‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

The Triforce of Power

Ganondorf closed the wooden door behind him with a snap, then straightened and adjusted his cape. He dusted himself off and made his way to the throne room. A group of women sat in a circle before the throne on cushions, and the dark Link shade stood in the shadows behind the throne. They waited for him to take a seat in the golden chair, and he waved to them expectantly.

“Report to me what you know of Link’s whereabouts,” he said, resting his chin on his fist. A blonde, curly haired Hylian sat among the Gerudo women. She was the first to speak up, and stuck out like a sore thumb. She jumped forward with a bow and he eyed her, unimpressed.

“We have news on his location!” she chirped. He remained unmoved.

“Well? Is this the same information you brought to me from your friend… Sora?”

“We’ve heard that he’s hiding out in the Lost Woods,” she said. Ganondorf sighed and massaged his temples.

“Yes, I know, your friend told me as much. That’s just idle gossip. We need proof,” Ganondorf said angrily.

“One of our own saw him,” a Gerudo piped up. Ganondorf paused, then laughed loudly.

“He gets denser by the minute. How predictable,” he said to himself. He was about to speak again when he paused. He motioned to a young woman on the far end of the circle. She stood with a gulp and walked over to him. He leaned in and lowered his voice. “... Where is my second in command?” he asked. She hesitated.

“Well… um… sh-she… she informed that she… refuses to help you locate Link,” she whispered. Ganondorf remained unresponsive for a moment.

“And… it didn’t occur to you that that information may have been pertinent to tell me earlier?” he asked. The Gerudo girl kneeled, avoiding eye contact.

“I-I apologize… I wasn’t thinking…”

“And her reasoning?” She didn’t answer. He frowned. “Her reasoning,” he repeated. “Tell me word for word; I’m used to her brand of bullshit.” The girl hesitated.

“She… said that she has a personal interest in Link’s safety, so she won’t help you find him.” The girl took a deep breath. “And that your ego… is bigger than your brain.” The whole room was silent. Ganondorf let out a booming laugh, causing the others to jump.

“She never helps me when I need her!” he said, rubbing a hand over his beard. “Nabooru is becoming less and less helpful as time goes on, isn’t she?” The other girls said nothing. He shrugged. “Well, what are you waiting for? Go to the Lost Woods and bring Link to me.”

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


When Rabia first returned home, it seemed as if Ganondorf hadn’t noticed she’d been gone for a week. A lot had happened in that time, as the castle seemed to acquire more and more of the valley’s inhabitants, as well as moblins. Ganondorf had barely said two words to her since her return, but as she learned the morning after, her absence had been noticed.

The last two weeks in the castle had been harrowing for her. Since she returned, Rabia had been escorted everywhere she went within the castle, by a shadow being that looked horrifically like Link. Ganondorf called him Dark. The clone followed her around like a shadow, directing her away from places Ganondorf didn’t think she needed to go. She felt like she was being herded around the building. One of those days, Ganondorf had sent Dark on an errand and left his mother’s in Dark’s place. Rabia didn’t leave her room at all that day.

Today her chaperone was Dark. She was settled in a cozy chair in the castle library, flipping through the worn pages of a novel when the door opened. Rabia sat up in surprise, the book slipping from her hands and landing with a soft thump. Dark bent to retrieve it and offered it back to her, but she ignored him. He marked her page and set the book aside. Ganondorf swept into the room and stood before Rabia, then offered her a hand. She looked up at him, and hesitantly took his hand.

“Come with me,” he said, smiling at her sweetly. He helped her to her feet, then held the door as he led her from behind with his hands on her shoulders.

“...Where are we going?” she glanced back at him, then gasped when they bumped into someone. “Oh! Sorry. Ganondorf, watch where you’re directing us,” she frowned at her husband. The man they had bumped into just blinked at them.

“I got you some new company,” Ganondorf smiled. Rabia gaped. Without his blue suit and cowl, she hadn’t recognized him at first.

“Sh-Sheik?” Rabia asked. He bowed to her. He was dressed in a red coat and gold pants, his usual braid replaced with a long ponytail. “I’m sorry, um… WE need to talk. Excuse us, Sheik.” She turned and pushed Ganondorf back around the corner. He spoke first.

“Are you not pleased?” he asked. “I thought you’d be more comfortable with him.”

“What… what happened to him?” Rabia asked. Fear twisted in her heart like a knife as she looked into her husbands face, into his red eyes. She wasn’t certain it was him looking back. Ganondorf rolled his eyes.

