son of the people you'll be doing the most trading with. Like example when I turn 13 and my option of choosing a wife came, note I said option, I could wait until I was 16 then 18 but by 21 I'm forced to choose, and if it was for an economic reason I'd be more likely to marry Malon here then Princess Zelda you see."

Malon made a little whine of glee when she heard this, what Link didn't know that this was her second time hearing it. Galek smiled obviously having the same happiness. Link's heart was warmed. It was so adorable to see young love. Even though he was there age he understood far better then they did at the moment.

"This in the future when a new management has to be taken over for Lon Lon Ranch since I am married to Malon and Malon would be come manager I would also have management rights. This makes trading between Hyrule and Bluraria much easier and much cheaper for both Kingdoms thus creating economic harmony between both kingdoms. Our resources are very good in minerals and wonderful water. Our water actually improves growth on animals. For humans though it increases magic power." He looked at himself a little uneasy.
"That's why our people aren't very um...big," he said quieter.
"We need to trade with other countries for food and milk to keep ourselves nutritional."

Link looked puzzled.

"Why don't you have cows and crops?" he asked. Galek smiled but Malon answered for him.

"Well you see Galek lives a snowy country. So life for animals and plants it’s too hard. However they have great mining things they can trade like minerals and ores and even jewels!" she said thinking in the back of her head what it would be like to be princess where there were jewels.
"What about your defenses? With all those precious ores surely you have to have enemies who want them," Link asked.

Galek smiled a little slyly.
"Remember what I said about our magnificent water? Well it's more precious then our jewels because of its magical properties. The water flows from the snowy mountain where the jewels lay in the base and in the canyons. So we think its source of magic is the jewels," Galek stopped himself realizing that what he wanted to do left his mind as he rambled again. He raised his arm at the sky finishing what he wanted to begin.
"I'll show an example of drinking just one bottle of this water can do to a persons mind," he said. His hand glowed blue and a cold wind blew. Suddenly a gentle beam of light sprouted six feet in the air and snow fluttered down. He put his hand down when the area surrounding the three of them was an inch of snow. Link and Malon shivered.
"Oh Nayru, you have no idea how good that feels with it being so hot here," he said relaxing.

