Summary: (sequel to Where The Heart Is) 7 years after Anju and Kafei took him in, Link is enjoying the normalcy of his new life. But when a strange messenger from Hyrule tells him news of Princess Zelda, will memories of his childhood friend be enough to bring him home?
Where There Is Happiness
"Here is the key to your room, sir. Number three, upstairs and to your right. Madame, do you have a booking for the carnival?"
"Yes. My family name is Balan."
"That'll be room Number Four. Unfortunately, the couple who booked that room last night have not checked out yet. I'm afraid you'll have to wait until noon."
"Noon?! Absolutely not! I have a very important meeting to attend to."
"I'm very sorry, Ma'am. Check out is by noon – but if you leave your luggage with me behind the counter I am sure we'll be able to look after it."
"I certainly hope so."
"Don't worry Mrs. Balan. I hope you enjoy your stay."
"Excuse me, are you the innkeeper? I have a booking under the name Gotani."
"Yes, sir. One moment - Mrs. Balan! Is that your red suitcase in front of the doorway?"
"That is Gotani. Under G-o-t-a-"
"Yes. Of course, Mr. Gotani – I believe that is room eight. If you give me a moment I'll find your key-"
" –Kafei! Mother says there is a full basket of laundry that needs washing for this evening. Will you please take it down to the laundry pool?"
"Of course, Anju. Just let me sort out the front counter and I'll head down there right away-"
"Room eight? That is upstairs I presume?"
"Yes, sir. Will you be having breakfast at the inn?"
"No, I don't believe so."
"- Kafei, mother says the basket of laundry is in the kitchen. Don't forget, will you?"
"No, of course not Anju-"
"My key sir?"
"Yes. I apologize, Mr. Gotani. Here is your key. Your room is up the stairs and to the right. I hope you enjoy the carnival and your stay here at the Stock Pot Inn-"
"Kafei, dear! The postman has just told me the Romani cart has arrived early. That carton of milk we ordered is waiting at the bar–"
"Yes, Anju. Mr. Gotani - do you need help with your trunk, sir?"
"I think I should be able to lift it – w-what is this here? I can't get it through the doorway."
"Sir, please be careful. Mrs. Balan left her suitcase in the doorway-"
"The blasted thing is stuck!"
"Mr. Gotani, the suitcase-"
"What the devil!"
"Don't worry, Kafei. I'll help him."
Kafei, a violet-haired boy who appeared no older than seventeen, turned around in relief. A smiling, golden-haired youth who was about the same age had appeared from the kitchen, and quickly lifted the abandoned suitcase out of Mr. Gotani's dangerous path.
"There you go, sir."
Mr. Gotani, a particularly large Goron, was finally able to fit his equally massive trunk through the door. Huffing loudly, he trudged up the staircase to find his room.
Kafei gave a deep sigh. "Thanks Link."
The golden-haired boy quirked an eyebrow. "This early in the morning and you're already beginning to hate the guests aren't you?"
Kafei smirked, saying nothing.
Grinning, Link disappeared once again through the kitchen doors before reappearing with an overflowing basket of laundry and a handful of mail.
"Anju said these are for you," he said, waving the envelopes teasingly. "I can go to the laundry pool for these clothes and make a stop at the Milk bar on the way back." Handing the letters to Kafei, he stepped lightly out the door.
Kafei shook his head, but smiled to himself. He sat down and began sorting through the envelopes.
He looked up and found Anju emerging from her grandmother's room, breakfast tray in hand.
"I know. Link took it."
Anju's eyes widened in surprise. "Kafei! He hasn't even had breakfast yet," she chastised. But truthfully, they both knew it was something Link typically did: laundry before breakfast. Chores before play. In fact, looking after the Stock Pot Inn had become the boy's sole priority over the years. It was a discipline that shocked and confused them both.
Since the night after their wedding all those years ago; the same night they let the boy into their home; Anju and Kafei, who were themselves a strange couple (appearing to have a difference in years, but having minds that were similarly aged) developed an even stranger bond with the young boy. To Kafei he was a childhood friend, since they had experienced the trials of "growing up" together. To Anju he was an awkward, shy younger brother who was always willing to help her when she needed it. But most importantly, Link had become something of an accidental son to them both. A son they adored, fretted about, reprimanded (though rarely), and fiercely defended against the wildfire gossip of the citizens of Clocktown.
And there was plenty of gossip. Not only had Kafei, the mayor's son, been turned into a child three days before his inappropriate marriage with the innkeeper's daughter, the new couple had actually offered a wild, ill-mannered, filthy ragamuffin to stay in their home.
And so the unlikely family was driven together. It was doubtless that within a few months they learned to love each other dearly; the boy loved his parents, and the couple loved their son.
