AN: This has been cluttering up my files for a while, and I thought it was about time it saw the light of day. I've already written up the second chapter, and the third is being worked on.
Disclaimer: It's my birthday, does that mean I get the rights to Legend of Zelda?
I was passing by the courtyard when I heard voices. Curiously, I peered around the corner to see what was going on. Three maids, two holding brooms and the other with a bucket of water; were standing at a distance from a dark lump of fur that was huddled under a tree. I immediately recognized Link and surmised that he'd changed to wolf form to escape all the attention that had bestowed upon him since he'd saved Hyrule. I didn't blame him for wanting to escape, there were times when I wanted to be able to do so as well.
While I was musing, Link shifted and suddenly one of the maids shrieked. "That's a wolf! There's a wolf in the castle!"
Link was up on his paws, facing the maids, before the last word was out of her mouth. The two holding brooms brandished them at him, one landing a thwack on his head. Link looked around desperately. He didn't want to hurt them, but he didn't want to reveal that he could change into a wolf either.
The maid with the bucket threw the water at him. Link growled and lowered himself, preparing to lunge.
"What are you doing?" I called across the courtyard, hurrying over.
"Stay back, Your Highness," one of them warned, "he might be dangerous."
I pushed my way past them to Link's side. His posture instantly relaxed, his hackles went down and he stopped growling. I patted his head and turned to face the now flabbergasted maids.
"He's mine," it took me a moment to realize that my voice had said those words, but I didn't let it show and continued on, "and he's not dangerous."
The maids' faces instantly changed to apologetic looks. "We're sorry, Your Highness, we didn't know," the one with the bucket said.
"What's his name?" One holding a broom asked.
My mind raced quickly through choices, settling on the first one that sounded promising, "Tharros," I answered.
"That's a nice name," the last one commented, "but why isn't he wearing a collar?"
Again, I thought quickly, "I haven't had time yet, I was about to go get him one."
Before they could ask any more questions, I set off across the courtyard. Halfway across I realized Link wasn't following. "Tharros!" I called.
Link seemed to suddenly remember that he was supposed to be my dog and trotted up to me, tail waving slowly. He gave me a doggy grin, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. I sighed, he was just too cute when he did that, and patted his head again before continuing on my previous course. This time, Link followed.
As soon as we rounded a corner and he was sure there was no one around, he changed back to human form.
"Thanks for that" he said, fixing his brilliant blue eyes on mine, "I thought they were going to kill me with a broom, a broom! I've faced more monsters than I can count, and three maids with brooms nearly get to me."
I narrowly restrained a giggle at his stunned look. "You're welcome," I said, "however, if you'll excuse me, I have a council meeting to attend."
He nodded and walked off, muttering something about visiting Epona.
I smiled mischievously as I watched him go, "don't thank me yet, Hero," I whispered to myself, "I have to get you a collar."
The council meeting went by relatively smoothly, and I decided to pay the smith a visit. The sound of ringing hammers accompanied by a blast of heat greeted me as I stepped inside. Saron, the goron smith, looked up as I entered, and then went back to his work. I leaned against the wall and watched him work. Saron was making a shield. He hammered the metal flat with smooth swings, lifted it, and dunked it in a bucket to cool. Once the shield was cooling, he turned to me.
"Hello, Princess," he said, a huge smile spreading across his features, "what brings you here today?"
I smiled back, I couldn't help but do so, Saron's smiles are infectious. "I need a dog tag," I told him and went on to describe how I wanted it to look.
Once I was done, Saron nodded and set about making it. Less than ten minutes later, I thanked him and headed out with the finished product. It was a small oval tag, about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide with a loop of wire fixed through a hole in one end. The Royal Family crest was engraved on one side and the word "Tharros" on the other.
Another quick stop and I had a green dog collar, all ready for "Tharros". Now I needed to find him.
I finally found him in the west tower, leaning against the wall with his eyes shut. I walked up and plopped down next to him.
