Zelda wound down the path as she followed the sounds of the gentle melody as it drew her even further into the garden. The music was soft and tentative, as if the player was unsure of the next note. It lilted through the trees and made her ever more curious as to its source and as quietly as it had begun, it stopped and so did she.
The cool night breeze blew gently past her and she wished she had grabbed her robe, a shawl, or something. She rubbed her arms to warm them as she looked around at where she had ended up. Though she was sure she had never been here in her life, she knew this place. Confused, she frowned and meandered further down the path.
"Hey!" a man's voice called out in disbelief behind her. Startled she turned around to see who had spoken, but there was no one there, just the trees. Her nervousness heightened when behind her she heard, "Is it really you?" the voice continued, "Are you there?" there was a very audible sigh and the voice said, "Well, even if you are just a figment of my imagination, it's the best I've had in weeks." More silence.
Puzzled now, Zelda realized she knew that voice, but there was something else about it...him, but her memory of it was clouded. It irritated her that she could not figure out why, just the sound of it, made her angry. A familiar face popped into her head that she almost recognized. The answer was so tantalizingly close, she could see it, but she could not quite figure it out. Her frustration built and the garden that seemed so familiar to her before began to close in around her.
She wanted to run, but the path that led her here was gone. Zelda squashed her panic and forced herself to stay put. As she fought the urge to dash into the woods, the melody began again. It jarred at her senses and sounded almost as disjointed as her fragmented memories. Even stranger, she now was able to put a name to that voice, Link, the music stopped. She looked around she did not realize she'd spoken aloud.
She stood there at the base of the hill and looked at the trees. When she thought that maybe she should head back, the music started up again. This time it sounded note perfect, as though the player had only just then been inspired. She closed her eyes as brilliant light surrounded her for a moment. When she opened them, she was amazed. The scenery all around her had altered dramatically.
Night turned to day and the garden now held a small reflecting pond. Near its edge sat a young man wearing clothes she had only seen on the statue in the great hall of the castle. He played an ocarina, which seemed to resonate the sound of quiet spring morning. He seemed carefree as he played, though he was dusty and had the look of someone who had traveled a great distance; sword and shield propped nearby within easy reach. This she realized must be Link.
Oblivious to everything around him, he continued to play the poignant, sweet song that had drawn her out of her bed. She listened for a while and enjoyed the beauty and warmth of the morning sun when there came from somewhere nearby, an answering refrain. She looked cautiously around her for the source, but could not find one. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere all at once. As the new music wove itself into the other, the harmonies intertwined with that strange descant, which almost perfectly echoed the anger she first felt when she had heard his voice.
Even now, her irritation for this person made no sense to her. Zelda was beginning to feel very annoyed, so much so, that she hadn't even noticed that he had stopped playing and the only music that could be heard now came from the angry sounds of the harmony. She looked toward him again and was a little startled as he stared directly at her. No movement at all; as if he expected her to turn into something unnatural. It left her more than a little unnerved.
"What are you staring at?" Zelda asked irritated. As soon as she spoke, the harmony stopped. She tensed up as she looked around nervously, half-expecting something to jump out at her. The young man looked around warily as well, as if he anticipated the same, but when he looked back; she was greeted by a look of complete surprise. He shook his head a little, looked at her and smiled. He looked at her with a familiarity that chased away what remained of the menace from his dark eyes.
"It's good to see you too, Tetra," he said, and laid back. Well, she thought, wherever he came from he certainly appeared to be very relieved. He smiled with eyes closed drinking up the warm glow of the sun and without warning began to fade away.
"Sir?" Zelda felt an unusual moment of dread. "Excuse me?" she just could not shake the feeling she should not be here. "HEY!" she shouted, then in a calmer tone, "Umm... Link?" He solidified a bit. He wasn't just going to leave her here was he? "Hold on a second... "
He didn't move or open his eyes but replied, "Yeah?"
"Where am I?" she asked.
Link turned his head toward her and gave her an odd look for a moment, took a good look around replied. "Where are we?" he mused "Well that I don't actually know, but it does seem familiar somehow. Like I've been here before...kinda weird really." He gave her that odd look again, "and to be perfectly honest I don't really care it's probably all just a dream." He looked her up and down, cocked an eyebrow and added, "Nice dress by the way."
She took a quick look at her clothes and started. Her nightgown had been replaced by a light blue skirt and white linen blouse. Still, she also noted they were nothing unusual or even fancy. She was beginning to see why this Link person bothered her. As a Princess of the Royal family of Hyrule, Zelda was not accustomed to being chided about fashion by unkempt young men and said in sarcastic tone, "You're a fine one to talk about clothes. What's with that get up? You playing Hero of Time? I hope you don't go around Castletown in those clothes, you'll frighten the children."
Link, it appeared, was also completely unaware of his clothes. He gave the hat on his head a little tug, as came it off a tightly wrapped ponytail of sun bleached blonde hair fell out. His eyebrow shot up as he looked at the long green cap. A quirky half smile crept on to his face and he chuckled, "Well, what do you know about that?" he asked no one in particular and replaced the hat on his head. He sat up then and pulled out an old leather pack, where he'd kept it until now was a mystery, for she was sure it wasn't there before. Without another word began to rummage through it.
"Do you always ignore people when they speak to you?"
After a moment he said, "Depends on who it is."
"So, it's just me you're ignoring. Some hero you'll turn out to be."
