And I'm back! Aren't you all happy?

I would like to thank rika195, The Fanfic Phantom, Adrian-update, PsycoT, TheGoddessKnight, Dragon's Hitokiri, Mizuki hikari, Link Fangirl01, DynturaDJ, and Kiara for all of their wonderful reviews. Thanks again guys. Well, here's the chapter!

Disclaimer: I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't own Zelda or any of its characters.

Chapter 5: First Malon, Then an Unexpected Turn of Events

O.o

Zelda and Anju ran forward and helped the farm girl put away all of the stray animals. When they were done, the girl turned to them. "Thanks for your help. I don't think I would have been able to put all of those animals away on my own." She said.

"It was no problem." Zelda smiled. "I have a question though, have you seen a wolf around here at all?"

"Yep! It's that wolfs fault that my animals got out. It came here and spooked one of the horses, who kicked open the barn which startled the cows a-"the girl started.

"We get it. The wolf came here and started a huge chain reaction that got the animals loose. Now, can you tell us where the wolf went?" Anju cut in.

"I suppose I could, but first, you'll have to tell me your names. I like to know who my guests are." The girl said.

"Oh of course! How rude of us! I'm Zelda and this is my friend Anju." Zelda introduced.

"Nice to meet ya! I'm Malon. I live here with my father, Talon, and his assistant, Ingo." Malon smiled.

"You smile a lot, don't you?" Anju asked, kind of annoyed by Malons cheerfulness.

Malon just cocked her head to the side then waved her hand in a way to motion them to follow her. Zelda and Anju followed Malon around the corner and Malon pointed to a big bundle of fur. "There it is." She informed.

"Rinku!" Zelda called. The bundle of fur looked up and smiled. It got up and ran to Zelda, nearly knocking her over. "I've finally found you! I was so worried!" Zelda laughed. Rinku licked her face to show his affection, and then backed off.

"Thank you so much for finding Rinku for us. We were really worried." Zelda said.

"Um, no problem." Malon giggled, totally confused. "I've never actually seen someone with a wolf for a friend."

Zelda smiled and looked down at Rinku who looked up at her. "Neither have I."

Anju looked up at the sky and slowly started calculating what time it was. When she figured it out she turned to Zelda and said, "Zelda, I have to get going. Mom will wake up soon and she needs help. I'll see you later, kay?"

"Of course." Zelda replied.

"See you. Nice meeting you Malon." Anju waved and ran off.

"So… Where do live, Zelda?" Malon asked.

"At the Castle." Zelda replied.

"The Castle?! Then you must be…." Malon paused for a moment and quickly curtsied. "My apologies, Princess."

"For what? And there's no need for formalities." Zelda assured.

"I apologize that I didn't realize sooner." Malon said, getting up from her curtsy.

"Please, you don't have to be formal. Now, do you have a horse I can borrow?" Zelda asked.

"Of course! Come this way." Malon led Zelda into the pasture where all of the horses were grazing.

The second Zelda walked into the field, she gasped, "I've never seen so many horses in one place!"

"Well, go ahead and pick one!" Malon smiled.

"Really? I can pick any one of them?" Zelda asked.

Malon nodded, "Any one of them except Epona. She won't go with anyone anymore. Even if you sing her song."

"Epona? Isn't she the horse Link always used?" Zelda burst out.

Malon gasped, "You knew Link? That's great!"

"Wait, didn't Link take Epona with him when he left?" Zelda asked.

"Yeah, he did. Epona loved him so much." Malon answered.

"Then what happened…?" Zelda paused. "Did he come back?"

"No, he never came back. One day, about 4 years ago, Epona just came back. I have no clue about what happened to him. I'm sorry." Malon apologized.

"No, don't apologize. Now, let me get this straight; Link has been gone for 7 years, and Epona was gone for 3…" Zelda began.

"That doesn't make sense! Link would never leave Epona alone like this!" Malon finished.

"You mean, send her back?"

"Exactly! If Epona was in danger, he would probably send her back to a nearby town. And besides, think how far they could have gone in 3 years!" Malon shouted, slightly outraged.

"So something must have happened to Link…" Zelda sighed.

While Zelda and Malon were having their discussion, Rinku had walked out into the pasture. This time he went slower as to not spook the horses again. He walked to the center and sat down. Almost all of the horse's eyes were on Rinku, wondering what he would do next. He continued sitting there until a horse began to walk towards him.

By now the girls had finished talking and had noticed what was going on in the field.

"Rinku! Come here!" Zelda shouted. Rinku just ignored her. The horse was now poking him with its nose. Rinku looked up into the face of the horse and barked happily.

"I'll be damned…" Malon mumbled. "That's Epona! She hasn't interacted with the other animals since, well, it would be a year now!"

"That's amazing." Zelda breathed. "She must feel a connection with Rinku."

"I think you're right." Malon said. "Wanna go say hi?"

