Full Summary: Future queen, Zelda, has always maintained the façade of perfection. But when she turns eighteen and graduation looms just around the corner, she realizes that every chance she had to have fun, party, and run wild has nearly slipped away. In a last effort to live a life of spontaneity, Zelda masquerades as Sheik to protect her political image. Too bad she falls madly in love with her new best friend—who thinks she's a guy.
"Mommy, look see. I'm a princess! Princess Zelda!" The young Hylian girl's face beamed as she gestured to the pink plastic tiara that sat lopsidedly upon her tiny head.
"Yes Mila, and aren't you beautiful." Her mother smiled gently, playing along. She felt a sweet tickle in her heart laced with a tinge of sadness. A feeling only known by a mother who yearned to let her daughter believe she could be anything wished in life, but knew that such would be impossible. Sure the world was nearly limitless to one so young. She could be a doctor, an astronaut, a teacher…nearly anything she desired. Except for one thing—a princess.
And boy, was that little girl lucky.
"Zelda? Zelda, are you awake? Did you fall asleep?" Saria shook her.
"Huh, what?" Zelda's eyes opened. Had she fallen asleep? Maybe.
"I noticed some tension in your back," Saria said "Like, worse than normal. And you started moaning…I would've let you sleep, I but think you were having a nightmare."
"Oh, uh…" Zelda flipped on her side to face Saria. "Thanks." She let out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
Saria's delicate features scrunched with concern. Though her face was child-like, and she often acted so, her wide emerald eyes brimmed with knowledge. At a mere twenty-five years old, her wisdom rivaled that of a sage.
"What's going on, girl?" Saria questioned with genuine concern. After all, Saria was not only princess Zelda's masseuse, but also her long-time friend. Zelda hired her on the spot when she'd heard that her old Kokiri pen pal had graduated from massage school with no job. Now with such a prestigious client and generous income, Zelda had no doubt she would one day accomplish her dream of opening her own spa.
"I guess I've just been under a lot of stress lately. The year is winding down and all. We're getting into crunch-time in a lot of my classes." Zelda stated almost robotically, not meeting Saria's gaze. School stress was always the best thing to blame. She was the most likely candidate for class valedictorian, after all. Most people wouldn't question her. But Saria was smarter than most people.
"Hmm…yeah," Saria's eyes rolled with sarcasm. "It's so hard for you make the grade and all. "
"It is! I study all time! You know that," Zelda fumed, not really angry at Saria, but more at herself for the lie. Or at least for not coming up with a better lie.
"I know that. I also know that that isn't really what's bothering you. You like studying. You like working hard. You're Zelda. Sure, school can stress you a bit, but not to this extent. What's really wrong?" Saria placed her child-sized hands on her dainty hips in an attempt to look threatening. The attempt failed. She looked more like an angry kitten, than a lion.
Zelda sighed in defeat—she'd have to tell the truth. It wasn't even so much that she didn't want Saria to know, but more that she didn't want to admit it to herself. She always hated to admit weakness—a trait passed down to her from her father. After all, what kind of future queen would she be to let herself caught up in something so petty and selfish?
"'Did you ever feel…I don't know…that you were missing something?" Zelda questioned, halfheartedly.
Saria cocked an eyebrow. "Are we serious here? That was probably the most cliché statement I've ever heard."
Zelda looked up at the ceiling awkwardly. Touchy feely wasn't her forte. This wasn't gonna be easy. "Like…ok. Um…" Zelda paused. Saria watched her expectantly.
Zelda felt tears brimming her eyes. This was so stupid. She was so weak.
"I hate my life!" She erupted, "All I ever do is study, and go to finishing lessons, and pretend I like Terminian wine…and blah blah blah blah BLAH!" Her hands started flailing violently, "Day in and day out—Impa's like 'Zelda, sit up straight! Zelda, play your harp for the mayor of Kakariko! Zelda, you can't see that movie with Malon! It's inappropriate. What if someone sees you? It'll be all over Gossip Stone before the cuckoos crow in the morning. Think of your image!"'
