New Fan Works
Old Fan Works
“The Last Innocent Moments”
The Last Innocent Moments
Disclaimer: I detest writing these. Grrr. Well anyway. I own none of what I wrote. It belongs to the creators of Zelda and the rest of the games. The story line isn’t really mine exactly, but. . . okay I claim nothing.
Summary: A child has her last bits of childhood ripped from her as well as her family and home. In this time of horror will she be able to harness her new found power and use it to help people or will it continue to only harm her own body.
Note: I had this thought that Zelda seemed to have changed a lot during the seven years of time that Ganondorf was in power before Link rescued the country. I thought that something besides the loss of her throne must have happened. It also seemed a little odd that her father was just suddenly out of the picture. Having seen Ganon I decided that it wasn’t that he had been thrown into a dungeon, he was dead. I made Zelda a little cooler than before and I explain her radical change from cute little girl to kick ass cross-dressing sheik.
The First Scars
Tiny bare feet padded down on the soft carpet in one of the many halls in Hyrule castle. The rug was soft and slightly worn from many years of feet walking upon it. Zelda liked the way it felt. She had been walking this very hall since her first steps and she couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t enjoy her bare feet on the floor. Her lavender night gown tickled the tops of her feet as she walked causing a giggle to rise in her throat. She stifled it and looked up into the face of the woman who held her hand.
Impa looked down and smiled her old smirk of amusement at the small child she took care of. Zelda grinned back and then looked ahead to the room at the end of the hall. She could hear her father laughing his deep throaty laugh as he talked with his guests. It was a familiar sound. Yet, she thought she could hear an edge in it. As though it were strained. She felt Impa’s hand tighten on her own and a frown touched her features. Something was wrong.
She looked up at Impa again and opened her mouth to say something, but then closed it again remembering her many lessons in etiquette. It was not polite to interfere in the affairs of adults. A child was to sit and listen politely, but never be overly inquisitive. So she remained silent sure that her father would take care of whatever problems there might be. He had always been a good king, he wouldn’t let anything happen.
The hall opened into a brilliantly lit room with a huge table in the center. Around the edge sat many guests. The table was set with a huge feast as well as the finest dishes in the kingdom. The king looked at them standing in the doorway and stood up.
“Now if you will excuse me for a moment, let us put business aside so that I might say goodnight to my daughter,” the king boomed.
Personal conversations continued, but the king no longer paid attention. Instead he turned and held his arms open for his daughter. She smiled and ran to him. He scooped her up into his arms and hugged her tightly. Her giggles echoed over every other sound in the room and the torches seemed brighter. The whole room became more friendly with her laughter.
“Are you ready for bed my dear?” her father asked holding her still.
“Of course,” she replied.
“Well then. I’ll check on you when the dinner is over. You go to bed now. Remember to listen to Impa. She’s a wise woman,” he said kissing her forehead and setting her on the ground.
“Of course father,” she said politely.
In her mind though she recognized something as being wrong.
“Goodnight darling,” he whispered and then turned to the table again.
As Zelda made her way back to Impa’s side and felt frightened. Her father was not happy. She wasn’t sure what made her think this, but it was in his voice when he spoke.
She turned to Impa to ask again, but closed her mouth before the words got out. She wouldn’t break the rules. Her father would make everything all right again. She glanced over her shoulder at the banquet hall and heard her father’s voice rise over the others. She didn’t understand what he was saying, but she could still feel the edge in it.
“Is there something wrong with my father tonight?” Zelda asked as Impa tucked the covers about her.
Impa looked at the child’s face with a frown.
“Why do you ask?” the old Shiekah inquired.
“He seemed a little different tonight. As though things were not going well with the banquet.”
“There is nothing you need to worry about. Your father will take care of everything. No need to worry, little one,” Impa assured her.
“Do you think Link will came back with the stones like he promised?” she asked after a moment.
