Author's Note: This work started as a novelization of the game "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," and though differing from the original work does bear SIGNIFICANT similarity to the original. The original, and many characters are Copyrighted by Nintendo Games, Mr. Shigeru Myamoto, and other fine creative people. Other aspects are inspired by, or owned by J.K. Rowling, Simon Schama, Sir Walter Scott, Ms. Rumiko Takihashi, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, and other luminaries. All other material, including excessive length, new characters, new insight into old characters, and the fermenting of cheap ale over burning witches is entirely mine, and I solemnly declare copyright and copyleft to the same! If you are going to rip me off, at LEAST cite me, and make the bloody mess readable! Also, be thou warned! This is NOT the Rt. Hon. Mr. Myamoto's pseudo-Tolkenesque world, but a ficticious artifice imposed upon the real one! Purists who are offended by these words are owed no sympathy, for they have been warned! Note also that due to my luddite unfamiliarity with the posting system here, the following chapters are from Part II, "The Boy Without a Fairy." Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 may be created and posted as appropriate, if this small sample proves satisfying to both you the reader, and me the maniacal egotistical author. Also note, to those who read the dates in the chapter headings who have the profound question—when does Link die? ***SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER He Doesn't. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*** Chapter 1 (Monday, 20 March AD 450; The Day Before the First Day of Spring)

In the vast, deep forest of Hyrule, long have the Kokiri had their guardian spirit to live with and watch over them. That spirit was known as the Deku Tree. The Deku Tree provided nuts for most meat, and seeds to grind for bread. His leaves provided both vegetable for their table and fibre for their cloth. He provided counsel for their leaders, blessed their marriages and births, and protected their forest from all who would do her harm. He provided each Kokiri with a guardian fairy at birth, to be their companion, friend, and teacher.

However, there was one boy who did not have a fairy. His name was Link. He was an orphan of the Hyleans whom the Deku Tree took in as an infant. Link was taken care of, raised, and loved as a Kokiri child. But guardian fairies are bonded to the heart. The heart of a Kokiri will naturally bond to a guardian fairy, nourishing it and giving it life. The heart of a Hylean, or any other Non-Kokiri mortal, cannot love like a Kokiri. If the Deku Tree gave a guardian fairy to a Non-Kokiri, it would starve to death rapidly and horribly, without the Non-Kokiri knowing it was there.

When Link was adopted, some argued against it, because Link was not a Kokiri. They did not want to see harm come to the boy. He came to them an orphan of the wars, in the arms of his dying mother. But they could not risk their homes and families to being devastated by a giant outsider from within their midst. And, when your biggest men are no more than four foot tall, even a small Hylean is a giant.

They also argued that even IF Link grew a Kokiri heart living with them, he would still grow to be a giant. Being so much bigger, they argued, he would eat much more food than any normal Kokiri. In rich times, he would be a burden, and in poor times, all would suffer, especially him. If he took a fairy with him, it would only encourage other Hyleans to send their children to be raised by the Kokiri. They would become the world's orphanage, and the strain of providing fairies alone would be more than even The Great Deku Tree could stand.

Others argued just as strongly that Link should not only be adopted, but receive his guardian fairy immediately. They claimed that the Kokiri heart was not a birthright, but was given to each Kokiri by all the others as they were raised. They argued that depriving the child of a fairy was worse than depriving a child of love. And all the Kokiri knew that to deprive a child of love was the cruellest, most hideous way to commit murder. In a society where even warriors killed only of necessity, and animals were seldom hunted, to murder was impossible.

They also reminded everyone of The Duke. He was a giant in the eyes of his own people. At eight feet tall, he TOWERED over the Kokiri. His size was part of why he had been called "The Hylean Deku Tree." But he had always brought his own food, and could still fit in most Kokirish homes without breaking them. If a Hylean could be so thoughtful, how much more so a Hylean child, raised to be a Kokiri. Besides, the Kokiri had not only never known a famine, but their surplus even in hard times was almost obscene! Children used the Deku nuts, which exploded with a flash of light and a loud pop, as toys to frighten each other. The seeds were used in slingshots. There were ALWAYS fresh Deku leaves. Deku leaf fabric, though soft as silk, was almost indestructible. Leather tanned with Deku leaf juice lasted almost forever without any other finishing or care. If Deku nuts and seeds didn't make anyone not raised on them violently sick for weeks, and if it didn't take the skill of a Kokiri to spin and weave their cloth by hand, the Kokiri could feed and clothe the realm and themselves even in times of famine. Besides, even with the wars, the realm had not seen famine in the memory of anyone alive. Nor could any living person remember talking to anyone who had.