Saria stared at her in a regretful state of shock. She probably shouldn't have touched this with a ten-foot pole. It was too late now though. Zelda had gone off the deep end.
"And seriously! Who the hell wears a corset any more? But of course I have to wear one. Have to look perfect for those perverted politicians at all the dinner parties! It doesn't matter that I can't breathe!" Zelda spat.
Saria's shock melted into pity. Unlike many, Saria never coveted Zelda's position as princess. She knew the reality of the job. Not just the fairytale. Sure, being in the spotlight once in a while was nice, but every day for your entire life? Not so much. Plus, Zelda never chose to be a princess—She was born one.
"You just wouldn't understand, Saria." Zelda sighed, finally calming down. A few stray tears still falling. "You've always done whatever you wanted. Partying? Old news to you. Dating? You've had a bunch of boyfriends. Career? You wanted to be a massage therapist, and you did it. No one controlled you or judged you."
Saria was at a loss for words. It was true. As bright and understanding as she was, even she couldn't fully grasp what Zelda was feeling. No one could.
"And here I am, with the weight of a country on my shoulders" Zelda said softly, "Nearing the end of my teenage years without ever knowing what it's like to be one."
Zelda looked up, tears now dry, and slowly reverting back to the calm stone façade she had built over the last eighteen years. "I'm sorry, Saria. I don't mean to be immature and selfish. I shouldn't have burdened you with such trivialities. There's really no sense in worrying over things you can't change."
Saria wrapped an arm about the slender girl's shoulder and pulled her close. "You'll be the perfect queen someday, Zel. Even if you wear a corset that allows you to breathe.
Both girls chuckled, but there was no heart in it.
Impa hadn't meant to eavesdrop on Zelda and Saria. She was merely passing by. Sure she could've continued on, but to abandon the chance to listen in on a conversation that involved your own name…Very few have the willpower.
"Impa's like 'Zelda, sit up straight! Zelda, play your harp for the mayor of Kakariko! Zelda, you can't see that movie with Malon! It's inappropriate. What if someone sees you? It'll be all over Gossip Stone before the cuckoos crow in the morning. Think of your image!"' Zelda cried.
Zelda's tone was so mocking. Impa didn't blame her though. She blamed herself. Though she was merely Zelda's personal aid, she had always felt very much like the princess's mother. Zelda's real mother, the queen, had passed away when Zelda was only three, and though she still had a father, he was always much too preoccupied to bother with raising a daughter. Impa had taken it upon herself to mold Zelda into the perfect queen. She hadn't realized she'd taken things too far until now. She had robbed poor Zelda of the "best years of her life." She felt like a monster.
"I'm sorry, Saria. I don't mean to be immature and selfish. I shouldn't have burdened you with such trivialities. There's really no sense in worrying over things you can't change." Though Zelda had seemingly regained her composure, Impa could hear the cold sting of defeat in her voice. She sank to the floor.
When magic powered Sheikan clock across the hall stuck three o' clock, it caught her attention.
Suddenly, it hit her.
"Maybe we can change things…" She breathed. It was risky though.
She heard Zelda's dead chuckle.
It was worth it.
"You don't have to stick around, Saria," said Zelda. "I'm fine now. Really."
Zelda and Saria were lounging about on her bed. They had already watched a DVD, painted each other's toenails, and gone through a whole tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream. After everything that Zelda had confided in Saria, the green-head had insisted that they have a "teen night." Normally this wouldn't be well received by her caretaker Impa. After all, social time was wasted time in the stern woman's eyes. By some grace of the goddesses, however, Saria had convinced the Sheikah that Zelda needed this time to just goof off for once. And she didn't even argue. Weird.
"Nope, this is goof off time!" Saria decided. "It is Friday night, and you need a break big time. Hell, even I need one. It's been a long week."
