"Do you remember when I had promised you a pair of bleeding ears, broken by your own screams?"

A tall, willowy man, clad in a bloodstained sort of white, placed his foot upon a fallen hero's chest. Link's eyelids fluttered. This consciousness was truly unbearable. His sword, uselessly thrown to the other side of the room, was of no obvious use. Link was never much of a pessimist, not usually having a reason to be, but with the suffocating heat and lack of defense, the odds were not in his favor. He felt a most uncomfortable, sharp pressure on his chest again.

"Well, do you? I expect an answer from you, boy." Ghirahim brought a pointed toe to the side of Link's face, gently tilting his head to the side. Instead of reciprocating an answer, he merely coughed, crimson suddenly staining his cracked lips. "You must learn to respect your superiors. It disgusts me that the goddesses sent someone of the likes of you. Now, aside from this, I will only have to ask you once more. Where is it that the second Gate of Time lies for me? It is the spirit maiden I am looking to capture, and if I am correct - even though it is so odd for me to be wrong - you are looking for her as well."

Link narrowed his eyes, and spat onto the white of Ghirahim's clothing.

"You won't find Zelda," said Link in bitter tones, "I'll have to have died before I'll let you get to her."

Ghirahim looked down at Link, dark pleasure glinting in his eyes. He bent over in one swift motion, his hair falling over Link's face.

"It appears we have similar plans, then, because it wasn't in my ideals to let you live anyhow. That mistake was made a time one too many, boy."

Link squirmed slightly; the Demon Lord hovering just above his body, rambling on. He felt his hand underneath him, fingers lodged within his quiver, a particularly sharp arrow just waiting to get him out of a sticky situation. Link's head spun, and nausea pirouetted in his stomach. The heat of the volcano was unendurable, his wounds felt as if they had been salted and worst of all, the dreadful sensation of arrant defeat was washing over him like a waning tide. But he had to escape - for the good of the world, for the good of his Zelda.

"Oh, you mischievous boy. Were you not taught better? Naughty children like you must be dealt with firmly, though not swiftly. There's no point in a forgotten lesson." Link felt his hand yank from underneath him, Ghirahim pulling him from the floor by one hand. "No, oh, no. It's cute of you that you thought this feeble weapon could hurt me, but your persistence is really grating on my nerves."

Ghirahim let go of Link's arm, which fell limply to his side. He stumbled forward, dizzier than he had imagined possible.

"Fuck you," he spat acerbically, glaring at his opponent with hatred and little difficulty. "I'm going defeat you here and now."

Ghirahim smiled a sick sort of cloying smirk as Link went to grasp his sword. Taking his weapon back into hand, he felt a surge of confidence. His battle wounds were not healed, but at least he had a fighting chance.

"Swing at me, Link," said Ghirahim, conjuring two swords out of nothing but thin air. "Battle me as your equal."

The younger ran forward, tripping only slightly but bringing his sacred blade down. Ghirahim had it made though, of course, it would be a hit and miss. But it wasn't. The blade of Link's sword came down quickly, landing on the supple flesh of the Demon Lord's shoulder, and blood spilled from it, burning red. He froze a moment, before blocking the next swift attack. The pain in his neck was nothing but...

"Troublesome."

Link's eyes widened as Ghirahim simply dropped one of his weapons, and grasped his own sword in one swift movement. He yanked the hero forward, so their gaze was now only inches apart.

"Yes, that's it. Seamlessly fitting. Troublesome."

He suddenly felt all oxygen escape from his lungs as a sharp pain entered his ribcage, A hoarse cry left Link's throat as a lick of metal buried itself deeply into his side. His knees gave way as he heard few bones crack noisily, a slight bit of blood spewing forth from his mouth as he gave a low moan of pain. His head hit the ground with a thud, a sound that Ghirahim drank in as if it were the sound of a first spring breeze.

Link turned, rolling over onto his back painfully, his head throbbing and hot with something sticky, something he presumed to be his own blood. His limbs felt like lead appendages as Ghirahim filled his rather blurred field of vision. He felt something come down on his front, though there was no pain. His body suddenly became lighter - Ghirahim was stripping him of his chainmail that lie underneath his tunic. He lifted his arms, attempting to push, though failing miserably. Ghirahim grabbed one of his hands, bending his calloused fingers back until they snapped, continuing to strip the armor away from Link's body. Link let out another cry, appealing as music to the demon.

The pebbly clash of metal pervaded the room as Ghirahim lifted Link by the arm with both of his hands. Ghirahim smiled as his tone of action changed from letting the boy stand, to lifting him higher in the air, with the rest of his limbs swaying without effort.

"You have been one irksome fly, Hero," he said, spitting out the last word like a vile flavor on his tongue. "You have kept coming back to me, crossing my path each and every time. Those pesky threads of fate together bind us. I have assured you death, over and over again, but for the oddest reason you have escaped me. And do you know how that made me feel, boy? Do you? I felt horrible, as if I were burning up with some mortal illness! Sick with anger! Wasted emotions, wasted time… all on you. Death is what I have assured you, but by the time we're finished here, you're going to wish I had spared you a quick and painless end."

Ghirahim threw Link towards the wall like a ragged toy, and he whimpered in pain. He felt delight course through him, the sound was almost electrifying. Ghirahim sauntered towards Link as he attempted to roll and gain footing once more, but pain hindered his speed and an almost invisible kick to the jaw made the room spin as if it were a child's top. The younger pushed himself upwards, almost properly upright. A sharp kick slammed into his side with explosive force, sending his exhausted, broken frame sprawling against the hot stone floor. He crawled away as fast as he could manage, scrambling to the door. Link was almost ashamed of his cowardice as he frantically clawed at the metal of the door, skin burning and nails breaking, with such force that he bled from his hands. Ghirahim came up behind him, pulled him to his feet. Link attempted to spin, blood hindering his vision as it fell from his head to his eyes.