“If he promised, I’m sure he will. The fairy children have a hard time not keeping promises. He must be having some difficulty of it, though. I have heard rumors that there are monsters waiting with the stones,” Impa said sitting on the side of the bed.
Zelda frowned and looked out the window at the night sky. There were no stars.
“Did I do the right thing?” she asked suddenly.
“I don’t know. Perhaps,” Impa said.
Zelda looked at her hands folded on the covers.
“But now it is time for bed. Now you go to sleep,” Impa said patting the child’s head and going to the bed on the other side of the room where she slept.
The young princess smiled as the room was cast to
shadows when Impa blew out the candles. This was her room. She lived in
this castle and she was safe. This was her bed. She had slept in this bed
since she was a year old. The pillows were hers and the covers were hers.
Thinking no more of the problems at hand, she drifted into sleep.
There was fire all around. It leapt through the air and consumed everything it touched. The heat burned her skin as she ran. Her bare feet ached from running and her chest heaved as she crawled over a fallen pillar. Her eyes scanned the area in front of her. A scream from behind her drove her on. She couldn’t let him find her. She couldn’t let him get to the pedestal where the treasure was kept. She alone had to stop him. Suddenly she stopped as a curtain of fire fell from above and blocked her path. A voice echoed through her head.
“Run no more little child,” it whispered so calmly.
She stopped and listened.
“Run no more. Be still little child. All is safe. There is no fire. There are no screams. All is fine,” the voice crooned.
Her body was so tired she couldn’t fight. She
let the voice sweep her horror away and replace it with a calm she had
never felt. As she stood listening the flames grew closer. They inched
to her and singed the edge of her gown. When the first one touched her
flesh she screamed and twisted, but they had reached her and there was
nowhere to run.
“Princess. Wake. Now. You must get up. Hurry,” Impa said shaking the girl fiercely and pulling her from the bed.
“Why? What?” Zelda cried as she shook the horrible dream from her.
“Put a dress on and hurry. We have little time.”
“Do as I say. The castle is under attack and we must get you to safety,” Impa explained pulling a gown from one of the drawers and throwing it to Zelda.
Obediently she donned the dress and pulled her slippers over her feet. Suddenly she remembered something.
“The ocarina!” she cried running to the door.
“No princess. There is no time. Our little friend will have to do this himself,” Impa cried, but the door had already shut behind the princess.
Outside her chamber there was fire. She looked about in horror. Her dream was real. She had not been dreaming after all. That voice. She could almost hear it in her head as she ran to the room where the ocarina was held. As she passed the banquet hall she saw her father. The flames were everywhere, but she stopped and watched through the door.
Her father had his sword in hand and was shouting orders to the people running about him. Suddenly there was a cry and many screams and an explosion. Her father’s eyes grew wide and he shouted curses at whoever had entered. A bolt of light hit her father in the chest and knocked him into the doorway near where Zelda stood. She stopped as still as stone as the tall Gerudo man she had seen weeks ago in the court stepped up to her father. His read hair was wild and untamed and his eyes matched the wildness. He raised his own sword and brought it down straight into her father’s chest. She screamed then.
The man looked up and smiled. Her father’s eyes met her own for a moment and then went blank. She turned and ran. The carpet was a bed of coals and burnt through her slippers to the soft soles of her feet. She cried out in pain, but kept going. It was not until she reached the treasure hall that she knew where she was going. Despite the horror all around her, she needed to get the ocarina out of the castle. The Gerudo man could never get it. She would be sure of that. When she reached the fallen pillar she remembered the rest of her dream. She could hear the voice in her head as she climbed over the obstacle and made her way to the treasure room.
“Rest little one. Run no more,” the voice said.
She fought it as she scrambled to open the door.
“I will not,” she shouted.
“Rest,” the voice continued as though she had not spoken.
