A/N: A new story by me, TheGoddessKnight. I'm taking a traditional plot and doing it my way. Oh, this is goings to be awesome.

Feathers of Affection

Zelda rested her blond head on her arm and stared blissfully out the open window. She sat at a customary school desk as her boring tutor was lecturing her. She enjoyed the soft zephyr that blew into her face. The blue sky was crystal clear with no worries of an afternoon shower like spring always had. Her cerulean eyes wandered around the skies and caught the image of two larks flying with each other in the gentle breeze. Zelda smiled and looked downwards to the training grounds for the soldiers. The best of the Hylian army, and all of them were preoccupied by some sort of training. Some sparred with one another, others trained their eye at archery and others were undergoing their strict, personal exercises.

But one golden haired strudel caught her attention since she first started to notice men. His golden tresses escaped the green cap he always wore. The same cap that he wore since he was a lad. All the stitches proved that fact. Zelda laughed that, even though she couldn't see it from where she was, there was a pink stitch on his cap. Zelda and him rode their horses one day, through the forest close to the castle, and he lost his hat. They found it on a tree branch with a new hole in it. The princess took that opportunity to mend his cap for him, as an act of friendship.

Now she was a little older and so was he. Zelda couldn't bear to tell him her real feelings. It wouldn't do any good for them; she was supposed to wed a prince, not him. Zelda cursed her royal blood and watched as he picked up a bow from the rack and readied an arrow. With the innate archer in him, he hit the bull's eye once. He took a few steps back and fired again. Another bull's eye. He continued until he couldn't move any farther back and replaced the bow with the other armaments.

"Link's always been the first-class warrior," Zelda muttered to herself. "It's such a shame about his father."

Link was orphaned as a child. His mother died during childbirth and his father died soon after. Wars plagued Hyrule during the time when Link was born and his father was a very skilled fighter. Lieutenant of the King's army, he managed to win almost all of his battles. A brilliant tactician, expert swordsman, accurate bowman, and bomb specialist, it seemed his son had inherited all of that and more. Zelda's father knew what prowess the young boy had and made sure he had a place to stay within the castle. Link grew up close the princess and a friendship bonded them close. While Zelda often studied way of politics and how to be a lady, Link mastered the path of sword and shield.

"My dear princess," her tutor uttered. "Mind telling me what did I just say?"

Zelda searched her mind. All sessions dealt with one thing and Zelda took advantage of it. After taking a few moments to keep her tutor guessing, Zelda said, "That foreign affairs must be dealt with care."

Her tutor grunted. No matter how hard he tried, Zelda was always able to get anything he threw at her. Even the most ridiculous of subjects was nothing more than information ready to be soaked up. "That is correct. Now…"

Zelda looked out the window once again. Link was gone from the grounds. The princess wondered where he might have gone. Link was given much more freedom than her. Of course, she was a princess and had to be kept safe at all times, Zelda hated that she couldn't go into town or off to the ranch without thirty or so guards. Not even to visit her good friend Malon. But, if she was accompanied by Link, than her father had nothing to object and let her run off with him.

She looked back to her tutor and began to pay attention to him. After what seemed like hours to Zelda, the door to the room was knocked upon. Her tutor stopped his lecture and walked over to answer the door. Her knight stood at the door, clad in his green tunic. He smiled as he saw her sitting at the desk but quickly turned his attention to the tutor.

"Sir, his majesty request that the princess come to the main hall," Link said. "It is urgent matters."

"Very well," he answered. "Take her."

Link nodded. Zelda got up from her chair, smoothing out her pink satin dress as she did. Link admired how elegant the princess was. How she took her lady like steps while keeping her hand at her waist. Her porcelain skin and ruby lips contrasted each other but complimented her gorgeous face.

Zelda joined Link and together went down the hall. The castle was decorated with fine pieces of art from everywhere in Hyrule. Paintings of angels, statues of great warriors, marble vases of great quality. The two walked with each other in an awkward silence. Determined to end it, Zelda spoke first.

"So, Link, what is it that my father wants?" Zelda asked.

"I'm not sure princess. It most likely has to do with you choosing a suitor. As always," Link said, not turning to look at her. "I saw a new batch of them coming to the castle this morning. Your father seems intent on making sure you marry before you turn eighteen."

"I just want to marry somebody I love," Zelda said. She looked down at her hands, "That is what's most important. Even a wedding that's for the good of the country can lead somewhere horrible."

"I agree, princess," Link said.

"Link, how long have we known each other and you insist on calling me princess? I know you much better than that. What happened to Zelda?"

"Well, I was younger then," Link said. "I didn't understand my place." They came to the grand oak doors that led to the great hall. Inside Zelda's father awaited her on his throne. Link turned to face the princess before she made her way in, "Do you want me to go in with you Zelda?"

"Thank you," Zelda affirmed.

Link pushed open the door. He looked back to see Zelda waiting for him and together they walked inside. As predicted, Zelda's father sat on his throne. Jewels decorated his rings and rich silk clothed him. His golden crown shone brilliantly in the well-lit room. Before him were a group of young men, obviously princes seeking Zelda's hand.

"Ah, Zelda, good to see you didn't take too much time coming here," her father said. "I would like you to meet these royal friends. Maybe one of them could be a future husband?"

Zelda looked over to Link as he crossed his arms. She could tell he hated the idea of her marrying anyone of the princes.

"I would like you to get ready for dinner," the King said. "We would be honoring these guests if you put on you sapphire colored one you have."

"Of course, father," Zelda curtsied and quickly walked away.

"Make sure she does what she's asked, Link," the King requested.

"At once, your highness," Link bowed and left the hall. He quickly caught up to Zelda. He could tell that Zelda wasn't enthralled with the situation. "Are you going to talk about it?"