And, they continued, The Duke fought for the Kokiri time and again without ever being asked. His love for the Kokiri, his courage in battle, and his many victories for the Kokiri, even when his Hylean King was unhappy with The Duke's fighting for them were the true reason for his being given this honour. The Duke of Hyrule was even given a fairy. True, it was the old Chieftain of the Battle Fairies and drew its nourishment from The Deku Tree, but it WAS a fairy! They also reminded everyone that The Duke of Hyrule had just one day ago died in battle fighting the Gerudo for the Kokiri, along with their War-Chieftain and their Wizard. While The Duke's wife and infant were both already murdered, and this child's mother had just died, he WAS born a Hylean. The Kokiri owed The Duke the raising of the child. If it was not his, at least it was of his people.

The Deku tree decided that Link would be taken in and raised as a Kokiri, but without a fairy. His heart as an infant was big, but only Hylean. If, when he turned eleven, he had a Kokiri heart, he would receive a fairy. If his heart was not truly Kokirish, he would be welcome to visit if he wished to remain friends with the Kokiri. But, he would have to leave the Kokiri and become the Hylean that his heart said he was. For among the Kokiri, eleven was the age when all Kokiri boys were considered men. They were then allowed to marry, and required to help fight if The Deku Tree alone could not defend the forest.

So, Link was without a fairy. He was also obviously different from the other Kokiri children. Not only did he have no fairy, but there was no green in his body. His hair was almost, but not quite blond, having a slightly reddish tint. His eyes were brilliant and piercing like the Kokiri, but blue. His fair skin tanned evenly in the summer. The eyes of all Kokiri were green, brown, or red. If their hair was blond, it was light blond. More often, it was red, black, or green. And Kokiri always freckled, sometimes in green. The features of his face were finely sculpted, and of normal proportion to his size. Hyleans and Kokiri both would consider him "cute," and guaranteed to become "handsome" when he finished growing. But his ears were round, like those of the Hyleans, not sharply pointed as those of the Kokiri were. At a yard and six inches, and six and a half stone, he already had the stature of a fine Kokiri Warrior. But in four short years, he stood a good chance of doubling that! It wasn't always not having a fairy that his friends sometimes made fun of.

Still, there was much that Link had. First, he had a Kokiri heart such as no one had ever seen. Though some still thought that Link would leave the Kokiri, or that he might have to leave when he grew to his full size, all agreed that Link had a Kokirish heart, and was therefore Kokiri. They also knew that it was no longer a matter of if Link received his fairy, but when. He also had the love and respect of all the Kokiri. He was a friend with all the other children, even when they teased him, because they were never really mean. Even Mido, who WAS mean to Link, and jealous of him too, loved and respected him deep down in his heart.

He had the mentoring of the Helfdane twins; whose given names were known only to themselves, their life-mates, and two others. These twin men were the greatest warriors and legend-tellers alive. When Link was not out gathering, or playing with his friends, he studied the art of war and the legends of old. He was good with a slingshot at stationary targets, fair with moving targets, and almost a prodigy with a sword. He was known by all to be better with a sword and shield than Mido, who was not only five years older than Link, but was Chieftain of the Kokiri and had been since his father Weldo had died.

He had the skill of both weaving and silversmithing. He had mastered the art of using the loom and spinning wheel when he was seven. The whole village admired his fabric, yarn, and thread. Even more amazing, he was almost a journeyman silversmith, or a "sitting" silversmith as the Kokiri called them. The only task he had to demonstrate before he "officially" graduated from his apprenticeship was the magic box whose needle always found the North Star. Apprentice silversmiths were never allowed to try one of these until they were declared men. Since Link was the only boy ever to master everything else by the age of nine, he was allowed to work as an "almost sitting" silversmith until he was eleven. He would then, it was expected, make a magic box for the master, and be a "fully sitting" silversmith.

