Welcome to my third written fan-fic. I recently beat this game, and I fell in love with the ending so much. They left it so SO open. They showed Ilia waiting for Link and he rides in. And then… nothing! Which means… I GET TO MAKE THE REAL ENDING. But as anyone who reads my work knows, that there is no just "happy ending" I need to put a little strife in there. Nothing good comes without work, right? Well, whatever. I am excited for this story, and I wrote it a while ago and forgot to post or finish it! hushed whispering and astonished faces But I WILL FINISH IT!!!

Ok, here is where I intend to go with this. Link is returning back to his home, but the shard Zant stuck in him is bothering him. If he touches it, it goes inside him and he turns into a wolf. What will the town think, or his friends, or Ilia for that matter? Oh, and maybe I will have King Bolbin appear. This story is assuming that Link is about twenty and Ilia is eighteen. Oh, and I have very little idea how to write Link, for obvious reasons. So I chose a sort of sober, shy guy, who enjoys it when people listen to him but doesn't want too much attention. Disagree? Fine, but don't whine about it. I don't own The Legend of Zelda or any of its characters.

Prologue: To begin…

"Ilia? Do you think we will ever get back?" Ilia sighed. This was the tenth time in as many minutes this question was asked. The two boys were walking up front with the horses and Telma. Ilia sat on the back of the wagon with Beth.

"Yes, we are going to be home soon. I recognize this area." Ilia smiled to herself. Only weeks ago she hadn't been able to remember anything. Not even Link… and how could I forget him. I might be harsh on him when it comes to Epona, but I love him. Ilia had had a crush on Link since they had met. When Link had come to their town as an orphan at the age of nine it was her father, the mayor, and her that had greeted him.

"Hello, son. My name is Bo and I am the mayor of this town. Who are you?"

"…"

"What? You need to speak up son!"

"My name is Link."

"Well Link, welcome to the town of Ordon! This is my daughter, Ilia. Say hello to the boy, Ilia." Ilia hid behind her father's large frame. She peeked out at the disheveled looking young boy.

"Hi…" She hid again. Link was confused by her actions, but he needed a place to live.

"Sir, I need a place to stay. Where can I make a house?"

"Well, I can't say that there is any available space inside the city gates…" Link looked downcast. "But there is a nice tree right outside the gate which you are more then welcome to. I know all of us will be more than willing to help you build. Until you get it built you can stay with us, right Ilia?" Ilia managed to peak around her father again.

"Yeah, stay with us… Link." Link's face brightened. He finally had a home after wandering around for months.

"Thank you, Mayor sir and Ilia…"

Ilia sighed. It had been almost a week since the giant walls of light that had surrounded the castle had collapsed and an explosion had been seen. That night a weird storm had come through. Less then a week later, Rusl had come to Kakariko Village to collect the children. I wanted to stay. I knew that Link would come back. When I asked Rusl if he knew anything about Link he just looked away from me. He told me that the last time he had seen Link was when he had entered a castle door that led to the throne room. He had been about to go through, but it locked behind Link. Then the explosion happened. No one knew what had happened. Ilia looked at the slowly passing ground. I want to go look for him, but I don't know where to start. Damn it! Why am I so helpless? Link has been saving me and the children for months now, fighting for our safety and to regain my memories. Why can't I help him now... I can't even find him!

Link was ready to go home. It was only earlier this morning that he had gotten away from the city. Zelda had asked him to stay and help her lead the people. Sorry, but I am more of a country boy anyway. Link rode Epona out of the western gate of Hyrule Town. "Well, now what?" Epona pawed at the ground with her hoof in the direction of home. "Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. We should go through Kakariko to make sure the kids are on their way home. And Ilia…" Epona whinnied at this. "Yeah, you know her. If she is there maybe she would like to ride back on you." Epona suddenly lurched off towards Kakariko. Somehow I knew you would jump at that opportunity. You always did like her… Link rode hard across the field he had fought in only a week ago. In his saddle bag was the sword of Ganon. Zelda had let him keep it as a trophy. It hadn't radiated evil like he had expected it to, in fact it felt like the sword had originally been one used for good. Ganon must have stolen it and corrupted it, and on his death it was purified. Which is a good thing, considering I promised to return the master sword in the near future and a sword will come in handy… He rode across the arch that spanned the gaping chasm and through the gates to Kakariko.