"There's nothing to say Link. I hate being a princess!" Zelda said.

"This makes what? The 800th time you said you hated being one since I knew you? Zelda, I know you hate it but its what you are. No use in denying it," Link said. "How bad is it anyways?"

"Link," Zelda stopped and looked at him. Her azure eyes held back tears of frustration and sadness. It wasn't his fault but he was the only one there to feel her anger. "Its almost as bad as being a slave. I have to stay locked up in this castle. Waiting for a prince to take me away to another. I never have a word in anything. I'm nothing more than a symbol of a prince's conquest. I exist only to achieve peace and unity with another country, only to spit out heirs to the throne. I'm nothing more than an expensive whore!"

"Zelda," Link said softly. He noticed the tears that ran down her face, smudging her makeup. He wiped it away with his thumb and caressed her cheek, "You are no whore. You're a strong-minded woman. I'm sure that you will find the right person for you. Keep your hopes up."

"Link – why is it – no, you done enough," Zelda said. She touched his gloved hand with hers. She smiled, "Thanks you Link."

The two stood in that hallway for an extensive amount of time. Link, catching that time was flying past, quickly ushered Zelda into her room so she could get dressed. As the door closed in front of him, Link stood in front of her bedroom. He took a deep breath. He couldn't find the courage to tell Zelda how much he loved her. Link stared at the oak finish on the door and quickly removed himself from the area.

( . ) -----------\

The King sat at the head of the long dinner table. The place to the right of him was empty and Zelda's suitors took all other seats. There were plates of food covered with the silver dome that kept them warm. The King's patience was wearing thin. His precious daughter took her time and made them all suffer with the enticing smell of the cook's delicious dinner.

Zelda looked down at the staircase she stood in front of. She nervously played with her white-gloved hands. She was clothed in a lovely sapphire colored dress that matched the azure in her eyes. It had straps that tied behind her neck than showed off her adequate bust and fair skin.

"Something wrong Zelda?" Link asked, coming from behind her.

"I'm a little nervous, that's all," Zelda responded.

"Why, you look beautiful. Like always," Link said.

Zelda looked to him, "Could you escort me down there?"

Link looked down at his ragged tunic, "Are you sure?"

Zelda nodded her head, her golden strands of her swayed with her movements. Link always loved that. "Please Link, I would really appreciate it if you did."

"All right then," Link said. He held out his arm for her to grab, "Shall we?"

Zelda looped her arm with his and leaned against him, "Lets."

Link led Zelda down the marble staircase and rounded the corner to enter the dining hall. The King looked flabbergasted to see his darling daughter being guided by Link. He never held anything against Link and even treated him as a son but there was a line. A line Link was trudging near as he helped Zelda to her chair. They reached her seat and Link pulled out her chair. Zelda sat down and Link pushed her in.

"I'll see you around princess," Link said. He bowed in respect for the King, "You too my liege."

Link left the room and then the servant made their presence known. The uncovered the foods and started to serve the cuisine. The King looked over to Zelda.

"Do you have a explanation to why did Link escort you here? You are after all of royal blood," he said.

"I'm sorry, I was a little nervous," Zelda answered. "I asked Link to bring me down here. He's a sweet guy…"

"Indeed, but do remember that you are supposed to choose one of these fine young men to wed," the King repeated. "Best Prince Jess, his country hasn't been on the best terms with ours."

"Of course, father," Zelda said.

Later, Zelda lay on her bed, alone in her room. The full moon hung over the cloudless sky. Its lunar rays shone through the drapes in Zelda's room and gave it an out worldly ambiance. She wore her sleeping gown in bed and covered in her heavy comforter. Zelda stared up the ceiling and sighed. She wanted to forget her "royal duties" and for once be a regular person.

A tap was heard at her closed window. Zelda got up from her bed and cautiously crept to the portal into the night and drew the drapes. She looked down to see Link beaming at her from the ground. How lucky they both were that she wasn't in a higher room. She opened her windows and peeked out.

"Link, what are you doing? You haven't done this since you were a child," Zelda asked.

"Wondering if you were all right," Link responded. "I know that going to that thing was a nightmare for you. Look, how about tomorrow we go to the lake? Have a picnic and what not?"

Zelda sighed, "Sorry I cant. Father wants me to spend time with the suitors. Show off my proper upbringing."

"Oh, maybe I can make it less brutal?" Link asked.

"How?" the princess asked.

"I can tag along," Link said. "Say I'm your personal guard or something. Those guys wont know so who cares?"

"Thanks Link," Zelda said. "You do a lot for me."

"Well…" Link mumbled something incoherently.

"What?" Zelda asked.

"Nothing Zelda," Link answered. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay Link, I'll see you tomorrow," Zelda said. She shut her window and Link stared back at the ground. He kicked up some dirt and started to walk away.

"I know that I can never really be with her. I know its all wishful thinking on my behalf. I don't even know if she'll repay my feelings. Tomorrow though, tomorrow I'll tell her. I kept it far too long and I have to let her know, even if it means she doesn't. I'll tell her when we're alone." Link strolled through the castle's stable. His sorrel mare was awake, eating oats. "Hey, Epona, how you been girl?"

She nudged him tenderly and continued to eat her oats.

"I hope Malon's been doing fine," Link said. "After all, without her I wouldn't have you. Wonder if Zelda has any news. Maybe I should get out more often, I don't even know how my friend has been."

Link exited the stables and looked up at the moon. A silhouette of a bird flew in the moonlight. Link couldn't see its plumage but he was curious as to why it was out so late. Usually owls were the one's who were the birds of the night, not a raptor.

"It's a bird, they're free to do whatever they want."

A/N: Well, this is the first story without my OC introduced in this chapter. Strange… Hope you guys love it and please leave a review. They story may be clichéd but I'm sure you have something to say about it.