Author's Note: Oh look! Another chapter! And within a semi-decent amount of time, too! Short chapter this time, but we'll get back to the action in the next chapter. Unfortunately, that means more fun with the Great Fairy. XD But not too much more.
Anyway. The fanfic muse feeds on reviews. Please feed the muse.
I don't own Legend of Zelda, or any of the characters or items therein, and I'm not making any money off this. Suing is bad.
Link was glad it was still sort of early. That meant there was no one around to ask awkward questions about why he was lurking in the overgrown area of the park. He'd tried coming here, before, when there had been more people around, and it hadn't ended well. People tended to look upon grown men skulking in the undergrowth around a drainage ditch with suspicion. They always thought he was up to something. And he was, just... not what they assumed.
The grate was half off again; some careless maintenence worker or a curious and bored teenager had been here before. Worked for him, that meant he didn't have to pry the thing up. He jumped down lightly, then waited a moment while his eyes adjusted to the dark. One of these days he'd remember to bring a flashlight with him.
The delay wasn't much, and soon he was making his way through the tunnels to the little offshoot. He didn't even have to look for the fork anymore; the little ripple of fairy magic was enough to tell him he was there. He ducked into the fairy fountain and looked around.
As always, she didn't give him a chance to announce himself. She appeared suddenly in her customary fashion. "Oh, how nice~! Everyone is visiting me today~!" She laughed. "Have you been hurting yourself too?"
He blinked for a moment, puzzled by her choice of words, then shrugged and attributed it to the Great Fairy being the Great Fairy. "Not recently, except for some sore ribs."
"Well, we can't have that~" She blew a kiss at him. Oh, hey, that was nice. Fairy healing was very convenient sometimes. "So you just came to visit~?"
"Sort of." He carefully dug the two crystals out of his pocket. "There's been some weirdness going on. Like Hyrule's sort of trying to come back, if that makes any sense. But it can't, can it?" He held the crystals up so she could see them better. "Found these, and I was hoping you could tell me more about them."
She giggled. "Silly boy~! You ought to know~! You really don't recognize the echoes? You sho~uld. You were there~"
He blinked. "Echoes? What do you mean, echoes?"
She giggled. "Echoes~!" She leaned down and touched the green crystal, and a tiny spark of magic was visible. Suddenly, the cavern was filled with the distant sound of children laughing, the wind blowing through the trees, and the unmistakable sound of fairy chimes. As it died away, she did the same thing to the red crystal. This time, the sounds were of crackling fires, deep-voiced grunts, and peculiarly heavy footsteps. "See~? Echoes~!"
Link stared at her, then at the crystals in his hand for a full minute before it clicked. It felt like the world dropped out from under him, and he was hit with a wave of homesickness stronger than he'd ever felt. "You mean... Echoes... of the Kokiri? And the Gorons?"
"Ask her, she'd know~"
Link's eyelid twitched a little. Aaaaaaand here they went, into the whole obscure advice part. "Her who?"
"Oh, you know~ Her." She stretched. "So good of you to see me, little Hero~. Come again soon~!"
"But-" She cut him off with a peal of laughter and vanished. Link gritted his teeth. Wasn't that always the way?