Disclaimer: This applies to the entire story. I do not own Legend of Zelda or any of the characters from that game.
This actually was an idea for an original story I was going to write, inspired by the modified versions of classic fairy tales done by Gail Carson Levine (I love Ella Enchanted). Anyway, I decided instead to take this to the Zelda fandom, mix in more of my own original elements, and this is what happened. You are likely to recognize elements of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Beauty of the Beast, but there is very, very little directly from the Disney movies. Anyway, I don't want to take up any more time, please enjoy!
Chapter 1: Lightning's Shadow
Lightning flashed across the sky as the young King Harkinian watched from the throne room windows; the shadows of the illuminated raindrops fell like freckles upon his face.
Lightning is a bad omen, he thought with a frown. Lightning did not occur very often in Hyrule, his kingdom. The people were good and did nothing to displeasure the Goddesses. That meant only one thing. The lightning was not a punishment but a warning.
"Harkinian! Why do you worry so?" asked the young queen as she hurried to her husband. He tore his gaze away from the window and turned to her, a smile finally finding its way onto his face.
"No reason, my dear wife. Do not be concerned about me. Now, tell me, how is our daughter?" The queen smiled and motioned to the bundle she was holding in her arms. Harkinian immediately forgot all about the storm as he took his young daughter into his embrace. The queen clasped her hands together.
"You are such a loving father," she said. "Just as you are a good ruler, my husband. There is nothing to fear." Harkinian nodded, but her words had brought on another memory. My dear daughter was born during a lightning storm exactly six months before today. He shook away the thought and dropped his eyes to his daughter's face.
"You are lovely, just like your mother." He lifted a finger and stroked his daughter's cheek. She cooed happily, her bright sapphire eyes shining up at him. Queen Zelda moved closer to her husband so that they both could admire their child. In that moment, they both knew nothing of the raging winds or deafening rain that pelted the window.
Lightning struck again, interrupting their happy moment. It struck even closer to the castle, its length seeming to cut the window diagonally. As it came, the entire throne room was lit so brightly that everyone shaded their eyes. When it faded away, the hall was painted in shadow.
Harkinian found that he had reflexively pulled his daughter into his chest. He slowly pulled her away, blinking several times to adjust to the return to darkness. He felt his wife's hand grasp his arm tightly. He looked into her face and saw that she was staring at the entrance to the room. He directed his gaze outwards.
Standing in the shadows at the far end of the room was a man. The servants that had gathered for the storm stood up as they noticed him. They whispered quietly to each other, falling back to the outer edges as the man walked closer.
"Who are you?" called Harkinian to the man as he crossed the red carpet leading to the throne. "What is your business?" The man stopped a few feet away from the steps leading up to where the monarchs stood. He wore a black cloak that covered his clothes with a hood that shaded most of his face. Harkinian felt a sense of dread seep into his mouth, but he kept calm as he faced the stranger.
"Greetings, your Majesty. I have traveled from distant lands and seek shelter within your walls." Harkinian narrowed his eyes. There was something oddly discomforting about the man's voice.
"Welcome, stranger," he said hesitantly. He handed his daughter over to his wife. As he did so, he caught her eyes briefly and touched her right hand. She nodded. Harkinian turned back to the cloaked man. "It is common courtesy to reveal one's name in the presence of friends and allies. If you mean no harm towards us, please state your name and business in these parts and we will gladly offer you a room."
It was the stranger's turn to hesitate. He glanced warily around the room. The servants were all huddled together; behind them, the guards readied their weapons. The storm had started less than an hour ago, so the younger maids were still readying candles to brighten the room. Despite their progress, the throne room's expanse still remained mostly in shadow. The cloaked man turned back to the king and queen and took a deep breath.
"I truly appreciate your kindness," he said while reaching into his cloak. Harkinian noticed the motion and stood in front of his wife. He motioned the guards silently and they gripped their swords.
"Now, stranger, I know not why you have avoided the question. But please, we ask only out of fear of darker things that linger in these dangerous times. Please tell us your name, if not your business, for safety's sake."
The stranger raised his face so that he met Harkinian's eyes with his own for the first time. The king gasped. The stranger's eyes were bright red.
"Who are you?" Harkinian asked angrily, pulling out his sword. The three bright triangles of the Triforce, the symbol that granted the true descendents of the royal line the power to rule, appeared and glowed brightly on the back of his left hand.
Chaos erupted in the room.
When the stranger saw the mark, he immediately threw off his cloak with strings of magic, brandishing two large swords. Guards poured in from the sides, but the evil man shot through them with blasts of tainted magic. He sent blows into the ceilings and the walls, shaking the castle and causing chunks of marble and stone to fall onto the ground. Harkinian powered up his sword with fire from his Triforce mark, trying to push his wife away from danger with his free right arm. She refused.
"No, my husband, I will help you in this fight!" she insisted. Harkinian glared at the evil man.
"No, Zelda. Listen to me! You must take our daughter and flee."
"I will not!" Harkinian shot a string of flames toward the stranger. He countered with magic equally as strong.
"Zelda, as the king, I order you to escape!"