"Rough day?" I asked.
He made a noise of assent.
"I need you to turn into a wolf for a minute," I said.
"Why?" he asked without opening his eyes.
"Because if you're going to run around the castle as a wolf and you don't want to get hit by brooms, then you need to wear this." I pulled out the collar.
Link opened one eye to see what I was holding. Immediately both eyes shot open. "No way," he protested, "I am not going to wear a collar."
"It will only be in wolf form," I pleaded, "I told the maids I was getting you a collar and it will look suspicious otherwise."
He sighed. "Alright, Zelda, but you owe me for this," he sighed. Suddenly, a glint entered his blue eyes. "If I'm yours, then I have to follow you around all day," he said mischievously.
I sighed, "If that's what it takes to make you wear it."
He grinned and transformed. The large dark wolf raised his head and I carefully fastened the collar around his neck. He shook himself, then stood and tried to lick my face. I pushed him away, laughing because it tickled when he did that and stood. Link wagged his tail, gazing up at me with those unchanged brilliant blue eyes.
I rubbed the soft fur behind his ears, and then started down the stairs. "Come on, Hero, we've got documents to sign."
Link accompanied me for the rest of the day while I attended meetings and signed documents. The time of Twilight had left Hyrule with scars that, while healing, would linger for a time.
The reactions to Tharros were varied. The council objected at first to having a wolf in the meeting room, but Link looked at them with sad puppy dog eyes and their protests died. A feeling of victory radiated off him for the remainder of the meeting from where he sat by my chair. Most of the maids, after ascertaining that he was tame, proclaimed him cute and rubbed his ears.
He left my side once, while I was doing paperwork and returned with a bone that I assumed he'd begged from the cooks.
I did put my foot down when he attempted to follow me into my chamber so I could change for a ride. He sat outside the door and looked pathetic when I came out.
"Not a chance," I told him firmly.
He whined, but I rubbed his head fur and told him not to look so sad. He brightened up when we headed to the stables and dashed into Epona's stall. He came out in his human form, leading his mare. We mounted and headed out through Castle Town. Once we were out on Hyrule Field, Link challenged me to a race.
The sun was starting to set when we called it a day. We'd been out here perhaps an hour. The guards were about to close the drawbridge when they spotted us. We galloped across the bridge back into town.
After returning our horses to the stable, I headed for my chambers to prepare for bed. Once no one was around, he changed back to wolf form and padded by my side all the way to my chambers.
"Thank you, Tharros," I told him, "but you can't come in."
Link sat down and cocked his head to the side, looking at me with puppy dog eyes.
"No," I said quite firmly and turned to unlock my door. The instant it was open, Link shot through and jumped onto my bed, sprawling across it.
"No," I commanded, "out." I pointed to the door as I said this.
Link looked at me with sad eyes and rolled over to expose his belly. I held firm for a minute before seating myself on the edge of the bed and starting to rub his exposed belly.
"All right, you can stay, but on the floor," I told him. Then I stood and walked to my closet. I pulled out a sleeping gown and turned back to Link.
"I going to change now," I informed him, "you had better close your eyes."
Link rolled his eyes, and then closed them. I checked to make sure before stripping out of the gown I'd worn that day and slipping on the new one. I walked back to where Link was making himself comfortable on my bed and pulled back the covers. Link opened one eye and looked at me.
"Floor," I told him.
Link shut his eye. I shoved him off the bed.
He hit the floor with a yelp and gave me a hurt look. I raised my eyebrows and stared back at him. Finally, he gave up and curled up on the rug. I flopped back on my pillows and was asleep within minutes.
I woke with something warm pressed against my back. I snuggled deeper against it and sighed in contentment. Then my brain caught up and I sat bolt upright.
Or rather, I tried to. My body didn't work the way I was used to. I looked down at myself and the breath caught in my throat.
I was a wolf.
AN2: What'd you think?