The door groaned as she pulled it open and slipped inside. There was calm in this room, but she could hear the fire outside the door, blackening the strong Kokiri wood as it tried to enter. Running to the pedestal she found the ocarina and tucked it into her dress. Turning to go she found that the door was open and the Gerudo man stood looking at her.
“Hello little child. Be still now and I won’t hurt you,” he whispered.
“No,” she cried with defiance she had never felt before.
“Yes. Now give me the ocarina. Such a little thing as you can not do much to protect it. I will take it with force if I must,” he said seriously.
The princess stepped back. A strange tingling feeling welled in her hands. The laughter of the man scared her and infuriated her at the same time.
“Give it to me,” he said.
The tingling grew to a burning and she held up her hands to block his first blow. There was silence for a moment and the a stream of mage fire burst from her palms. She screamed as it tore her flesh. She thought she could see the very bones of her hands as the muscle melted away. The brilliant power struck the man in the chest and he flew backwards to the door was now Impa stood. She nodded and ran to the child as the flames receded back into her hands. Tears were flowing freely now as the princess looked at her palms to find the flesh was black.
Impa scooped the child into her arms and ran out into the hall. The fires seemed to move when she came through to be out of her way. Doors opened before they reached them. Zelda watched with huge eyes. This was magic. Real magic. A horse stood waiting for them at the gates and Impa swung the princess up into the saddle and climbed up after her. Whispering into the horse's ear she told the animal directions and it galloped away faster than any animal Zelda had ever seen.
The drawbridge was going down as they neared the center of the market. People were crying over bodies in the streets. Children cowered in corners of the booths. They watched Zelda. One guard stood by the drawbridge. This was her only chance.
“Tell the fairy boy to go to the temple of time,” she screamed at him.
She thought he nodded as they passed.
“Keep silent,” Impa growled.
Looking up Zelda saw the fairy boy himself outside the walls. She gasped at her own luck. Quickly she whispered something to the ocarina and then leaned over Impa’s arm and threw the ocarina into the moat. As she turned back and saw the man on his horse gallop out of the market onto the draw bridge.
The ride from the castle was long. The roads all seemed to branch together and the scenery bled into one long field of green. She clung to Impa’s arm tightly trying to forget the past few hours. Her eyes filled with tears as she remembered her father’s eyes. They seemed to accuse her. In their depths she found everything she had never done, every instance when she didn’t obey, every time she failed him and all her short comings. She could have done something, anything, to save him. Her mind created plan after plan that she could have acted upon in order to save her father. All of them were fruitless. In the end he always died.
Dawn came in time. The sun raised over the horizon slowly in front of them. Somewhere in her mind she realized they were leaving Hyrule. East was the barren land. Nothing lived there. Slowly she turned to look at Impa, hoping to find answers in her protector’s face. There were none. The face was set with a grim frown and the eyes gave nothing away.
Zelda looked at her hands. The pain was horrible. She couldn’t feel them or move her fingers. The flesh was charred and she felt sick to her stomach as the flesh flaked off when she moved. It was strange how she could feel them hurting, but could not feel when something touched them. Frowning she wondered how horrible the scars would be. She wondered is she would ever be able to use her hands or even to simply bend her fingers. Tears filled her eyes and she turned her head to look at something else.
The green field gave way to a barren desert of rock and thin, sickly trees. The cool breeze stopped completely and was replaced by a stagnant, dry heat that seemed to rise from the ground up. Dust rose from beneath the horse and caught in her eyes. There was no way to rub it out without moving her hands, however. This caused more tears to come.
The day wore on and the horse never slowed pace. The rhythm of the thudding hoods echoed in her brain. She tried to ignore it, but the sound grew louder until her head ached from it. Her eyes burned with what she thought was sand. Sweat beaded on her forehead and dripped from her nose. It wasn’t until midday that the chills set in. She shook with cold and wondered why the heat from the sand no longer warmed her. The world grew wavy sometimes and seemed insubstantial. Still the horse did not slow.
“Where are we going?” she asked finally.