Zelda smiled gratefully. Though an only child, she figured that this must be what it felt like to have an older sister. Someone to look out for you, and be your friend at the same time.
"Hey, I know!" Saria chirped. She cheerily hopped off the bed and skipped over to Zelda's mammoth bookcase. After a quick skim she spotted her prey and snatched it right off the shelf. "Let's go through your yearbook!"
"Why?" Zelda cocked an eyebrow. She was neither thrilled nor opposed. Simply confused.
"It's fun! You go through it and chat about who's hot or not, who's hooked up with who, and who's a total bitch…and then draw on their faces," Saria stated matter-of-factly. "Nabooru and I did it when we were in high school."
Zelda chuckled at the blatant immaturity. She had to admit though, it did sound like a good time.
Saria plopped herself back on the canopy bed, slamming the hefty book down before her. On the cover it read Hylia Academy in bold red print. Saria thumbed through it to the senior class, having a bit of a hard time due to the stiffness of the brand-new book. It was the new edition that had only been distributed the previous Tuesday.
"Now let's see…" Saria uncapped a black sharpie with her teeth. "Who's first?" she mumbled, the pen cap still in her mouth.
Zelda peered down at the open book. The casual glance instantly became an unfaltering gaze. One handsome, goddess carved face captured her. His messy golden locks perfectly framed his piercing cobalt eyes. His perfectly tanned and toned collarbone peaked out ever so slightly, yet seductively from his unbuttoned collar. His smile was completely genuine—both playful and sexy, with just the mildest hint of shyness. His jaw was strong and intricately chiseled. So much so that her fingers ached to trace it…
"Hey it's my cuz! Aww, ain't he cute!" Saria boasted. Of course they were looking at the same pictograph.
A deep red poured onto Zelda's fair cheeks. She prayed to Din that Saria didn't notice her ogling.
"Who Link?!" Zelda squeaked unable to control her tone. Crap.
"Duh. Do have another cousin on this page?"
"I don't know. " Zelda fidgeted with her earring.
"Well I don't," Saria stated, slightly annoyed. She dropped the feeling quickly. "Anyway, I hear he's going to the Knight Academy for college next year. Not so easy to get into either. "
Zelda's heart sank even though her brain knew it had no right to. So what if Link Aro was going to the Knight Academy and she was going to the University of Hyrule? They were both in Castle Town, they weren't very far from each other…Not that it mattered anyway.
"Let's continue on," Zelda flipped the page. She had to escape that pictograph.
After about a half hour the book was filled with doodles and comments. Zelda had given Saria all the details. Who she was friends with, who she wasn't friends with, who was sleeping with whom—the basics. Zelda had nearly relaxed…
"Hey it's Midna!" Saria pointed happily at the glossy page.
Zelda frowned slightly, but didn't say anything.
Midna Noir was the ultimate beauty. She was a sexy, exotic looking Twili girl whose perfect body was the definition of the hourglass figure. Her ruby eyes and orange hair shined like liquid fire. She was intelligent, feisty, and popular. She was also Link's best friend.
"You know her, right Zel? I love that girl. I've hung with her and Link a bunch of times. She's kind of a crazy chick, but she's got a heart of gold. I don't know why they've never dated. They'd be so perfect for each other."
Zelda closed her eyes momentarily, so she could regain her composure. The words felt like knives in her chest. They felt even sharper because they were true. They would be perfect together.
At that moment, there was a brisk knock at the door.
"Come in!" Zelda and Saria accidently chimed in unison.
Impa entered the room. She seemed off somehow…like she was both unsure and excited at the same time. Neither emotion was characteristic of her.
"Is everything alright, Impa?" Zelda asked, concerned.
"I apologize to the both of you. I must admit that I overheard your conversation earlier. The one about Zelda…needing some room to breathe."
"I believe I can help you, your highness. To make the best of the time you have left to be young and free. Before you take the throne."