"Sure." Zelda walked over to Rinku and Epona and slowly reached out to pet Epona's nose. Epona looked at her but allowed Zelda to put her hand on her nose.

Malon came up slowly behind them, as if she was deep in thought. When she got there she said, "Do you want to keep Epona? I mean, until Link comes back…"

Zelda turned around, utter disbelief in her eyes. "You'd let me keep her?"

Malon slowly nodded. "Yep. She hasn't let me touch her in years, yet she let's you and you just met." She replied.

"Thank you Malon! It means a lot!" Zelda hugged Malon.

Malon looked towards the sky and sighed, "Zelda, why aren't you in the Castle? Does the king know you're here?"

Zelda gasped, "No, I forgot all about him and the Castle! He's probably worried sick!"

"Then maybe you should go home…?" Malon suggested.

Zelda sighed. "Yeah, I guess I should."

Malon smiled, "Promise to come back and visit?" she asked.

Zelda laughed. "Of course!"

After a few more good-byes, Zelda mounted Epona with Rinku ready to walk beside them. She waved at Malon and put Epona into a gallop.

O.o

After a while, Zelda arrived at the gates to Hyrule Castle Town but luckily, nightfall hadn't come yet so Hyrule Field was still safe. After a bit of commotion and explaining, Zelda was sitting in her room, drying the last of her tears, thinking about what had happened when she got back…

Flashback

As soon as Zelda set foot in the Castle, her father was there waiting for her.

"Zelda! I'm so happy your back! Where have you been?" the King asked, hugging his daughter.

"Well, this man kidnapped me but then this wolf saved me!" Zelda pointed to Rinku (who was just sitting there) and everyone gasped. One servant even fainted.

"Zelda! How dare you bring that monster into this Castle!" the King yelled.

"He's not a monster! If it weren't for him, I could be dead right now!"

The King ignored her and called for the guards to take Rinku away, most likely to be executed.

"NO!" Zelda screamed, hugging Rinku tightly around the neck. The guards stopped before they grabbed Rinku and looked to the King as if to ask permission to get Zelda off the wolf. The King nodded and the guards proceeded. "You can't do this!" Zelda shrieked, struggling to get to Rinku, but it was too late. The guards already had Rinku in a collar and took him towards the dungeons.

The guards let go of Zelda and she stood facing her father, tears streaming down her cheeks. "You always do this to me! You always throw my friends in the dungeon! They're never good enough in your eyes! Do you even know why I left?" She freaked.

The King shook his head. "No Zelda, I don't know why you left."

Zelda was just about ready to burst at her father's calmness. "I ran away! I was going to live in Kakariko Village, where there's people who care about me and my friends." Zelda stormed to her room, crying, and just jumped on her bed. Eventually, she cried herself to sleep.

End Flashback

That was 4 hours Zelda had just woken up from her nap, tears renewed, and couldn't help but worry about Rinku. Was he dead? Had her father sent him away? Had he put Rinku in training to be a guard dog? These thoughts went through Zeldas mind until a knock came on her door.

"Come in." Zelda called. The door opened and when Zelda saw the young man, she almost fainted. "Link!" she launched herself into his arms, sobbing. "I can't believe you're actually back!"

"I'm sorry I was gone for so long." Link smiled.

"Oh Din, I don't even care now. All that matters is that your back."

Link lifted Zelda into his arms then carried her to the bed and sat her down. They sat there, talking, until another knock came to the door. "Come in!" Zelda called again. This time, Impa, her nursemaid, came in with a certain wolf behind her.

"You're lucky Zelda. I just barely stopped your father from killing him." She said, not even looking up from Rinku.

"Hey Impa."

Impa looked up and laughed when she saw Link. "You've been gone for way to long." She joked.

Zelda kneeled on the floor and called for Rinku, who came obediently. "I'm so glad your ok!" Zelda said while petting Rinku behind the ears.

When Link saw Rinku, he grimaced. "Does that mutt have to stay here?" he asked.

Zelda and Impa looked at the young Hero of Time with disbelief. What's gotten into him? He used to love dogs… Zelda wondered. Rinku noticed Link and growled at him.

Link sighed. "I've been on a long journey. I'm gonna go rest." With that he got up and left the room.

"Did you notice that too?" Impa asked Zelda.

"You mean the way that he acted towards Rinku? Then how Rinku acted towards Link? Yes." Zelda nodded, standing up.

"Something odd is going on."

Zelda nodded again and sighed. "It's getting late. I'm gonna go to bed."

"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow." Impa left the room.

Zelda went into her walk-in closet and quickly changed into her night gown. She walked out then got into bed and snuggled into the covers. Rinku came up and lay down next to the bed and closed his eyes.

"Good night Rinku…" Zelda mumbled before falling into a troubled sleep.

O.o

That's definitely unexpected…

Midna: Yes, yes it is…

Hey! What are you doing here?

Midna: Oh, I've decided to join you down here. I hope you don't mind.

Not at all! Ok, R&R and no flames please!