Still, Kafei and Anju had hardly learned anything about Link over the past few years. Their initial doubts and fears were quickly dispelled by his calm temperament, but the mystery surrounding the young boy was ever present. They didn't know who his true parents were nor what happened to them, where he came from or why he ever set foot in Termina in the first place.
But trusting him, they had shared faith that he would tell them one day. All his secrets, all his stories, all his hopes and all his fears. When he was ready.
And that was that.
The remainder of the day continued much like the morning. Kafei managed the front counter, Anju the guests, and Link the long list of chores and errands. Half an hour to dinner time, Link finally returned to the Stock Pot Inn, all tasks completed, with a slight smile of satisfaction on his face. He politely asked Kafei, who was still at the front desk, if he could take a nap before the fireworks that night.
Kafei responded by teasingly mussing his golden hair. "Lazy kid," he muttered before sending Link off with strict orders to do nothing but rest for the remainder of the evening.
When midnight approached and most guests had left the inn to prepare for the fireworks, Kafei finally retired from the counter and collapsed in a nearby bench.
Anju entered the room a few moments later, wearing a new burgundy dress for the special occasion. She walked over to Kafei, threw her arms around his neck, and kissed him sweetly.
"Happy anniversary." Her lovely, chocolate brown eyes danced as she looked at him.
"I love you, Anju."
The two held each other in a moment of bliss and contentment. They remained there, cherishing each other's presence as a certain, unshakable peace settled in their hearts.
All too soon, they heard the distant eruption of excited chatter in the street. The crowds were slowly making their way to the clock tower – it was time.
"We have to wake up Link," Kafei whispered. He pulled away slightly, still cradling his wife in his arms.
"Poor kid would never admit it. He was exhausted after today."
If it was possible, Anju's expression softened even more. "Then I'll wake him."
She stood, padded towards the kitchen and slipped in. The room was dark, but there was enough moonlight to reveal a still form sleeping on a cot in the corner of the room. Walking over, she bent down and brushed his hair from his cheeks. Gently, she nudged him.
At the sound of her voice, the boy struggled to lift his eyelids but eventually managed to do so. He turned to look at her, eyes revealing bright blue.
Anju smiled kindly. "Will you watch the fireworks with us, Link?"
He nodded and sat up.
"Of course I will."
The three of them watched the display from the rooftop of the Stock Pot Inn. Startling sparkles of red, blue, green, violet and gold erupted across the heavens, daring to reach the heights of the pale glow of the moon's surface.
Link had seen many things in his lifetime – but the fireworks over Clocktown always lifted his soul like nothing else.
And like always, he felt his mood dim a little when the fireworks ended, though laughter, cheers, music, and fanfare erupted in the streets immediately afterwards.
"I've got an anniversary present for you," he said suddenly turning to Kafei and Anju, who sat next to him.
They exchanged glances. "Link!" Anju exclaimed after a moment, blushing slightly. "You don't have to get us a present – we've told you before."
Nonchalantly, Link rolled his eyes and dug into his pockets. He produced a small package, wrapped in white cloth. He handed it over, smiling.
Together, Anju and Kafei unwrapped the present carefully. They unraveled the white cloth and a smooth, porcelain object fell into their hands.
"Link," Kafei began in surprise. "It's your ocarina!"
He nodded, cheeks flushed.
Anju caressed the smooth porcelain reverently. "You've never let this leave your side for as long as we've known you. We cannot accept something that we know means so much to you!" She cried.
Link shook his head with certainty. "But it means even more to me that you have it."
Anju and Kafei glanced at each other again. Eventually, they exchanged gentle smiles before Kafei handed it back to Link. "Since it is your wish, we accept. But give us one more anniversary present and play one of your melodies for us."
Link's eyes shone brightly and he obliged. He paused for a moment, then began. The melody he chose was a short, simple tune, calming and pleasurable to the ears.
As he played, he wondered at how little Kafei and Anju knew what it meant to him. How many memories such a simple melody brought back. After all these years … this very melody.
He had left Hyrule to find a friend he had lost, and couldn't help feeling that he only managed to lose another.
Little did they know how painful it was for him to play Zelda's lullaby, after being so far from home for so long, and that the only way he managed to get through it was by knowing they were there, that they were his courage, and that they were watching him.
After the last, sweet note had faded away, the three of them retired for a well-deserved rest. They bade each other good night, the last of their departing figures bathed in moonlight and the warm, orange rays cast from the festival torches below.
But as soon as the balcony door to the Inn was shut, a figure stepped away from the shadows and looked up at where the unlikely family had been. A cold, sharp chill passed through the street and the flames flickered at the sudden presence of the stranger – the air was being filled with ancient magic.
There was no denying it – after all these years, the Hero of Time had been found.
A/N: Okay. So I decided to continue it. I've always wondered if Link had a family growing up – would he be so adventurous? Well, that aside, let me know what you think.