"Now it is even more apparent to me that our so-called hero is nothing but a scared child."

Link felt something hot and wet run up his cheek. Ghirahim's long, serpent-like tongue cleaned the blood from the teen's face, relishing in the metallic taste. Link shook, trying to scratch at the man behind him. He suddenly felt a terrible pain skate up his spine, and cried out once more. Ghirahim grabbed Link's right arm, and bent it in an odd fashion, eliciting a scream as he heard a nauseating pop.

"Perhaps, when I am finished here, I'll take my sweet time with your precious Zelda – is that what you call her?"

Link spun around, though rather unsteadily. He fell against the closed door, feeling the metal casing burn against his skin through cloth. The room was spinning.

"You won't touch her," he said, through gritted teeth, "I won't let you."

"Oh, but dear Link, you don't expect do have any say in my choices, do you?"

Link didn't reply, but stared back at Ghirahim, hard.

Ghirahim simply shook his head softly, never taking his eyes off Link's. "Oh, from the moment I had let you live the first time, I've waited for this moment. Did you know that?" said the Demon Lord, in a calm tone. "The time when I would have you, the closest thing those foolish Goddesses could find to that abominable 'chosen hero' before me – simply toothless. And yet…" A very wicked smile came over his features then, "Still so adamant you remain."

And then, very suddenly, Ghirahim disappeared right before him, in that familiar smoke of diamonds. Link's eyes darted around, but the blur of white was nowhere to be seen. He cleared his eyes of blood and sweat, and looked again. It appeared as if Ghirahim had left the area completely, but Link was no fool.

"Stop hiding and fight!" he yelled, his voice reverberating through the large room. "Come out!"

Even still, Ghirahim didn't appear out in the open. Link stood in silence for several minutes, the heat banging on his head, his wounds burning. He limped over to where his sword lie uselessly.

"Why don't you choose to lie still and die in peace?"

The voice behind him caused a start within Link, and his weapon slipped from his fingers again.

"You're so foolish. I mean, with the heat and the extent of your injuries, your exhaustion… it wouldn't be long before you would have died. But you continue on with this silliness. Oh, I will never understand teenagers. Never!"

Ghirahim turned swiftly, a hand connecting with Link's face. The slap left his cheek red and tender, and knocked him off his balance. Just as he hit the ground again, Link felt something pierce the skin just before his shoulder, tearing through swiftly. The sound of tearing flesh wrapped around his scream of pain like a morbid swathe. Tears rolled from his eyes, no matter how hard he tried to collect his strength. He struggled to look through cloudy eyes to see a thin blade pressed through his upper chest, blood dripping now steadily. He tried to breathe properly, but fear stifled his oxygen. Ghirahim snickered, and forced the blade through further, so it connected with the wall. Link yelled in pain, wanting to squirm around but too afraid to move. Every inch of his body felt as if it were going to burst. Ghirahim stepped away from the blade, stuck to the wall, still impaling its victim. He walked around the boy, surveying his injuries with a sick glee in his eyes. A stomach-turning crunch filled the air; the older's foot had come down on Link's only good hand, hard, and the bones seemed to have shattered without effort. He left out a pitiful scream, and more tears came.

"How I love the sound of your pain…" murmured Ghirahim, pulling his sword from Link's flesh. The end of the blade shattered within the bloody cavity, and Link moaned quietly. He felt warmth pooling underneath him. The putrid, sickly sweet iron reek of his own blood and sweat ravaged his nostrils. He wanted to be sick. Ghirahim brought the jagged edge of the broken blade into Link's other side, extracting another, louder moan from the boy. He was truly exhausted; his throat feeling raw, it felt impossible to make any noise at all.

Ghirahim smiled, standing over the bleeding boy with a satisfied grin. Link's eyes, dulling from a bright azure to the color of a murky puddle, stared into Ghirahim's grey ones. The older continued smiling. It was a great feeling, to have the blade make contact with this helpless boy, and slice so easily through his clothing, his flesh, his muscles. To hear his painful cries and feel the force of his power render him helpless. He shuddered, with the pleasure of it all. It was truly an amazing feeling. He didn't know if it was sexual, and he didn't really understand it. He didn't need to. It was an amazing feeling, it was a thrill, and all he needed to do to get it, was so simple.

He watched the blood pool around Link's broken body. It was such a beautiful shade of red, in Ghirahim's opinion. He bent to pull the boy up. Link gagged as Ghirahim's hand clasped him about the throat, and pulled him to his knees. His beaten, bloody and gripped at Ghirahim's pale hand as it choked him, hacking and spewing blood upon the ground.

"I believe it's about time I finish up here. Last words, dear boy?" Ghirahim stared at the boy before him. Link's eyelids fluttered, his hands had stopped tearing at Ghirahim's hold on him.

"Don't hurt her." Link's voice was barely audible, almost blending with the ambience of the volcanic summit. "Don't."

The sound of metal tearing through flesh filled the room. Link's eyes widened briefly before lulling once more, blood splattering across the white skin of the Demon Lord. Ghirahim immediately let go of Link's inert body, which fell to the bloody floor with a thud.

"Goodbye, hero." he said, walking towards the door. "You will trouble me no more."


author's note - hey everyone :) this is my first shot at a zelda fanfiction in YEARS, so don't judge me too harshly, but please leave a review! i haven't finished skyward sword yet (I just collected all three parts of The Song of the Hero) but ghirahim really fascinated me as a villian. i like him better than ganondorf so far, he's quite interesting. also, something else to note. i will not, repeat, will not be writing anymore harry potter fanfiction for a while. PM me for further inquiry! thank you all, and again, leave a review :)