"Impa, I…What do you mean?" Zelda felt confused and guilty.
Saria butted in to save her "Impa, Zelda didn't really mean all that stuff about you. She was just frustrated. She felt trapped. With or without your permission she still couldn't really do much. It's the whole reputation thing. She knows that people are watching her every move."
"They wouldn't be if she was someone else," Impa stated.
Now the confusion in the room was so dense it could be cut with a knife.
"You mean like a disguise?" Zelda guessed. Goddess her head was throbbing.
"The ultimate disguise," Impa nodded.
For the first time in her life, Zelda was actually grateful Impa had taught her to read and speak ancient Hylian. The spell that Impa had discovered was found in a book guarded by the Shiekiah tribe for centuries. And even then ancient Hylian was considered to be a nearly dead language. The pages had become so thin and worn out, Zelda dared not even sneeze for fear of disintegrating it. She knew that was an irrational thought, but it didn't stop her from holding her breath.
"So this magic can really transform my appearance beyond recognition? Like not just turn my hair pink, or stretch out my nose a bit?" Zelda questioned, half joking, half serious.
"Completely." Impa nodded. "Even your voice will change."
The thought was both frightening and exhilarating. This could really happen, she thought. We could really do this.
"How long will it last?" Saria chimed in.
"Transformation time can vary greatly. The spell's stamina is dependent on two factors; magical ability, and physical endurance," Zelda translated. Her brow furrowed. "I'm pretty confident in my magic…but physical endurance?"
"Transformation spells can be very physically demanding." Impa folded her arms across her chest. "Someone with lesser magical abilities might be able to hold it for an hour and feel as though they've completed a marathon. You however are different. You have naturally superior magical abilities. It's in your blood. I wouldn't be surprised if you could hold it for two days, maybe even three."
"Say I could hold it for that long. Would that mean I could hold it in my sleep?" Zelda wondered.
"Well, I'd say it's unlikely, but we cannot be entirely sure. Everyone is affected differently. The best method we have is trial and error." Said Impa.
"And it's not just a one-shot deal, right? You can use it again and again?" Saria asked.
"As often as you wish," Impa confirmed.
And then there was silence. Every question had been answered to the best of their knowledge. The only thing left was to try it for real.
Zelda gripped her spell book till her knuckles turned white. She merely needed to concentrate on the spell and draw out the magic from inside herself. It did not need to be spoken aloud. Which was good, because she'd never have been able to find her voice.
And then, in a bright golden flash, it happened. And it was anything but pleasant. Her blood turned to liquid ice and charged through her veins while her muscles seared like red hot lava. Suddenly she felt like she was melting. Like she had been turned to clay, pounded into shape, and thrown in a fiery kiln. She was burning to death. She was going to die.
And then… nothing. The transformation had been completed and all the pain turned off like a light switch.
Impa and Saria both stared at her. Impa's eyes showed fear; Saria's amazement.
"Well…?" Zelda started, in voice that was not her own. It was much too deep.
"No one will ever recognize you," Impa spoke softly, barely able to speak. She still looked like a deer in headlights. This couldn't be good.
"You're hot, Zel!" Saria exclaimed.
She had to muster up every last drop of courage to turn around and face the mirror. I'll count to three, she thought.
She spun to face to mirror. Her jawed came unhinged. Saria was right. She was hot. Blonde hair, ruby eyes, tanned skin. Only…
"Holy Shit! I'm a MAN!"
So... that's chapter 1! I know it might seem a bit rushed, but honestly I wanted to get to the good part (Link in the next chapter!). Five chapters of intro just doesn't seem appealing to me. Anyway this is my first story in years, and I am not an english major by any means (biochem ftw), so go easy on on me. Also just for my personal happiness the chapters will be named after songs. Hope you all like it!
Also last name fun...Link Aro, get it? Like Arrow. I had a friend with that last name in high school. And Midna Noir? Noir means black in french. :)