"I am also a bearer of the Triforce mark! I may do as I please."
"Then, as your husband and your love, I beg you." Three guards joined Harkinian, deflecting the stranger's blows with their swords while Harkinian strained to provide counter magic attacks. Queen Zelda could not think of a way to argue with her husband. She turned to run with the fleeing servants when a woman approached her.
"Milady!" she cried amidst the noise of the battle and the collapsing castle. Zelda gasped.
"Impa!" Zelda thought for a moment. Then, she quickly thrust the bundle of cloth that enveloped her daughter into the old servant's arms.
"But…Milady? What is the meaning of this?"
"My husband fights alone in front of an evil sorcerer. I ask you to please care for my daughter if our battle goes ill!" Without another word, the queen picked up her skirts and returned to the battle scene. Impa stood rooted to the spot, holding the baby princess in her arms. The girl had started to cry because of the screams and shouts around her.
Queen Zelda returned to her husband's side. He gave her a shocked look.
"I have entrusted Impa with Zelda. She will take care of her. Now, let us combine the power from our Triforce marks and defeat this man!" she explained. Harkinian reluctantly nodded. He took the queen's right hand and held it in his left. Both of their Triforce marks glowed a fierce yellow.
The stranger disposed of the guards quickly. He turned his attention back on the two royals.
"You cannot possibly defeat me," he rasped. "My name is Ganondorf. I have come to claim the power of the Triforce!"
"So, now he states his name and business," Harkinian muttered to his wife. She smiled slightly.
"He thinks too highly of himself, my dear husband. Let us show him the power of the Triforce." The king and queen raised their hands. The glow from the Triforce spread outwards, bathing the ruined hall in the celestial light. The power usually weakened evil enemies, but Ganondorf did not show any signs of decreasing in strength. Harkinian narrowed his eyes.
"What kind of being are you, to resist this power?" he asked. Ganondorf threw his head back and cackled.
"I am no ordinary evil sorcerer. If I am to challenge the Triforce itself, I decided I needed the ultimate dark power." To prove his point, Ganondorf summoned a globe of dark energy between his open palms. He shot the blast towards the king and queen, who repelled it with their Triforce power. However, Ganondorf's strength was beyond what they had imagined. It took all their combined effort to keep the blast away, while Ganondorf poured more and more energy into the magic. The ball of energy stayed suspended in midair between them. On one side, bright yellow light pushed back at it fiercely while on the other, dark strings beat it forward. It was the ultimate game of tug-of-war.
"You cannot win!" Queen Zelda declared. "The Goddesses have given us this power to protect Hyrule."
"Your statement rings false, my dear queen, for I am winning!" Ganondorf powered up once again. The ball hurtled towards the king and queen. The two strained to keep it away. The ball struggled to break the golden barrier; its light revealed the sweat matted to the faces of the Triforce bearers. The ball loomed dangerously close, hanging within a few feet of them.
"We…must…win…" Harkinian struggled to say. Ganondorf smirked back. He clearly had not used up as much energy.
"I must remark, you have excellent concentration," the evil man said lightly. Harkinian knew Ganondorf was just trying to make them lose focus. Therefore, he did not respond as the other man continued. "It is a shame that I want to kill you and your wife. Oh, and yes, your daughter is next."
"You leave my child out of this!" Harkinian yelled. Ganondorf raised an eyebrow.
"But she is an heir to the Triforce power as well. If I am to obtain the power, she must be slain!" Ganondorf raised one hand as if to shoot a string of magic at the young princess in the terrified maid's arms.
"No!" Harkinian roared, and in that instant he lost concentration. The magic overpowered him and his wife, thrusting them to the ground. The king did not even have time to scream before he died. His wife was alive for a few more seconds, if only to shout out before she also crossed death's gates.
"Run Impa! Save Zelda!" Her last breath spent, the queen crumpled onto the body of her husband. The first part of his plan successful, Ganondorf turned to Impa and held out his hand.
"Give me the princess and I shall not harm you."
"Never!" Impa screamed. She turned and fled from the scene. Ganondorf shot blasts of magic at her. They missed, striking the floor instead. Impa swerved and ducked from the sprays of dark stone. Ganondorf snarled as he watched her get away.
"Do not think you have escaped me!" he roared. Impa heard him but kept running. Ganondorf reached into his magic. The maid and the princess were too far for a direct hit, but he had other methods to defeat them. After all, the baby would not receive her true powers until she was old enough to ascend the throne according to the law. As she was the only living heir left, he would have to wait until then.
"I curse the princess!" he screamed again. Impa faltered slightly, turning around. She had reached the outer gates of the castle, but Ganondorf's voice had been magically amplified throughout the area. "Upon her eighteenth birthday, when she receives the true powers of the royal line, she will bleed and die on the blade of the Triforce itself!" Impa shuddered. He had invoked his evil magic with that spell. It was not a mere sentence exclaimed in vain. It was an actual, binding curse. Impa hurried away, the dreadful thought hanging in her mind.
The princess was doomed.
I hope that caught your interest! I will be updating every two weeks, so my next chapter will be uploaded September 15. Please review and tell me what you think!