“Why are you so distrusting?” he asked. “Don’t you prefer him to my mothers?” She swallowed hard and blinked back tears.

“Yes! Yes, thank you,” she said softly. Ganondorf smiled, pleased with himself, and guided her back around the corner to Sheik. Rabia linked arms with him. “I’m glad you’re here, Sheik.”

“Thanks, Rabia,” Sheik said with a small smile. Rabia bowed to her husband, then turned and led Sheik off down the corridor.

“Let’s go for a walk,” she said. Ganondorf nodded to himself and swept off in the opposite direction.

They walked along together quietly. Rabia led Sheik up the main stairs towards Zelda’s bedroom. This part of the castle had remained empty for months aside from the necessary guards. They wouldn’t be disturbed here. Sheik’s eyes were questioning, but he followed along, docile. Rabia closed the door behind them and sighed thoughtfully. A layer of dust had settled over the room, untouched since Zelda had last been here. Suddenly Rabia let out a muffled sob and sunk to her knees, her face in her hands.

“Rabia?” Sheik knelt beside her and set a hand on her back. “Are you alright?” She shook her head.

“No…”

“Shall I fetch King Ganondorf? Or a physician?” Sheik asked. Rabia shook her head. “Is there anything I can do?”

“I… I could use a hug,” Rabia said softly. Sheik hugged her gently. There was nothing to the hug, no emotion behind it, but it was still comforting. Once her tears finally stopped, she pulled away. “I’m… I’m sorry. That won’t happen again,” she said, wiping her eyes. Sheik gave her another small smile.

“I’m here for anything you need,” he said. She nodded, then blinked when something odd caught her eye. A piece of paper, stuck beneath Zelda’s dresser.

“Would you mind stepping outside for a minute, Sheik? I just… need to get myself together,” Rabia said. Sheik hesitated.

“I… I really shouldn’t,” he answered. She looked up at him with big, sad eyes. “...Okay, but just for a moment,” he said.

“Thank you.” She gave him a watery smile. As soon as the door closed, she moved quickly and quietly across the room and fished out a piece of paper from under Zelda’s dresser. It was an envelope, addressed to her. Rabia tucked it into the bodice of her dress and wiped the damp makeup off her face, then joined Sheik outside. “I think I’d like to go back to the library,” she said. Sheik nodded and gestured for her to walk on ahead, then trailed behind, another silent shadow.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


After dinner, Sheik escorted Rabia back upstairs to her room. The curfew would start soon, and Ganondorf didn’t like her wandering the castle after that time. Instead, she had to make do with whatever entertainment she could find in the room. Sheik closed the door behind them and turned to Rabia expectantly. She sighed.

“Since I am to be locked in here for the evening, I’m going to change. Wait here for me, please,” she said. Sheik nodded and turned his back to her while she stepped behind the dressing screen. Rabia eyed the bookshelf as she changed into her nightgown, and stuffed the envelope into an undisturbed spot before pulling on her dressing gown. She grabbed a soft-bristled brush off her vanity and stepped back around the screen, eying Sheik critically.

“Now… I don’t know what happened to you,” she started. “But your ponytail is really freaking me out. Come here.” She gestured for him to follow, and sat him down on the ottoman at the end of the bed. She settled onto the bed behind him, then brushed out the pony tail and weaved it back into his usual braid.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


It was early the next morning when Ganondorf was finally sleeping deep enough that Rabia dared to read her letter. She slowly and silently got out of bed, shivering as her bare feet landed on the stone floors. She froze when Ganondorf shifted, but he settled back easily. Rabia tiptoed across the room back behind the screen and eased the envelope out from between two books. She held her breath as the bed creaked, but the room fell silent once more. Rabia entered the bathroom and locked the door behind her.

Rabia read the letter over and over again. The Triforce of Power…? She frowned to herself. How would he have gotten that? What might it bring to him? Rabia sighed and, after dousing the light, stepped back into the bedroom. She slid the envelope back into its hiding spot so she could dispose of it in the library fireplace tomorrow, then slid back into bed. Ganondorf rolled over and wrapped his arm around her, and she froze. His gloves were gone, and on the back of his right hand was a glowing, golden triangle. The Triforce of Power.
♠ ♠ ♠
The letter referenced in this chapter is the one Zelda wrote and never sent to Rabia from Chapter 13 if you need a refresher :)