‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

The Announcement

1825 words

Rabia slowly came to awareness when Ganondorf slid out of bed. It was clear from his slow movements that he didn’t intend to wake her. She kept her eyes closed until she heard him get into the shower. Rabia rubbed sleep from her eyes and checked the clock on the bedside table. She frowned. It was barely sunrise and Ganondorf had come to bed late.

Rabia started to push herself up when the water shut off abruptly. She burrowed herself back under the blankets and made her breathing deep and slow. She listened as he dressed himself, and almost stopped breathing when he knelt by her side of the bed. It took all her willpower to not flinch as he leaned in, but he pressed a kiss to her forehead before leaving the room. She stayed where she was until the sun had risen over the horizon.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“Rabia?” She startled awake and sat up quickly, shoving her blankets back.

“Y-Yes?” Rabia looked around and relaxed when she saw her mother. “Oh… sorry,” she yawned. Kamilah walked in and sat on the edge of the bed.

“Don’t be sorry,” she said. “I brought you some breakfast. King Ganondorf wanted me to help you get ready.”

“Get ready? For what?” Rabia asked. Kamilah reached behind her and fluffed up her pillows, ignoring Rabia’s rolled eyes at the motion.

“I’m not sure,” Kamilah wouldn’t meet her gaze. “He said it was important, though.” Rabia pushed some of the food around her plate.

“Okay,” she said. After breakfast and a shower, Kamilah helped her dress in a deep burgundy gown with elaborate gold beading on the bodice. “Is this… really necessary?” she asked as her mother pinned her curls into a half up style with the pearl comb. “Doesn’t this seem a little bit over the top?” Rabia hardly recognized herself in the mirror.

“It’s what he asked for,” Kamilah answered. She handed Rabia burgundy lipstick to put on while she clasped a ruby choker around her neck. After finishing her makeup, she offered Rabia a gold, jewel encrusted cuff bracelet, then linked arms with her and led her down the staircase where Ganondorf was waiting. He grinned up at her.

“You look nice,” he stated. His usual black armor had been replaced with his more formal armor, complete with touches of gold. He had also swapped his regular cape for a black one with gold adornments, lined in burgundy. Rabia halted on the steps.

“So do you,” she answered. “What’s going on?” she asked skeptically.

“Just trust me, okay?” he linked arms with her and led her out the door. They hurried to the front gates. It was still morning, but the summer sun was already warming the cobblestones under their feet. “Remember, go along with everything I say, okay?” he whispered to her as the Gerudo guards raised the gate. She nodded hesitantly and he grinned.

They made their way through the gates into Castle Town, though the streets were suspiciously empty as they made their way through. Rabia discovered why when they got to the main plaza, where a large crowd had formed. Noise started to die down as they approached, the crowd parting to make way for them. Rabia clutched Ganondorf’s arm as they walked. He stared straight ahead, but she couldn’t help her small glances into the crowd. Her father was there, standing with Cecil and Rob, faces grave.

The crowd was completely silent by the time they reached the front, where a large stage had been erected. Ganondorf ascended the steps, then offered a hand down to Rabia, which she took to hide the fact that her own hands were shaking. As she stepped up onto the platform she noticed Zelda was already there, wearing an extravagant blue gown. Zelda hesitated before smiling at them. Rabia started to move towards her friend, but Ganondorf’s hand on the small of her back held her in place like a weight.

She followed him as he began across the stage towards Zelda, and stopped before her. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Ganondorf swept his cape back and got down on one knee. Rabia, mindful of what he had told her at the gates, followed suit. Zelda hesitated once more as she looked down at them, but smiled politely and slowly bowed in return. The crowd remained silent, but followed her lead and bowed.

After a moment, Ganondorf and Rabia both rose and Zelda walked to the center of the platform. She smiled to the gathered townspeople before her.

“Thank you, all, for coming out of your way to hear my announcement,” Zelda began. “Some of you may recognize the man before you,” she paused, and although it was barely perceptible, Rabia noticed her smile slip. “As the King of the Gerudo to the west.” Not even a cough broke the silence of the gathered crowd. “His queen is also here today.” She motioned to Rabia, who smiled as politely as she could.

“As you may be aware, several months ago Hyrule was under attack of a demon known as Gideon, who intended to overtake the throne.” At this, whispers rippled through the crowd, but they were quickly stifled as Zelda began to speak again. “Hearing of our dilemma, this man gathered his people and came to eradicate this threat and rescued the castle.” Rabia schooled her expression as Zelda told a warped version of the tale. She glanced at Ganondorf, who looked truly humbled by Zelda’s speech. “Such a noble act cannot go without reward, so as a sign of my thanks I am allowing King Ganondorf and Queen Rabia respite in the castle while their homeland is ravaged by drought and famine.” A collective murmur began to grow in protest, but Zelda ignored it.

