Hey all, Droory here!
Chances are you don't know me. I'm a Golden Sun writer and this is my first LoZ fic.
So, a few notes to be aware of. I use italics with quotations for speech, italics for thought and italics for emphasis.
I spell certain with words with s instead of z because I'm from Ireland.
Now that's out of the way, read!

Cold, solid, marble. It almost burnt. The fresh feeling of something foreign against his cheek was so… strange. To him, or his mind at least, no time had passed at all and he may as well have just seen the Evil King of Thieves invade the Sacred Realm before him. Yet, his body registered the lack of contact, being deprived of its senses for seven long years. That's what Rauru had told him. Seven years.

He was grown now, stronger, he definitely was not a Kokiri anymore. The boy slowly began a climb from his prone position on the cool marble steps of the Temple of Time. His body seemed foreign to him, wrong, he stretched out a leg, impacting something with his knee where once his foot would have been. Glancing down he noted that was his knee now. The same occurred with his arms.

Navi cheered him on as she always did as he tried his best to settle into his new form. After a minute, the green-clad hero had stood up shaking slightly on the two elongated legs. He took a moment to register the world from this height. It was so strange. He whirled around, as his fairy became startled at a presence, and nearly fell over from the vertigo he had caused himself.

A young blonde was standing by the Pedestal of Time, clothed in tightfitting garb adorned with the symbol he recognised from Zelda's carer, Impa. It was of the Shiekah, guardians of the royal family of Hyrule.

The green-clad hero began his walk through the Temple. That man, Sheik, had informed him of all the horrors the Evil King, Ganondorf, had committed during his seven year imprisonment in what remained of the Sacred Realm. He had told him to return to the forest, to visit with his friend Saria, to save her because she was needed. Link took time to process this information along with all of the new motor and sensory functions his young brain was dealing with.

His body was definitely not right for him. He had grown into it in, what was to him, but a moment. His mind could not comprehend all the changes it was undergoing in such a short time, yet the body seemed aware. It seemed to know how to work, the correct amount of force and effort to exert on each body part to move effectively. By the same token, the body registered the feeling of being deprived of everything for so long, each sensation was like fire surging through his nerve ending to his brain.

It took the boy in the body the better part of an hour to become accustomed to his new self. The Shiekah had long since disappeared, yet the hero was sure he would meet him again. Feeling more secure and positive in his body, Link drew the Blade of Evil's Bane, noting how much lighter it was now with his increased size and muscle mass, along with the heavy Hylian Knight's shield, and gave it a few cautious swings. His sword arm was definitely as strong as ever, delivering slashes and stabs with far more force and speed than he was used to.

Certain he was prepared for whatever evils Ganondorf had wrought over the Land of Hyrule during his time in the Sacred Realm, Link ran out from the hallowed temple.

He collapsed to his knees as he exited, not because his body failed him, but because his mind could not believe what his eyes saw. Below him, Hyrule Town lay in ruins. Each building was a collapsing shamble of its once proud self. There was no light or airiness to the once active town, just a dense miasma of rotting browns and blacks. Scrambling back to his feet, Link hurried forward, praying to the Goddesses that someone had survived the damage.

What he found was worse than he could have imagined. The horrible abominations, the ReDead shambled among the broken market town of Hyrule, their lifeless masks searching for their next victim. Link heard a scream, the horrible, screeching, wail as one seemed to have noticed him. Fear gripped his heart for several seconds before he reminded himself of his new strength, of this new body he could use to fight the evil.

He whirled around in time to find the dead eyes of a ReDead upon him. Acting faster than he knew his body was capable of, he had drawn his sword and sliced through the cold flesh. As the face slid from his view, Link spied more of the mindless creatures shambling toward him, obviously drawn by the screech of the one he had just slain. Remembering a song from his youth, he quickly grabbed the Ocarina Zelda had thrown to him and played the Sun's Song.

He breathed in relief as the corpses stopped where they stood, paralyzed by the magic of the melody. However, he was surprised to find that night had not turned to day, glancing upward he found the skies were nought but rolling black clouds, spitting lightning as they billowed from the north. Link raced through the town, up the path that lead to what was now just the silhouette of Hyrule Castle in the distance.