"You mean they already left?"

"Yes Link, they left early this morning with Rusl."

"Alright, thanks. I will see you all later." Link had arrived too late. Blast, they are already gone. Maybe I can catch up to them. "Alright, Epona, let's make tracks." Link charged off. I could make better time if I got rid of all of my equipment, but I never know when it might come in handy. And I can't get rid of that shard whatever I do. No telling what it would do to someone else. I wish Midna would have taken it with her. Link charged across the Kakariko Gorge. I don't want to keep them all waiting, least of all Ilia.

Ilia hopped off of the back of the wagon as it stopped in her town. Home… finally home. She ran to her house and saw her father making his best attempt at running toward her. She wrapped him in a hug.

"Daddy! I am back."

"Thank the goddesses! Your memory, did it return?"

"Yes, but how did you know about that?"

"Link brought us constant updates on all of you kids. He was especially worried about you." Ilia blushed at that, but then suddenly remembered something.

"Father, I am going to wait for Link back at the gate, Ok?"

"Sure, that will be fine. But be careful!"

"I will, oh, and father?"

"Yes, Ilia?"

"It's good to be back."

Link was almost home. Just a few more turns and then I can sleep in a bed again. Hot food and friends. Farming. The easy life. Why the goddesses ever chose me to be a hero I will never know. Probably because I can't stand to see people in pain… He saw his home in the distance, and he was going full gallop now. Home. Suddenly out of nowhere Ilia appeared in front of Epona. Normally, if had been anyone else, Epona would have run them over. After all, that is what she had been doing to bokoblins for the past months. But this was Ilia, Epona's caretaker almost as much as Link was. Epona bucked. Link was thrown off of Epona and landed on his side, the side which had his pouch carrying the shard of black magic. As Link landed the shard pierced his bag and slid into his side. Link gasped in pain as the shard embedded itself in his thigh. Almost instantly Link was transformed into a wolf. Ilia, who had gotten over the fright of almost being run over, had just come around Epona just as Link had transformed. Now, an unconscious wolf lay where Link had been only moments ago. W…What? She heard shouting in the distance.

"Ilia! Is everything ok over there?" Ilia had to think fast. It would be hard to explain to the town that this wolf was Link, if it was. And just as hard to not have them kill it on sight.

"Uh… Yes! Yes, everything is fine. Link just got back and I'm taking Epona to the spring."

"Ok, be careful!"

"I will!" Ilia immediately went into motion. She lifted the large wolf and put it on Epona's back. She then led Epona away as fast as she could to the spring. She then took Link off of the horse and sat down at the water's edge with him. She tried to wake him up with water from the spring. He started to open his eyes. Ilia just knelt in front of his face.

What…what happened? Link opened his eyes to find Ilia in front of him. Whoa, I fell off of Epona! I must have passed out! Funny how I never did that before… Oh well, guess this would be the time for a witty comment about my horse riding skills….

"Grr…" Oh damn.

Link tried to lift his hand but found out that it was once again a paw. The shard! Link looked back to his back right leg to find a shard imbedded in his thigh. Ilia just stared at him. Well, I might as well show her that I am friendly. Link sat back and wagged his tail. Ilia just continued to stare. What's wrong?

"Is that really you Link?"

How does she know it is me? Maybe she saw the transformation! What do I do? If I say yes then that might hurt our relationship. Friends with a guy who can turn into a wolf? Not a chance. Maybe if I just act dumb she will leave…

Maybe he is only as smart as a wolf, now. Ilia realized that she was only feet from what could possibly be a wild wolf. But he seems to at least understand that I am not his enemy.