He had the courage to do the right thing, and the wit to find the right way to do almost anything. When he was nine, Mido taunted Link saying, "If you had any courage, you'd climb to the top of The Great Deku Tree right now!" Mido knew that most Kokiri would be too scared to climb that high. He also knew that children were not allowed to climb The Great Deku Tree, because it was disrespectful. Even Mido could touch The Great Deku Tree only when the Tree told him to. Any child who would not stop from fear would be stopped by his fairy. Mido thought that he would either make Link look scared to his friends or get him in trouble so he could punish Link. He was wrong.

Link approached The Great Deku Tree, received its permission, and climbed it in full view of all the Kokiri. Link gained respect for his courage and wit. Mido was laughed at because his mean trick backfired. Mido resolved not to do wrong to hurt anyone again, but he still couldn't be nice to Link. He was jealous of the greatest gift Link had.

And that gift was the love of Saria, in whose lap he rested his head while napping. Saria stood one yard and eight inches tall and weighed five stone. She had green hair, green eyes, and her skin was without blemish. Her ears were less pointed than most, but Link, with his round Hylean ears didn't care. Even with this flaw, all the Kokiri proclaimed her the most beautiful of their women. She and Link were off in the Sacred Forest Meadow celebrating their birthdays. Saria had just turned thirteen that day, the age when Kokiri girls were declared women. Link would be eleven on the morrow.

They snuck to the meadow alone to mend each other's clothing. The mending of another's clothing was a very intimate act among the Kokiri, whose modesty was a proverb throughout all of Hyrule. Their parents made a Kokiri child's clothes, or the community if they were orphans until they were around seven. After that, they made their own clothing until they took life-mates. Once they took life-mates, each would make the other's clothes. A cobbler was an honest trade, but to the Kokiri, a tailor was like unto a prostitute. As for Link and Saria, neither had worn clothes not made by the other for four years.

They not only made each other's clothing, but also shared every other Kokiri intimacy except for sex. They did their sewing cuddled in each other's arms. They could gaze into each other's eyes, the gateway to the heart, for hours. They would change clothing in each other's presence. They would sometimes bathe and groom each other. They even dreamed in unison from time to time, which some Kokiri didn't do even after they were married.

This would have scandalized the Kokiri had they known, but they would not be surprised. For Link and Saria were both orphans. Saria's mother had died in childbirth, and her father Sarchan had died with Weldo and the Great Hylean Duke. They had the ideal difference in ages according to Kokiri custom, and had been fast friends as long as either could remember. They were also both very intelligent, and fast learners. While the Kokiri of that day didn't shun intelligence, they were a simple people in many ways, and choose life-mates of the same level as themselves. Had they both been born Kokiri, their wedding would have been a surety. Even as things were, it wasn't so much doubted as just not thought about. Those who did think about it, even Mido who desperately wished he could change things, never doubted anything but the time of the marriage, and if there would be grief for the young lovers later on. Link and Saria were still shy of telling their own feelings about each other. They were also uncertain of the other's feelings toward them. But that was only one level. On all other levels, the ones beyond words, they knew.

He had just finished the last of her new clothes, a sweater of the finest deku wool when he dozed off. She let him sleep because he had not been sleeping well these past five months. That was because of the nightmare. In his nightmare, he was alone, in front of a large building that looked like the descriptions he'd heard of Hyrule Castle Town. It was dark, and there was a bad thunderstorm. Link was standing in front of the building when a woman and a girl rode out and past him. He didn't know who the women were, but he knew he was sworn to protect them from harm. As they rode past, the girl looked at Link with fear in her eyes. The fear was not of him, but for him. He had no time to wonder at this, because a huge man with red hair and black armour rode out of the building on a black horse. The man would stand at least six feet tall if dismounted. His hairline was receding, and he wore a jewel in a gold bracket on his forehead. The man had an aura of pure evil. He knew that this man had murdered his parents. He also knew that it was his duty to stop the man from riding past, and everyone would suffer if he failed. But he had no sword. He had no shield. He didn't even have a deku nut to throw at the man.

Sometimes, he tried to run, but he couldn't run. Sometimes he tried to look for a rock, but none were to be found. No matter what he tried, the nightmare always ended the same, with the evil man bearing down on him and hitting him with a ball of lightning, his last moments being pure terror. The nightmares were so intense he would almost wet the bed. They were so bad that at first he wouldn't even tell them to Saria, and he had no secrets from her!