"Well Link so glad you came back early," said a voice from behind the children. Link turned around to see Talon with a man that looked similar to Galek but his hair was long and his bangs were different and his attire were long white robes.
"Father, Mr. Talon, I was having a wonderful conversation with this boy about Bluraria politics and such," said Galek.
"Well it's very nice to see someone so interested in our ways," said the man in the robes. His voice was cool and calm and caring.
Link looked up at the two men. The unnamed man put out his hand. Link shook it.
"My name is Draco," he said politely.
"And I'm Link, nice to meet you," Link replied. Draco nodded.
"So if your Galek's father does that make you King of Bluraria?" The name of the kingdom was starting to sound funny as it rolled off Link's tongue when he spoke. Draco nodded.
"Yes I am, but I don't expect any etiquette or anything," Draco replied," We're not very worried about things like that. Anyways, it's probably dark where I live right now so we should be going." He said motioning Galek. Galek hopped off the horse he was on and walked away with his father.
"Nice meeting Link!" Galek shouted.
"Same to you," Link replied.
"I hope you like your new horses," Galek said smiling knowing Link had no idea.
"What," Link said to himself. Talon laughed.
"Yep these two horses are now yours," Talon said.
"Why," Link said still confused.
"Well for one we don't have room for them and two when I found out that it was you, Malon's little "Fairy Boy" friend, the same person who woke me up and beat me at my own cucco game I figured I'd give them to you."
"Wow thanks!" Link was very excited to get two new horses. What about Epona he wondered. He realized that Epona was Malon's horse. One of her only friends probably before he and Galek came along.
"Mr. Talon you barely know me though," Link went on still confused at this random act of kindness.
Talon shrugged," I guess thats just me though." Talon knew that he was going to have to give Link the real answer. For some reason he seemed a lot more mature then he appeared.
"Malon darlin' go and wash up and collect some cucco eggs for supper. Tell Ingo to get a beef slab ready so I can cook it," Talon said to his daughter.
"Ok Daddy... Is um...Link staying for dinner," Malon asked. Link's mouth began to water.
"I already planned on it," Talon replied. As Malon charged off you could hear her shout in joy. Talon looked at Link.
"I'm giving you those horses because I owe it to you," he said looking at Link's still confused eyes.
"Let me explain," Talon said taking a deep breathe readying to explain something painful," A year before she met you, Malon's mother, my wife, died. She died of a disease that has no cure right now. Malon had always been very understanding, but she was still sad. I was afraid she was always going to be sad. Then she met you and she was finally happy about someone. You know happy to have a ...human friend."
Link finally understood. When Malon met him she smiled again when Talon saw it he was so happy for his daughter. Link nodded understandingly.
"You know Link; you're very bright for someone your age. It looks like there is great potential in you," he said. Link smiled.
"Thank you sir," Link replied," So uh what about that food?"
Talon laughed and walked with Link to his house. The food Talon cooked was heavenly! Even Ingo was happy eating the tender meat and potatoes Talon had cooked. Link has wolfing down his plate and grabbed seconds. Slowly but surely Link's 10 yr old habits began sinking back in. It didn't bother him either, he was still wise but he was able to act his age.
"Well I'm glad your here, I won't have to put away the leftovers," said Ingo towards Link. Link smiled glad to help in such a manner.
"So fairy boy did you like Galek," Malon sighed dreamily," I think he's so handsome."
"Well that's good I think he's going to be coming over more often," Talon said.
"Yaaaay," Malon shouted.
Link gulped down his mouthful and drank his milk.
"I think Galek likes you Malon," Link said teasing her.
"Oh do you really think so? Does that mean if I marry him I'll be princess or a Queen even?" Malon began on how wonderful it would be if Galek came in and swooped her off her feet and took her to his castle and profess his love to her.
"Now you've got her started," Talon laughed.
"Oh I really do like him! He's so nice to the animals, and he's magical! Oh it's so wonderful!" she went on about all the 'wonderful' things she thought of Galek.
After a few hours of talking and playing games with dish soap as dishes were washed (Link insisted that he helped and began to help Malon clean up even after Talon said he didn't have to) all three of them sat around the table in the upstairs room.
"Heh, I don't have to do dishes either," Ingo said pleased beginning to like the boy more and more. They played all sorts of card games and played "Guess What's In My Hat" a game Link and Malon made up using Link's green cap. It soon became really late and Link hadn't had sleep for a while.
Link's eyes began to droop.
"I'm tired, I should be getting home," he said as he began to zone out and drift off. He woke back up.
"Oh I'm sorry," Link said again.
"No worries boy, you don't have to go. You wouldn't be able to if you wanted to, look at yourself," Talon said laughing.
Link smiled and stood up trying to stay awake.
"Where do I sleep?" Link asked. Talon looked at the ground around his feet sadly.
"I'm sorry we don't have much for sleeping areas, me I prefer to sleep in the hay downstairs. It's comfy," Talon said in a quiet way," Malon and Ingo take turns sleeping on the one bed we have." Link nodded.
"So I guess I'll sleep in the hay then?" Link asked or more so stated. Talon nodded. Malon looked at Ingo.
"Ingo you can sleep on the bed tonight, it's your turn anyways," Malon said to Ingo.
"Then I guess I'll sleep downstairs too," Talon said.
"And I get to have this room ALONE," Ingo said surprised. This was the last straw for Ingo, he couldn't believe it!
"Hey kid you're welcome here anytime," Ingo patted the already tired Link on the back. With that Link fell over.
"Oh Faore! I'm so sorry kid," Ingo pulled Link up feeling bad. Link shook his head, indicating no harm done. Malon helped Link downstairs and set up the hay nice for him.
"You're sleeping with me?" Link asked.
Malon shrugged," Only if you want me to."
Link looked at her surprised.
"What?" she asked. Link sighed. It wasn't what he thought. She was to young to understand the meaning of a girl and boy sleeping together.
"You don't have to."
Malon shrugged and walked over to her father and lay beside him.
"Night Link," Talon and Malon said simultaneously. Link nodded and lay his head down. Sweet wonderful darkness of sleep took over his body.