“I am also allowing free entry into Hyrule, particularly Castle Town and Kakariko Village, for the rest of their people.” The crowd had erupted with voices, both in disbelief and anger. Zelda had to all but yell to be heard over the crowd. “The Gerudo have suffered long enough, and just as they came to our aid, it is now time for us to aid them.” The crowd was so loud now that Zelda could hardly be heard over the noise.

“One last thing,” she said. The voices quieted to whispers and murmuring. “Link and I will be out of Hyrule for a while, visiting a friend in a neighboring country. During this time, we ask that you all please make the Gerudo people feel welcome. King and Queen Dragmire will be taking up residence in the castle and acting on anything that I would otherwise do myself.” The crowd fell silent once more, dumbstruck. Zelda cleared her throat.

“Well, thank you for your time and attention, everyone. You may resume your activities, now.” Zelda made her way over to them, holding the skirts of her dress above her ankles to walk. She went to say something to Rabia, but was silenced by a look from Ganondorf.

“To the castle. Now.” He settled his hand on Rabia’s back, while Zelda linked arms with her on her other side, and they hurried back to the castle. The gates closed behind them with a heavy clang and Ganondorf hurried them to the throne room.

“Rabia, I have something to discuss with Zelda before she leaves. I’ll catch up with you later,” he said sharply. Rabia looked between them warily.

“What the hell was that?!” she demanded. Zelda avoided her eyes. “Zelda, wha-”

“LATER.” Ganondorf snapped. Rabia flinched and hurried out of the room. Once Rabia was out of sight, Ganondorf rounded on Zelda. She was looking at him with an expression he couldn’t decipher.
“Your cruelty truly knows no bounds,” she said softly.

“You do not have permission to speak.” He grabbed her arm and marched her out, down, and down, and down, deep into the castle dungeons. Once inside, a gold-hued ward rose up around the dungeon walls. “No escape attempts,” Ganondorf said. He marched her down to the end of the hall and opened her cell door with a bow. It was the largest cell in the deepest level of the dungeon. It was also the darkest, coldest, and dampest.

“Your chambers,” he said needlessly. Zelda entered the cell with as much grace as she could muster. A flick of Ganondorf’s wrist, and she was again encased in a large crystal. Ganondorf smiled at her coldly, locked her cell, and slammed the warded dungeon door behind him, sending the room into darkness.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


You’ve covered your tracks…now KILL HER. The sudden voice made Ganondorf pause. Do NOT ignore me, Desert King! Ganondorf shook his head and continued up the dungeon steps. Regardless of Ganon’s voice in his head, all he could think about was what Kamilah and Zelda had said to him. It would do you well to remember who you’re hurting… your cruelty truly knows no bounds… Rabia’s face flashed in his mind. She’d flinched, like she thought he’d hurt her, and then ran away. She hadn’t just been scared, she’d been terrified. Guilt rose in his chest, and Ganon’s voice faded away.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


Hours later, Rabia was still waiting in their room. She was sitting on the bed in her pajamas, impatiently trying to tame her hair, when Ganondorf finally returned. She flinched when the door open and he approached the bed.

“Rabia-” he started.

“What the hell is going on,” Rabia demanded, noting the lack of red in his eyes. “I don’t understand why you’d lie like that - make Zelda lie to her people like that?!” Ganondorf took a deep breath.

“Her terms for trade were… high, Rabia. I wanted something in return. She agreed to allow our people back into Hyrule. The lie was just… to help us be welcomed by the Hylians,” he said earnestly. He winced when Rabia pulled through a knot in her hair harshly. “Let me…” he sat down behind her, noting the tenseness in her shoulders.

“I’m sorry I snapped at you,” he said to her softly. He took the hair she was holding from her and started to expertly twist the strands into a braid. “I didn’t mean to scare you, Rabia. You know that, don’t you?” He gathered up the hair on the other half of her head and started braiding the other pigtail. Rabia nodded hesitantly. “Good,” he whispered, pressing a soft kiss to her bare shoulder. “I love you.”

“...I love you, too,” Rabia answered. She leaned back into his embrace and, for the first time in what felt like months, her stress melted away. “So much.” He smiled at her.

“Let me make it up to you?” he asked. Rabia hummed.

“I guess you could… read my book to me,” she yawned. He huffed an amused laugh. They settled into bed, Rabia on Ganondorf’s chest, eyes closed as he read.
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Rabia has accepted Ganondorf's 'explanation' for now, but... how long will that last?