"Well Princess, here's a secret; I never play at being a hero. In fact..." he said as he reached deeper inside. "I've been avoiding that lately." He scowled and continued his search and said, "Let's face it, Tetra, if any of this were real, which by the way it's not. I wouldn't have that sword," he said with a gesture behind him. She looked at the sword and her eyes widened as she recognized the legendary blade of evil's bane. That was the Master Sword, only the Legendary Hero could pull that from the Pedestal of Time.
Zelda looked back at him and realized he did bear a remarkable resemblance to the statue of the Hero. The young man did not seem to notice her intent look as he continued his search. All she knew was he shouldn't have that. As she looked at it the memory of another time crept in. It showed her this man, when he was still a boy and fought with a man twice his size. She snapped back out of her thoughts when he said,
"The last time either of us saw that, it was happily stuck-"
"...in Ganondorf's head at the bottom of the ocean..." she finished for him. "Ocean?" She blinked when she realized what she'd said.
The young man nodded and said, "Uh, yeah," he paused and gave her an odd look. He shrugged and pulled at the green material of the tunic and said, "As for this? Well, I haven't a clue, but I know I haven't had clothes like these since I was twelve. Good fit though." He upended his pack on the grass and started to sift through an odd assortment of items.
"What are you looking for?" she hated being ignored.
"A box." he replied without looking up.
"Well, could you hurry it up?" He was really getting on her nerves, "I'm in a hurry and while you're at it, tell me why do you keep calling me Tetra. My name is Zelda."
"In a hurry to get where? Did you hit your head or something? You know your name isn't Zelda." He shook his head and continued to sift through his pile. "Well, not in the real world anyway." He frowned. "Crap," he said absently and poked at an errant item that had rolled away from him. "Anyway, why am I arguing with you? You're the dread pirate remember? Exactly who you've chosen to be, and your name is Tetra."
"Look, you flaming little fairy boy! I know my own-" She covered her mouth, stunned at her language.
"Flaming?" he said with a laugh, "Nice Princess, but-" he stopped when he looked up and saw her look of utter confusion.
"My name is...It's...not Zelda?" He raised and eyebrow and shook his head, "You're sure?" He nodded, "I could have sworn..."
"You really aren't sure, are you?" She could only stare back at him. "Well there's a good sign." He ceased his search and sat upright to face her. "You know, I hate to say I told you so, but boy, you really need a holiday. I think maybe you should sit down for a minute and get your bearings."
What was going on? Thoughts spun wildly around in her head, how could she have forgotten her name? A look of genuine worry crossed his face and even though she felt she was on the verge of throwing a rock, she was even further irritated that she felt comforted by his presence. "AUUGGHHH!" she yelled at him. "Will you stop looking at me like that?" This time she did throw a rock, which he dodged easily. She fumed and glared at him and struggled with a sudden urge to shoot him out of a cannon.
He shifted uneasily. "Tetra, are you gonna be alright?"
She stood there, glaring at him and savagely squelched the voices in her head that yelled at her to run back the way she'd come. When he looked like he might get up she glared at him again. He sighed and sat back while she sat down on the spot and shot him a look that dared him to come any closer. After a moment, she shut her eyes in an effort to calm herself as her anger rose up again and made her heart beat faster.
What the hell was happening to her? Something inside her told her she was bound to this person, but an almost unnatural anger she felt was working to undo that. After a few deep breaths, she looked to see if he still watched but he seemed to have lost all interest in her. He quietly put his assortment of oddities back into his pack, all but the ocarina, which he set aside.
With the rest of his things neatly stowed away, he picked up the instrument. The song he played this time had an eerie, calm quality to it. She let the tranquil sounds wash over her and calm her anger. She felt relief as it ebbed away like the tide. As she listened, she realized the other music had returned as well, and the harmony, so discordant before had taken on a more melodic quality.
Just when she was sure she was able to think again, images of him ran through her head. She could tell from the variations in age that they were all disjointed and out of order. She rubbed her head in frustration, "I can't... I just can't seem to remember anything. It's all fractured. I see your face in my mind, but it's all mixed up and angry. I don't understand," she paused. "You seem to know me so well. Who are you?"
Link paused and looked at her for a long moment. "Just who I've always been Tetra, a friend." He said and looked down at the ocarina, she could see there was something else he wanted to say but he hesitated.
"Just my friend?" she coaxed and when he only smiled in reply, Tetra realized she was now even more confused than her fractured memories. She could sense that behind her anger was something else, something she needed, but when she tried to reach out to it, it seemed to run away from her.
Her head hurt, she looked down at herself and realized she was in her own clothing again. No more dress, just the shirt and trousers. This whole mess was getting weirder by the minute. Tetra pulled her knees up under her chin and said, "You said this was a dream but if this is just a dream, why would just the sound of your voice make me so angry?"
"Well," he said, "it may be because we had an argument the last time I saw you." he paused and tapped the ocarina before putting it away. "A very loud and very angry one. It seems like that's all we're good at anymore."
That she supposed would explain some things. "We really don't get along well do we."
He shook his head and for some reason that made her feel sad and a little lonely. They said nothing for a time and she watched him as he looked out over the water. The something she needed was there again, just out of reach and she had the impression that once he had been more than just a friend. The why of it was missing and when he did finally look back at her he said, "Where have you been, I've been looking for almost three weeks. I was actually on my way back when I got sidetracked."
Tetra felt suddenly very light headed and closed her eyes again with the hope it would help clear her head.