Minutes passed and Link dared to hope that this would be different despite all evidence to the contrary. Eventually, he was forced to accept the inevitable. Hyrule Castle was gone. The lush green fields surrounding the pristine white palace were now a barren valley which now encompassed the twisted black castle of the Evil King. There was nothing he could do, even if he could somehow get to the castle, he knew he was not yet ready to face down the power of the Evil King.

Link turned and fled from what was once the beautiful capital of Hyrule, advancing past or cutting down any ReDead's that came near him. There was a light up ahead, and soon the Hero of Time found himself in familiar surroundings. Behind him was the entirely foreign land of Hyrule Castle Town, but the rest was Hyrule Field exactly as he remembered it. To the east was the bridge and stairs leading to Kakariko, beyond that was Death Mountain, but with a new fiery circle billowing around it. To the south, atop the hill, he recognised the ranch where that young girl worked… Malon.

Link darted forward, afraid that the first friend he had made outside of the Kokori had been killed by Ganondorf after his rise to power.

It took him less than an hour to reach the ranch in his new form, and as he did, he heard a scream emanate from it. Rushing in he saw the thin man who had complained about working there seven years ago, dressed in ridiculously ruffled garbs, exiting the stables with a whip in hand before walking off to the horse pen.

Link was sure to wait until the man would not see him before he continued on. Slowly pushing open the door to the stables, he heard a quiet sobbing within. Moving through he glanced around to find the source. It took him several seconds to notice the huddle in one of the corners, which he slowly drew closer to. His presence went unnoticed by the redheaded girl as she cried.

"M-Malon?" Link's strained, unused, voice came.

The girl sniffled once or twice before glancing up. There was a slash across her cheek, crossing to her shoulder. Her tears and blood mixed together as she looked Link right in the eyes. When she realised she was not alone, she quickly stood up, wiping her tears away before smiling, holding a hand over her cut. Link didn't understand, had she not been sad?

"Oh, h-hello." The girl's quiet voice returned, "We don't get many visitors these days."

"Why were you crying?" He asked, concerned for his friend, "Why are you cut?"

Malon shook her head, the long red locks waving back and forth as she did, "Just a little accident… I… I was just being silly, that's all. M… M… Master Ingo wanted to offer a horse to the King as thanks for his favour. My horse… Epona. B-but, I had no right to object… I'm lucky to be here working at all. Master Ingo should be allowed give whatever horse he wants to our King."

Link was confused. Malon loved Epona, she was the only one Epona trusted. How could she be okay with letting her be given away like that? It wasn't silly to cry over that at all… Maybe he could get Ingo to give him Epona instead, and he'd keep her safe for Malon.

"Wait here." Link replied as he left the tear-stained girl in the stables.

Malon was taken aback by this boy, whoever he was. She couldn't shake the feeling that she knew him… that he might be. No, that was silly. He had disappeared seven years ago. No one had heard of the young blonde hero in so long, no one had seen him, he had just vanished the day Ganondorf came to power. He had probably tried to stand against him and was… No… Malon couldn't bear to think of it, to think of something that evil.

Instead, she returned to her work, tending to her wound first, then cleaning and caring for the stables. At least the horses and cows didn't mind her having to sleep in here, and she was rather glad to have friendly company in the night. She felt safer surrounded by the animals she had helped raise and care for all her life, so living together with them wasn't that hard for her. At least she could easily heal whatever damage Ingo caused whenever he worked them too hard.

Suddenly, her ears caught something. Sounds she hadn't heard so loud in years. Ingo had been sure to whip that out of her when he took over. It was definitely it though, her mother's song, played on some instrument like a flute. The farm-girl darted to one of the holes in the stables, fixing her blue eyes out into the field. The boy was standing at the centre of the field, obviously having just paid Ingo for time to ride the horses, holding something in his hands. Her mother's song was definitely being played by him.

Epona went running up to the boy in green and nuzzled against his neck. The boy returned Epona's affection and gently rubbed her neck before climbing atop her. Malon marvelled at this. Epona would never let anyone but her near her, let alone ride her. How did that boy know her mother's song, why was Epona so trusting of him? Maybe it was…

She heard Ingo yell to the boy, calling him over. Oh, no. Ingo was going to trick this boy out of all his Rupees as he had with all others who had come to ride the horses. He raced each of them and took whatever they had to offer before kicking them out of the ranch for good. She didn't want this boy gone too. Sadly, the boy accepted Ingo's offer and soon the two were at the starting position by the pen's gate.