Her voice sounded strange on the still desert air.
“Somewhere safe. I cannot say,” Impa replied.
Zelda nodded and leaned back against her mentor.
Her eyes were growing heavy and they drooped as the time droned by. Finally
in, exhaustion, she slept.
“Hello little child,” the voice echoed through her skull.
She did not respond.
“I know you can hear me. It will do you now good to pretend you cannot,” it said.
She still said nothing in return.
“I have captured your little friend. The fairy boy. He is trapped between dimensions. You have lost your final hope. It will do you no good to run,” it whispered in a raspy tone.
Horror filled her, but she said nothing.
“I can sense your fear. It is good that you fear me.”
“Why?” she responded finally.
“Found your voice did you? Well, that is good. You will need it to scream with when I kill you. I will kill you. Make no mistake about that. I will kill you just as I killed your father. I will feed your bones to my dogs just as I did your father's. Fitting for a child to die in the manner of the parent.”
She said nothing.
“While I cannot find you now, I will. No matter where you go I will find you. You are cursed little child. An open mind is a curse. Are you prepared to die little one? Will you fight me? Will you give up the way your little friend did? Will cower in a castle like your father did?” it asked softly.
“My father never cowered. I saw him die. He would have fought you and killed you had you not used magic,” she shouted to the voice.
“You father was a coward. I killed him and fed
him to the animals I keep. You will meet the same fate,” the voice promised.
She woke to find that it was night. The fire was still behind her eyes and her body continued to shake with cold. Her eyes were bleary with sleep and sand as she attempted to look around. With no way to wipe them clean she shut her eyes again and reopened them several times. They cleared slightly and she saw tall cliffs rising on either side of her. A small thought in the back of her mind told her that they were as far as the Twilight Canyons. The rock was pale purple and red as it reflected the moonlight onto her flesh.
The world began to blur again as she shut her eyes to sleep more. Then suddenly the horse stopped. Zelda raised her head to look about, but found it to be much to heavy to lift. Impa told her to dismount, but she couldn’t move her body. When she tried to tell her this she found her voice did not work either. The world made no sense now. There were many people about her where there had once been only she and her mentor.
“She has a fever,” a woman’s voice said.
“Take her to my cave,” Impa replied.
There was much shaking and jostling and someone
lifted her into their arms. She did not see who it was because at that
moment she fainted.
She was alone. There was darkness and she was alone. One hand reached out to find nothingness. Blinking, she found no change in what she saw. There was no light in this place. She called out for help, but no one answered, and she began to wonder if she had even spoke.
Desperation took her over and she fought the darkness with clenched fists. She kicked at it and screamed in anger. Still there was nothing. There were no walls or doors. There as only a floor, and even that seemed to be insubstantial.
Just when she thought there was no hope a light appeared and a face looked down at her.
“She is very ill,” a voice said.
She tried to tell the person that she needed help, but the words wouldn’t come.
“ . . . the mage fire hurt her . . .” another unfamiliar voice said.
“ . . . probably lose both hands with out a healer . . .”
“ . . . She will die then . . .”
Zelda fought to tell them that she was still alive. Then the light was gone. She was alone again and more frightened than before.
Soon the light parted the darkness again and she saw Impa looking down on her.
“ . . . the boy go get him . . .” the woman said.
“. . . he is young . . . can’t heal without her knowing . . .”
“ . . . Damn . . .” Impa cursed loudly.
Then the darkness pervaded her thought’s again.
“Are you awake?” someone called to her.
“Uhhh,” she responded opening one eye.
A young boy, about her age, sat next to her. For a moment she thought it was Link. Shaking her head a little she found it wasn’t the fairy child, much to her disappointment.
“Should I go get Impa?” the boy asked getting to his feet.
“No. Who?” she asked, confused.
“Your mentor. Your teacher. Impa. She worked for the royal Hylian family. Do you have amnesia?” he asked worriedly.