"Here, I know you are Link. I saw you turn into… this wolf. Do you still have Link's mind at least or are you a regular wolf?"

The wolf turned to Epona and started growling. Hey, Epona! What should I do? It almost looked like he was talking to the horse. Epona gave a snort. What do you mean? Tell the truth! But, what if she doesn't like me… What an idiot… Huh? Men, even heroes, can be so dense… What do you mean by that? Truth, now. Ok, fine. The wolf started growling and yipping at her. At first she was frightened, thinking he was about to attack, but he just sat there and growled like her was trying to talk to her. Ok, the truth is that I am really Link. I need to find someway to remove this shard.

"I am sorry, but I can't understand you. Are you trying to tell me something?"
Hey, wait a minute! This is the chance of a lifetime. If I can't tell her how I really feel about her as a man, then I can at least tell her when she can't understand.

Are you sure that is a good idea, Link?
Yes, now stop worrying. What's the worst that could happen? Ahem. Ilia, I think I am in love with you. You are my best friend and have been since I came to the village. You are kind… "and caring and nice and beautiful. You never think of yourself, only of others even when you lost your memory. I wish I could tell you all this when you could understand me, but I knew I couldn't. I wish I could tell you I love you and how much… you… Ilia?" Ilia was half staring at him and half staring at something behind him. Link turned to see a giant glowing goat. "Ordona! What are you doing here?"

"I live here. Thank you for saving Hyrule, in return I removed the shard from your body. If you ever need it removed again just come to one of our springs." Ordona disappeared in a flash. Link looked down at his normal human body and saw the shard lying next to him. He looked up at Ilia, who had her mouth covered by her hands as she stared at him.

"Um… did you… hear anything I said?" She nodded. "Ah… so… sorry about that…mmph!" Ilia ran up to him and threw her arms around him with a kiss, sending both of them into the stream. They laid there for minutes until Link heard giggling from where he knew a crawl space was.

"Alright, come out of there. I know you are there, so don't make me use my slingshot!"

"Eep!" Three young kids popped out of the grass on the side of the spring. Ilia did her own little cry of surprise and almost flew off of Link. Link got up with reluctance. Talk about a dream come true!

"So, how much of that did you see?" Link asked as Meg squealed in delight.

"You mean you did more than just kiss? We just came in to see Ilia jumping on you and then you guys kissing!" Colin ran up to Link.

"I am glad you are back, Link. Look! I made my own sword and shield. Renado helped me a little…"

"That's great, Colin. Maybe we can practice together some time." Colin immediately smiled at this. Meg and Talo were still giggling at the thought of Link and Ilia kissing!

"Alright, you kids, I think it is high time we go back to the village. After all, the last time we were all here the bulbins attacked." All the kids obeyed. They knew Link would protect them, he had been doing it since he was old enough to wield his wooden sword.

"Link, you shouldn't live outside the village. It just isn't safe. I can only protect you if you are inside the gates!"

"Rusl, sir, I can take care of myself."

"I doubt that, you should know that there are creatures out there much stronger then either of us…"

"I do know that, but I can still take care of myself."

Rusl and a younger Link were walking towards Link's house after a long day of taking care of the goats. Rusl couldn't imagine why anyone would want to live outside the walls when he and his wife had offered their home instead.

"I don't think you understand. Have you even seen a bokoblin? Those guys are evil…"

"Are bokoblins sort of your height, but bluish or red and have swords made of metal?"

"Yes, that is a bokoblin."

"Well, then I think I can handle myself." They had finally arrived at Link's house in the tree. Link continued around the tree to a pot. Inside the pot were almost ten large metal swords.