He was starting to have the nightmare now. Saria was glad Link had gotten some peaceful rest, but she wasn't going to have the nightmare ruin their afternoon! It was also mid afternoon, and they had been in the meadow since early that morning. She knew they wouldn't be surprised. The last part of the path to the meadow was a maze filled with mad deku scrubs. These unpleasant weeds would shoot deku nuts at you. These hurt badly, and could sometimes even kill. Because of this, they always had the meadow to themselves. Because of their two ladders, the one always hidden where only they knew where it was, they always made the trip safely. But they would be missed. And wild deadly beasts were starting to wander closer to the Lost Woods at night. While it was not dangerous like the great Hyrule Field, she didn't want to roam the forest at night, not even with her "Brave Kokiri Warrior" as she sometimes called him. She jabbed his side, and he awoke.

Before he could say anything, she kissed him full on the lips. He returned the kiss, and then sat up. They moved to each other's sides, and held each other. "You were starting to have the nightmare," said Saria.

Link replied "And you knew."

"Link, the clothes are a fine birthday present. Shall you have me wear them for you?"

"Saria, I would like that very much. And the clothes you made me outdo the ones I made you. But my birthday is not 'til the morrow."

"You shall have them today" Saria told him. "You will be called to see The Great Deku Tree. I would not have him see you dressed poorly."

They took off the clothes they were wearing, and each dressed the other in the clothes they had made. This is the first part of the Kokiri marriage ceremony, and normally brought them great pleasure; but not today. For puberty had started to visit Link early. And Saria, like most Kokiri women, had had her first period at the age of nine. Kokiri normally are aroused only by their life-mates, or ones who would very soon be life-mates, whose heart was already connecting to theirs. This was precisely the problem!

Their dressing each other, which had started almost as a friendly taunting of each other, got serious, and speeded up quickly. They realized that the genie was starting to climb out of the bottle. What was worse was that Link would not even be a man until tomorrow, and had no fairy! Had he been a day older, and had a fairy, they might have decided to slip and enjoy it.

The punishment for a man and a woman who deflowered each other before betrothal was embarrassing, but not severe and easily lived down. First, the offending couple is brought before The Great Deku Tree to see if their hearts are bound to each other. If not, both are banished from the forest, the harshest punishment the Kokiri have. But since Kokiri must be joined at the heart before they can even be tempted to sex, no one had ever been banished for that. Once passing this test, the couple would be required to play their wedding song to each other with all the Kokiri watching. In a normal Kokiri wedding, the couple composed and played their song where the music could be heard, but they could not be seen. Each Kokiri's playing of the ocarina was like their voice, and all who heard knew who was getting married. But Kokiri modesty required that no one watch the marriage. After that, the couple is forced to stay on opposite sides of the village for one week, not even to see each other, talking to each other only with their ocarinas. But Kokiri tradition declares the marriage consummated not with sex, but with the playing of the wedding song. The same tradition does not require, but prefers proper Kokiri to wait at least seven days before "exchanging flowers", or the honeymoon. Since most Kokiri just can't wait that long otherwise, one will leave for a week anyway, though not required by tradition, and ocarinas are how they call their hearts to join in company when separated. Once the week of forced separation is over, all is forgiven right then. As years pass, the memory becomes an endearment, not a reproach, and all is well. If a Kokiri adult has sex with a child, even if by only one day, both are banished immediately.

They finished getting dressed almost in a panic. Seeing each other done, they hugged tightly, but with plenty of space below the waist. After a minute, both the arousal and panic had passed. Both silently vowed to each other never to do that again until the night of their wedding, should that come. Saria excused herself to an old basin from the temple ruins to wash herself. Link, for the first time, turned his back to her while she did so.

After Saria finished washing, and they both straitened their clothes, they rolled their old outfits and started back to the village. Since they never varied their style of clothing, and their clothes were always kept in good repair, no one would think long enough to look and notice that their clothes were being worn for the first time.

As they walked, Saria asked Link "When will you accept my pledge?" For among the Kokiri, it was the women who proposed to the men, but only when they knew the man would accept.

Link answered "Saria. I will be a man tomorrow. If fate is kind to us, I might finally get my fairy. You are today a woman, but I am still a boy. I can not answer that question as a boy to a woman."

"But when?" Saria insisted.

"Soon, Saria. Soon."