“You. Who are you? I know Impa,” she said looking about her.
They were in a cave of sorts. Tapestries hung from the ceiling to the floor depicting many scenes from ancient battles. Zelda could pick out heroes of legend and even a few of Impa. A fire was lit in the center of the room and burned merrily as it cast strange shadows over her. Light streamed in from the opening at the front of the cave, though it seemed to be filtered through an odd screen that looked like rocks. A table was set near where the bed was, and three chairs were set up around the room. In one of them the boy had taken his seat again.
She let her eyes rest on him for the moment as she listened to him explain.
“I’m Rudin, Merlow’s apprentice. Impa asked me to look after you today while she went to see the elders. I think she is arranging to have you stay here for awhile. I’m not really certain though. How do you feel?” he asked politely.
“I’m a little thirsty,” she answered quietly.
Hopping off the chair, the boy went across the room and opened a part of the wall. She blinked and saw that the cupboard was built into the stone with a thin door in front of it. He returned with a bottle of fresh water and gently held it up to her lips. She went to take it from him, but found that her hands were bandaged. Then she remembered.
“Oh no. My father. My home,” she said and began to cry.
The boy set the water on the ground and climbed up next to her and wrapped his arms around her comfortingly. She welcomed his closeness and cried into his shoulder for a long time. When her tears had ended she still clung to him. He smelled of cinnamon. She liked the smell.
“Are you okay now?” he asked pulling away a little.
“No. But I think I will be,” she replied, sniffing.
He wiped her eyes with the corner of his shirt and dug in his pocket to find a handkerchief for her to blow her nose on. She smiled a little as he had to wipe her nose for her.
“My hands,” she said simply looking at the white cloth that covered them.
“Impa wanted me to look at them when you woke. May I?” he asked.
She frowned and nodded with a shrug.
“Why did she want you to look at them?”
“I am a healer. I have the power to repair wounds though this may be a little to . . . deep for me to fix. But I can try. I surely can’t hurt you,” he said with a small grin.
Zelda laughed simply from the need to smile at something.
Carefully he stripped her hands of their bandages. As the layers reached the flesh a horrible crinkling sound came whenever he moved the wrappings. Zelda flinched.
“Does that hurt?” he asked.
“Not really,” she whispered.
Soon one blackened hand stared up at them from the blanket. She tried to wiggle the fingers, but couldn’t. They hurt like fire, but no movement came. With on hand he touched the fingertips. Flakes of black flesh dropped off. Slowly he began to peel away the charred skin. She felt tears come as she watched. There was no feeling except for the pain inside the hand.
“This is bad. I remember the first time I used mage fire. I was under strict conditions so I wouldn’t hurt myself this badly, but it still hurt. I was burned for days. I’ve never seen it this bad before. You must have some great magic,” he said still peeling back flesh.
When he finished, red, raw tissue was exposed. It felt like a million needles were pressing against her hand. Yet, she couldn’t move them.
“The nerves have been severed. Normally they would have removed your hands for burns this bad, but you control mage fire. If they did that you would die. I think I might be able to heal them a little. Perhaps connect the nerves again. Let me inspect the other one though.”
Zelda shut her eyes as he peeled the other hand. She couldn’t bear to see her own burnt flesh being ripped from her body. It was a scary thought and disgusted her. The fever was waiting behind her eyes. It was smaller and broken, but still it waited there. Her body was tired from fighting it.
“There. Let me get some water to clean them with and then I can begin. It might take a while.”
Zelda opened her eyes and found herself inspecting the boy. He was probably a few years older than her by the way he was acting. His head was covered by a shock of pure white hair that reminded her of snow. His eyes were muddy brown and very wise for his age. The hands that touched her own were large for a child, they connected to a thin but muscular body that reminded her very much of Link.
“I’m going to begin now. It may hurt a little. I’m sorry if it does,” he said looking at her.