"They come all the time, and since the first one I have never even been hurt. I was startled by him, and I had to use my hands. The others I killed with my wooden sword you gave me. I would use one of their metal ones, but they are still too heavy…" Link drew the sword and Rusl saw the telltale stains of blood on it. "I want to stay out here so that I can help protect this town. You all took me in and now I want to return the favor. Besides, I want to protect some special people…"

"Like Ilia?" Rusl's question caused Link to blush. Rusl smiled, but was still amazed at how well the kid fought. "If you ever need help then just call, ok?"

"Yes sir!"

Ilia and Link waited a little before following the kids. Ilia was still blushing and looking down at the ground. Link used his completely gauntleted hand to pick up the shard. He placed it back in its pouch before turning to Ilia.

"Um… Ilia? I didn't exactly think you were going to hear that… but that doesn't mean I didn't want to say it."

"… I… I wanted to say it too. I had a crush on you for ten years now. I… I am sorry I jumped on you…"

"Don't be sorry. It was nice. You can do it whenever you like!"

"So… why did you even turn into a wolf? And who was that giant glowing goat? And what is that shard you carry around? And where have you been for the past few months? And…"

"Whoa, hold it a second so I can answer the questions." Ilia smiled repentantly. "Ok, so I turned into a wolf because I had the shard stuck in my leg. The giant glowing goat is Ordona, the spirit of these woods. And the shard I carry around is a piece of solidified black magic that Zant cast on me a while ago. It allows me to turn into a wolf, but the only way I could remove it before was to have Midna take it out…"

"Who are Midna and Zant?"

"Well, to explain that I would have to tell you everything that has happened in the last few months. And that is going to take a long time, so I think I should probably explain it to everyone at once. The only one who saw me a few times was Rusl, except I got help from your dad once and I also got help from you. I had to save Colin once, but that doesn't count because he was unconscious."

"Wow… sounds like a long story."

"Well, it is! You happen to be looking at a genuine Knight of Hyrule now. I was knighted only a few days ago."

"From orphan farm boy to Knight of Hyrule… what does that mean anyway?"

"Well, most knights are stationed in the castle as guards for the princess."

"Oh… so you are going to be leaving again…" Ilia was suddenly downcast.

"Nope. I got the princess, who happens to be a friend of mine, to allow me to be stationed in a remote area of Hyrule. To keep the peace. It happens to quite near here, in fact. I think it was some little town called Ordon…"

"That's great, Link! Now you can still be home!" Ilia didn't say the last part she wanted to. …with me…

"Yep, but I might be called away once and a while to other various parts of the nation. I will probably be sent to help the hidden town in the north to repopulate… I mean I will be the princess's emissary for a while…"

"If you do go, take me with you."

"Huh?" Link blushed, thinking about his misworded comment about repopulating the town with Ilia…

"I want to thank Impaz for helping me escape that one time…"

"Ok, if I go then you can bet I will take you with me!"

Link and Ilia had arrived back at town. Rusl was there to greet him with a slap on the back.

"Welcome back, Link! Wow, I didn't think you were even alive anymore after we lost you in that castle and then the explosion and storm. We didn't even find any bodies at all. But the princess has apparently returned and now you are back as well. How did you do it? I mean, when we entered the castle after you we didn't even make it into the first room because there were these giant lizard creatures with armor on."

"I guess I can tell everyone the story when we have or next town meeting…"

"TOWN MEETING! EVERYONE GO TO THE MAYOR'S HOUSE!" Rusl screamed at the top of his lungs. Every knew that this meant that they would get to hear the story of what their children and Link had been doing for the past few months. Before Link could even blink every person in the town had sprinted over to the mayor's house and had already taken a seat. Link, Ilia, and Rusl were the last to enter. The children were seated on the stairs and peeking through the railings. Uli had her baby with her and Rusl stood behind her. The mayor sat in his large chair. The rest of the inhabitants of Ordon sat around the edges of the room. A chair was placed next to the mayor's and Link was bid to sit in it. Link sat down and watched Ilia take a seat on the floor in front of the stairs.