She sighed and turned away, not wanting to see another lose to Ingo's cheating tactics. She returned to her work, replacing hay and shovelling dung before she heard a loud scream from the pen. Darting back to the hole she had been spying through, she found Ingo thrashing about in frustration. He must have lost. She would have cheered would that not have brought his wrath down on her later, so instead she watched in silent applause.

She heard Ingo demand a rematch, offering the boy the chance to keep Epona as his own if he could win again. Malon's heart leapt into her throat as she watched the boy nod again, his eyes steely and focused angrily on the man below him. Ingo cackled as he remounted his horse and lined up again. As was customary, Ingo took off before he had counted down fully, giving him a solid head start.

She heard the boy yell as he knocked either side of Epona, who whinnied furiously in return and took off at startling speed after the ranch owner. The dirt beneath the chestnut brown horse flew about as she drew up beside Ingo, who began to whip at both her and the boy.

"Go! Go!" Malon cheered silently, afraid Ingo might hear and punish her with that very whip. However her resolve grew stronger as she watched her friends, as did her voice, "Go! GO!" She started to yell as Epona finally broke ahead of Ingo and crossed the line, "YES!" She exclaimed joyously, ready to run outside and embrace the boy who had saved Epona rom her fate as a slave to the Evil King.

But, her actions were stopped as she heard the heavy gates of the ranch being swung closed and Ingo changing the terms of agreement. Her heart sank again… of course that was what would happen… how stupid of her to think otherwise. Then Epona neighed angrily as the boy yelled, uncaring the farm girl rushed outside to watch as Epona and her hero leapt over the fence, Epona's back legs kicking Ingo into the gates and knocking them open, before riding out of the ranch to freedom.

She gave a passing glance to the unconscious and likely mortally wounded Ingo, before she chased after her hero. She glanced around as she exited the ranch, finding Epona and her hero atop a hill nearby celebrating their victory over evil.

The image was so like her dreams. The image of that lifelong fantasy of having her heroic knight ride to her, to save and protect her from any and all evils that would dare threaten her. The way they stood atop the hill, light shining around them, it almost seemed to picturesque to be true.

She ran forward, cheering and waving to them. Epona quickly turned and ran toward her, slowing to a halt as she affectionately licked at the girl's uninjured cheek. Malon hugged her friend close, crying joyously as she nuzzled into the warm embrace the horse offered. She broke from the pseudo-hug, kissing Epona on the muzzle and turning to her hero who was dismounting.

As his feet touched the ground, he was nearly knocked flat as Malon threw her arms around the hero's neck. Crying into his shoulder, Malon voiced her immeasurable thanks, as the boy gently returned the hug.

"Are you not happy?" Link asked, confused by Malon's crying and thanking at the same time. In his experience the two didn't go hand in hand. Crying usually meant something bad had happened… did he do something bad?

"Of course, I'm happy!" Malon exclaimed as joyous tears continued to run from her eyes and she cupped Link's face in both of her hands, "I'm so happy!"

Link didn't seem convinced, his face was still scrunched with the confusion of a child, "But you're cryi-"

Malon took her chance and pressed her lips against his. The boy staggered backward several feet from the sudden action. He had no idea what was happening. The closest he had ever come to a kiss was with Ruto, and even then nothing had happened. Deciding to return the gesture, Link clumsily lifted his hands to Malon's face too and pushed out his lips a bit.

Malon pulled away, smiling fully, giggling a bit as Link stumbled forward from the unexpected lack of a person pressing against him.

"Fairy Boy?" Malon asked quietly, trying not to sound too hopeful.

Link smiled, unaware of his furiously crimson cheeks, nodding in response to the nickname she had given him so long ago.

Malon's heart soared higher than it had been in all her life as she threw her arms back around her knight in green clothing, and pulled him into a full kiss.

Okay, now tear into me.
Rip this apart with your reviews.
Tell me what I did wrong so I can improve any future LoZ fics.
I know this can be better, and I want to know how, besides what I can think of.

I await what you have for me,

Your friend and writer,