She smiled and shut her eyes.
The process took hours. Slowly he started at the lightly burnt parts of her wrists and worked his way up. His face creased with concentration as the flesh began to knit together. Zelda held her breath. It stung. Somehow she was happy to feel something even if it was pain.
The hours passed slowly. Rudin concentrated on her hands as he ran his fingers again and again over her palms and wrists. Eventually she began to feel tingling in her fingertips. She could once again feel the air about her hands. The touch of Rudin’s fingers on her own seemed cooling and wonderful. Finally Rudin retrieved fresh bandages from the cupboard and got ready to replace them onto her hands.
The flesh was still red and burnt, but the feeling had returned and though it ached to do so she could bend her fingers.
“They will scar terribly,” Rudin admitted.
“Why? I thought you could heal them?” she asked.
“I did. I reconnected the nerves and healed the more dangerous of the wounds, but that was as far as my power goes. I’m sorry.”
Zelda nodded and closed her eyes again. She felt the boy climb up beside her and put an arm around her. Then she was alseep.
“Is her fever down?” Impa’s voice asked.
Zelda opened her eyes and saw her mentor standing in a door was across from her that she had not noticed before. Like the cupboard, it was covered by a thin piece of rock as a door.
“Yes. I managed what I could with her hands. She can use them again. The scars will never fade. Mage fire scars rarely do. These are the worst I have ever seen. I was lucky to reattach the nerves, let alone heal them whole,” Rudin was saying.
“You did well, little one. You may go back to my sister now. Thank her for me.” Impa said.
Rudin nodded and with one wistful glance back at the princess he left through the door. Impa shut it behind him and turned to Zelda who had pushed herself painfully into sitting up.
“How do you feel?” the older woman asked sitting the chair next to the bed.
“Like I’m dying. What happened?” she asked, trying to sort out her memories.
“Ganandorf attacked the castle. Your father was not prepared and the Gerudo man managed to get inside the castle walls. I woke you to take you out of the castle before he found you, but you left the room to get the Ocarina . . .” Impa began.
“I know that part. After that,” Zelda interrupted.
“Well, you were in the treasure room when Ganon found you. He went to hurt youand you held up your hands and hit him in the chest with mage fire. He was stunned and I had time to grab you and take out to front before he regained his senses. We rode here and you have been ill for the past three days,” Impa finished.
Zelda shook her head and pressed her lips together. There were so many things that she didn’t understand.
“What is mage fire?” she asked.
Impa thought for a moment.
“It is the fire that comes from being magic. Learning magic can give the power to use it, but not to conjure it up at will. You are magic. You knew that there was danger and the fire built up inside you until you used it on Ganon,” she said carefully.
“Why did it hurt me though? I didn’t have a choice. It just happened . . .” the little girl tried.
“The first time mage fire is used it always burns the bearer. There are things that can be done to lighten the process. Some are only singed from the ordeal. Others lose their hands entirely. If you are magic though, losing your hands will kill you. That is why we let the young boy heal you. He is not the best of healers yet, but he is all that was present at the time. He did a very good job for someone his age. I was surprised.”
“Stop changing the subject. Why were my burns so bad?”
“Well, you are very young. You were never taught how to channel magic the proper way. It was backed up in your system. Had you not released it when you did chances are it would have consumed you from the inside out. The magic must have someplace to exit the body. The hands in humans are the most common place. In dragons it is the mouth, wherever the magic has the least resistance. You are magic. You just didn’t know it,” Impa said.
Another thought occurred to Zelda.
“My father . . .” she started.
“He died. I’m sorry my little one. Be strong.”
Tears began to grow in her eyes but she blinked them back. She needed to be strong. If she was weak and vulnerable right now, she would never live through her illness.
“Now you must rest again. Tomorrow you will be able to explore and I will explain the circumstances of our stay to you,” Impa said gently brushing hair from the child’s face.
Zelda nodded and slept again.