"This town meeting has been called to order. The only business we have is for Link to tell us all that has happened since the children were taken from this town and you went after them. So… speak."

"Um… ok… how do I start? The whole thing started right after I went to see Ilia and get Epona from the spring…" Giggling from the children interrupted Link's speaking. The mayor glared at them and they were quiet.

"Alright. So this giant bulbin, named King Bulbin, burst through the gate to the spring. One of his henchmen hit me from behind, I think, and when I came to there was no one there. Epona was gone, Ilia as gone, and the kids were gone. I ran into the forest to see if I could find them before they got to far away…" Link continued the story long into the night. It was near midnight when he finished.

"So I had to fight Ganondorf alone. He was really tough, but I managed to knock him down and kill him with a sword to his gut. Then we sent Midna back to her kingdom of twilight and she destroyed the mirror. Then we returned to the castle and everyone celebrated. I was knighted and then I came back here. At that is that."
Everyone was staring at him.

"What?"

"So you single handedly saved the kingdom?"

"No, I had help from so many people that I can't even count them all."

"But you, the hero of time, just killed the most famous evil doer in history."

"Um… yes?"

"Do you have the Master Sword here?"

"Yeah, I felt I should return it to the sacred grove soon." Link drew it from its sheath. The light from the fire gleamed off of the blade and lit the room. "I do have all the rest of my equipment and a large sum of rupees."

"How much?"

"Enough to buy every piece of property in this town and most of the surrounding area, not that I would."

"Wow, but did you really turn into a wolf? That seems kind of far fetched…"

"No more farfetched then a city flying in the sky. Actually, Ilia has seen me turn into a wolf." Everyone looked at Ilia where she sat. She smiled a little.

"Yes, I accidentally made him change when he arrived."

"Was that before or after you tackled him and kissed him?" Meg and Talo giggled. Ilia blushed profusely as most of the towns folks just smiled. They had known about Ilia and Link almost before Link had known Ilia's name by heart.

"Before, Talo. I could show you all, but I don't like doing it. It is rather painful. Here is the shard that does it." Link carefully pulled out the black glowing crystal. "I don't know how to destroy it, but I know I should…" Just as he said this he heard a familiar and hated sound. "Everyone, stay inside!" Link drew his sword and excited the building, leaving many confused villagers inside. Only Rusl and Ilia had heard the sound before and they knew it meant trouble. "It is a lizalfos. What is it doing here?" Rusl drew his own blade and followed Link out. Ilia followed and barely made it out before her father blocked the rest of the children from exiting.

Link had a mask on and was looking toward the city gates. Three lizalfos were looking around and apparently searching for something. Link drew his bow and gave it to Ilia, he hadn't even turned around.

"Here, if they come after you then use this. You should have stayed inside."

"What? And not be here to watch you save our town again?" Rusl shushed her.

"Keep it down, this is going to be a surprise attack." Link nodded. Rusl was shaking, thought. He had tried to fight a lizalfo by himself in the castle… it hadn't been pretty. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that he had tripped under the sweeping blade and a stray fragment from an explosion had taken the beast's head off, he wouldn't be here.

"Rusl, I need you to watch my back, but don't attack unless I call for you. I can handle these weaklings…"

"What? Weaklings? I can't even beat one of these if I had weeks to plan strategy!"

"That's fine, I will take them out. Just make sure a forth doesn't show up." Link jumped up from his place hidden in the grass. He pulled out what looked like a glove with a claw on the end to Ilia and fired it at the closest lizard warrior. The claw stuck into the lizard's eye and the top of his head before retracting, leaving the lizalfo bleeding from an empty eye socket. Link put away the claw as the three lizalfos ran toward him. Instead of fleeing and attacking from range, like Rusl thought he would, Link drew his sword and positioned himself for a jump strike. As the three approached, Link let out a feral yell and lunged at the three, knocking all three off of their feet with large bloody gashes in their chests. Each lizard-man hybrid gushed foul smelling blood, causing Link's face to be covered in globs of the black blood. Two of the lizalfos disintegrated into black smoke and the third looked about to get up, but Link jumped onto the body and stabbed the heart before decapitating the monster. It also disappeared into smoke, but not before staining the grass with its black blood. Link looked around for any more enemies, but couldn't find any. He stabbed his blade into the earth to clean it before turning back towards the spectators. He turned to find his mentor and the girl of his dreams looking at him as if he was a complete stranger. It was almost... fear.

