Disclaimer: All characters and places, save the few I make up, belong to Nintendo and some very rich Japanese man. All that does not belong to Nintendo and said Japanese man, including the plot of this story, belong to my imagination. Be wary; my imagination is wild and does not take kindly to thieves.

Summary: Six years ago, Link left his home to follow the sweet chorus of adventure. Recently he was found on the verge of death near Lake Hylia. Having no memory of his life for the past six years, he must piece together fragments of reminiscences from his dreams. Slowly and painfully he discovers a past more shocking than he could fathom, unlocking the darkest conspiracy of the royal family. Can he salvage what is left of his heart and mind in time to save his beloved country and bemused love? Rated T for violence.

Every Shard of My Heart Belongs to You: Prologue

Following his adventure in Termina, Link returned once again to Hyrule. He lived in Hyrule Castle for a short time under the patronage of the Hylian king in exchange for his services as a low ranking guard. Due to his modest age, Link's occupation was not overwhelming in prestige, nor were his skills efficiently employed. He was often granted audience with the princess at her request, and so their mutual fondness deepened. Link, however, was left unsatisfied by the monotony of his duties at the castle and inevitably fell victim to the temptations of adventure. So our story begins...

High above Castle Town, on the balcony of the tallest west tower, she stood. Twilight glimmered in her eyes as she leaned upon the granite terrace. She faced the east, the sun casting the shadow of her mighty fortress across the land that would one day be hers. She imagined the day when armies would wait at her command and on every post her flag would wave, but it did not make her feel any more significant. She was a great star, appearing only as a shining dot in the void of space. She watched the figure of a boy disappear over the gentle hills of the field beyond. She was as powerless to keep him as she would be to keep a rogue comet, flying from orbit into the boundless frontier.

"Zelda, you are my best friend," he had told her. Had his words been hollow? Did Hyrule not hold a special place in his heart? Did she not? She searched within her for whatever fault could have made her not worth sticking around for.

Together they had saved Hyrule and sealed evil away for all time. Their suffering under Ganandorf was a bond thicker than blood. And thicker still were the divine chords of the triforce that could not be broken by distance or time. Was all this negated when she sent him back to live in the time they both had lost? She thought by restoring his childhood they could grow up together, and this time their friendship be not necessitated by the darkness of fate, but cultivated in a land of peace. Had she known how his youthful whims would inevitably force them apart, would she have sent him back after all? Was it her selfishness that drove him from her?

The wind blew strongly. Its transparent breath rustled in the trees and whistled through the canyons of her broken heart. The branches swayed; the leaves sighed. A droplet fell against the ledge of her veranda, but there were no clouds above her. It was the sort of rain that existed solely as the tears in her heart, every last shard of it.

"Princess? Please, milady, do come inside." She quickly tried to compose herself before turning to the young knight who beckoned her to leave her misery on the balcony. He was tall and handsome, with dark hazel eyes and chestnut hair.

"I don't understand why he has to go." She took the skirt of her nightgown in one hand and wiped her tears with the other as she reluctantly left her sanctuary. She was only thirteen years old, and Link was not much older. How could she understand him when she could scarcely understand her own feelings?

"Don't worry, Princess. I'm sure it won't be long until we see him again." He exposed Link's wrinkled hat from his opposite hand. "It seems he left you this." She unfolded the simple green cloth, exposing the smooth surface of Link's fairy ocarina.

She traced the holes of the wooden instrument with her fingers. "Thank you, Iain. If that be all, good night."

"Aye, milady, g'night." He watched her sitting on her bed, clinging to memories as silent tears swelled in her eyes. He lingered in the doorway momentarily before departing for the night.

It wouldn't be the first time he had gone, and perhaps Iain was right; maybe he would return just as he had before. But she could not convince herself. This time his leaving left an impression of permanence. She clutched the hat and ocarina to her breast and wept.