Link was walking around the ranch gate. The sky was blue but had pink dots in the sky. For some reason this was normal. He jumped, almost floating, over the gate and into the center of the horse ranch. He heard footsteps and ruffling sounds coming from in front him but he didn't see anything.

Link opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was a sleeping Malon right next to him. He didn't move even though he was shocked. He looked up into the ceiling through the window. It was still dark out.
What is she doing right beside me? Link thought. He shook his head. He began to grow a headache. Sleep is what he needed. He laid his head back. Sleep came back easily but his head hurt through his dreams.

"Turn off the light," Link moaned in the morning. The sun shone through the window in the ceiling above on to Link's eyes.
"Come on fairy boy get UP!" Malon said thrusting a pillow at his head.
"Ahhh! Stop it I want to sleep," he complained.
"No you don't you have to get up and ride your horses after breakfast!"
Link sat right up but as he did a pillow hit his face.
"Oh my goddesses! Link I'm sorry I was just trying to get you up," Malon said apologetically. Link laid there staring up at Malon and he swore there was three of her swirling around his head taunting him. Malon grabbed his arm and tried pulling him up.
"Come on, the food's ready," she said dragging the half-dazed boy. She took him outside to a blanket near a tree. He smelt warm bread and sweet berries.
"We're going to eat out here. I made bread so we can have toast with jam," Malon said proudly," I made the jam too." Link licked his lips. They both sat and ate their breakfast talking about Link's adventures in the forest.
'Wow that sounds really scary," exclaimed Malon, "You're really courageous Link!" Link smiled.
'Thank you, but I don't think I'm that much of a hero. I mean anybody would've done the same," he said truthfully.
"Well yes but you're different. Of course anybody would've wanted to do the same but not anybody just could have. It takes something special to have been able to do something like that," Malon smiled at him. Link looked down.
"I guess you're right, but," Link stopped not knowing what to say. He sighed and finished off his food and milk.
"Well looks like you're done," Malon smiled, ”Now you've got ride your horses." After Malon and Link cleaned up Malon took Link to the center of the horse ranch.
Epona was playing with Link's two new horses. Malon whistled and the three horses settled down.
Epona road up to Link and looked at him.
You're going to like these horses she said to him with her eyes.
Link nodded.
Malon put reins on both the horses.
"So which one do you want to ride first," she asked him.
"I'll ride the big one first," he said. He got up on the bigger one. The bigger one was all black.
"What are you going to name this one Link?" Malon asked him.
"Hmmm," he thought," I don't know…?"
"It's a boy horse and the smaller one is a girl horse, if that'll help. The bigger one is a Clydesdale, so even though it's younger it's bigger then most horses," Malon said informing him.
"Well let me ride them first and then I'll give them names," Link said. Malon nodded.

Link enjoyed his ride with the black horse. He was a very strong horse, his hooves made a loud sound that would scare someone if they didn't know a horse was coming. He was just as fast as Epona also. Link knew exactly what to name his horse.
"I'll name this one Storm," Link said getting off his horse. He petted his new friend on the neck.
"Well time for you to ride the second one," Malon said happily. Link got up on the second one. Once Link began riding the creamy white horse he was surprised. With light steps you almost could not hear the horses hooves, yet she was quick. Even faster then Epona and could jump higher too. This horse would be good for races while the other one would be good for endurance and carrying two people.
"I'll call you Whisper," Link said to the horse.
"I like those names! Storm and Whisper," Malon said to Link. From the back of his head Link thought of something that troubled him.
"Malon I don't know if I can even keep these horses," Link said looking at Malon with concern.
"Don't worry we can keep them here one at a time, until you can find a good place to put them both," Malon said answering his problem," Daddy figured you might have a little problem and he says if you need a small stable built for them he wouldn't mind at all."
Link nodded.
How would the kokiri react to having horses in the forest? Link thought.

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