"Well, Link. I guess you have grown stronger." Rusl managed to cough out a small chuckle that showed anything but humor.

"Wow… Link, you are really powerful…" Ilia looked like she was in shock, amazed and astounded, but it wasn't the same seriousness and near fear that Rusl now showed.

"… I am sorry."

"What?" Both of his friends were surprised at his remark. Neither had any idea what he would be sorry for.

"I brought them here. They were after me, or more likely they were after the shard. I need to go…"

"What? Why?"

"Because more will come, and until I can get rid of this shard the creatures will not stop following me. I thought that the incidents in the city were just random, but this destroys that idea. I was constantly under attack in Hyrule. I even had an entire legion of bulbins banging on the gate of the town while my fellow knights and I picked them off with arrows. Those lizalfos were the breed that only live in the north, about as far from here as you can go. If they came all this way for the shard, no telling what else will come. If too many come I won't be able to protect everyone, so I need to leave now or the village will be endangered." Rusl looked at Link in a new light then. This kid had never done anything for himself, has he? It's always about protecting us, or saving them. He would never do anything to hurt this village. Now he is willing to leave all this behind just to make sure we are safe. This kid doesn't deserve this kind of life…"Very well, go. I will tell the others. But remember, you are welcome here any time." Rusl returned to the mayor's house, leaving Link cleaning his sword in front of Ilia. Ilia couldn't move or speak. Stop him! You can't let him go again! What if he never comes back, huh? I can't let him leave without me!

"Link… I… don't go… please…"

"I am sorry, but I have to go. I have to go to protect you. If you ever died because I was careless then I wouldn't be able to live with myself."

"No! It is not fair! You are going to leave so that all of us here can be safe and happy but that won't be true. If you leave then I know I won't be happy. If you can make that decision then I am going to go with you. I would rather die with you then live here safe but without you. So if you have to go, then I will go too. You can't stop me, because I need to do this just as much as you need to leave."

"Ilia… you can't go with me…"

"I can and I will. If you don't take me then I will just follow you. I have my own horse, you know."

"Ilia… ok, you can come with me. Get your stuff ready and I will be waiting for you at the gate…"

"Alright, I will just be a minute." As Ilia left to go inside Link sadly smiled and then ran over to his house. He hopped onto Epona and spurred her on, but Epona didn't go anywhere.

"Come on, Epona! We need to leave now! If Ilia does come, then she will be in danger at all times. Is that the kind of life you want her to live?" Epona neighed and still wouldn't move. Link sighed. "I want her to come too, but if she does then she might die…"

"And that bothers you?"

"Of course! I care for her. I just can't put her in danger… wait, who?" Ilia rode up on a horse next to him.

"Link, I care for you too, and I already went over this with you. If I die, I want to die at your side. I wouldn't have it any other way. You don't want me to die? I don't plan on dieing any time soon, so don't worry. After all, I still have your bow. I am not that bad of a shot with it. So come on, where should we go?" Link looked over at the girl of his dreams.

"Ok, but if you are coming with me then I think I should go in wolf form and you take Epona. Two sets of tracks are easy to find, while one set is much harder." Link pulled out the black shard and stabbed it into his stomach. He made a little grimace as it went in, but only a second later it was a green wolf on top of Epona instead of Link. Link hopped down and Ilia climbed up on Epona. Link was off at a dash, with Epona close behind. They were off.

AN: THE PROLOGUE IS DONE!