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House of Anubis and the Secret Club of the Old Willow

Chapter Text

The sun was shining brightly when a car sped over a small path near the forest. It was driving way over the speed limit, but no police ever checked the area here. It was a deserted place here, the only civilization being a village with a school, supermarket and a town hall.   

   But the car wasn't heading that way, because hidden somewhere between the trees was a manor. It was meant for teenagers who were orphans or who had trouble at home that they couldn't stay with their parents.  

   Wild, a girl who had lost her parents at the age of 4 in a fire, leaving her with burn scars over the left side of her body, had lived with her grandmother, Impa, for 12 years. But Impa got diagnosed with rheumatism and had to retire to a retirement home.   

   The two went searching for a residence for Wild since she had no other family beside Impa. The girl had found a manor close to the retirement home and was lucky to find that there was a free spot.  

   After a few phone calls, the Master of the manor, Ganondorf, had agreed to Wild's request. And now she was on her way to her new residence.   

   She was really excited to meet her new roommates. They were only boys, though, but that wasn't a problem for her. She could take care of herself just as fine as anyone else, she wouldn't need a prince charming to save her from trouble.  

   A car sped past them and Wild curiously followed it with her eyes before she turned back. Why was that car in such a hurry? Was the former resident of the manor kicked out just now ? Had Ganondorf planned it right or had he just got rid of someone he didn't like and replaced him with her?  

   ''Are you sure you're ready for this, Wild?'' Impa asked. She had a worried look on her face. ''It's a big step for a girl of sixteen years old.''   

   Wild chuckled a bit and grabbed her grandmother's hand to assure her. ''I'll be fine, Grandma,'' she said. She looked Impa in the eyes and smiled. ''You just worry about yourself; I don't want to leave you all worried about something so unimportant.''  

   Impa gave her granddaughter's hand a squeeze. ''Don't count yourself as unimportant, Wild,'' she said. ''How many times have I told you that?''  

   ''Many, many times, Impa,'' Wild said and looked up when the car came to a stop on a huge driveway. The grit stones were crunching underneath the tires. The driver stepped out and walked to the back of the car to grab Wild's suitcase.  

   Wild looked at the manor through the car window and then back at her grandmother. She smiled sadly. ''Well, this is it,'' she murmured. ''I'll promise to visit you as often as I can, okay?'' She bended forward and gave Impa a small kiss on the cheek. ''I'll miss you.''  

   ''I'll miss you too, Honey.'' Impa wrapped her arms around Wild's neck and held her close. ''Promise me you call when you're settled?''  

   Wild nodded. ''I promise.'' She parted away from Impa and stepped out of the car. The driver offered her her suitcase and Wild took them over. She walked toward the front door and turned around as the car drove away again.  

   Wild waved with a big smile until the vehicle was out of sight. She turned to the door again and reached her hand out to ring the doorbell, when the door suddenly opened on its own.  

   Confused, Wild pushed it further open and stepped inside the huge manor. She couldn't hold back a gasp of amazement at how old-fashioned it looked. It even smelled old. And strangely to her, it also held a weird mysterious feeling, as if secrets were hidden around every corner.  

   On her left stood a beautiful grandfather clock against the wall, the ticking being the only sound that cut through the silence. On the wall hung a painting of a man. He had a sad expression on his face, as if he had witnessed or done something he'd rather not have done. On Wild's right side was a staircase and a door in the corner, probably the back room where the cleaning supplies were kept.   

   The floor was an old-fashioned style black and white tiles and the staircase was decorated with some sort of ovals. It looked like an eye but then vertical instead of horizontal. In front of her was a hallway with a double door on the left and two doors on the right.   

   Wild walked toward the painting and looked curiously at the portrait. Was this the original resident of this manor?   

   Completely focused on the painting, Wild didn't hear the man coming from behind her until he cleared his throat and spoke up.  

   ''Was the doorbell broken?''  

   Taken by surprise, Wild turned around and took a glance at the man that stood before her. He had red messy hair and his amber-colored eyes stood stern. He wore a simple overall and had his arms crossed.  

   Wild felt a bit intimidated by the man. This must be the Master of the manor, Ganondorf.   

   ''Well, no, Sir,'' Wild began and turned her gaze away. ''The door opened on itself, and I just thought-'' She stopped mid-sentence when she realized she hadn't even introduced herself yet. No wonder the Master would be suspicious.  

   Wild put her suitcase down and reached out her right hand. ''I'm Wild, I've come to live here.'' She tried to sound cheerful, but something about this man didn't settle the uncomfortable feeling in her chest. And when Ganondorf didn't make any intension of shaking her hand, she awkwardly pulled back.  

   ''I'm Ganondorf, Master of this manor,'' Ganondorf introduced himself. ''The others are at school now, so you have all the time in the world to explore the manor. However,'' the Master turned around, ''it is forbidden to enter the attic or the cellar. Understand?''  

   ''Yes, Sir.''  

   Ganondorf took over Wild's suitcase and led the girl up the stairs. ''That painting you were staring at, was the last resident of this manor, First. He lived here with his daughter, Zelda, for many years.''  

   ''What happened to him?''  

   ''You will share your bedroom with Warriors,'' Ganondorf said, ignoring Wild's question. He walked into a wide hall and stopped before a door. He opened it and a huge cloud of man deodorant met the two.   

   Wild scrunched up her nose at the strong scent of Axe body spray and she quickly located the bottle standing on a small table near the window of the room.   

   On each side of the room stood a closet for the clothes and on the left was an empty, yet nicely made bed, ready for use. The other bed was not so nicely made, sheets laying everywhere, and a mosquito net hung above it on the ceiling, surrounding the bed and keeping it safe to hold any unwanted guests away.   

   Wild noticed a sticker on the left closet and took a closer look. It said: Hyrule's property . ''Who's Hyrule?'' She reached out a hand to grab the sticker, but Ganondorf quickly grabbed it and put it in the garbage bin.  

   ''Hyrule is gone.'' Ganondorf dumped Wild's suitcase on the empty bed and walked away, but before he left the girl alone, he turned around one more time. ''Dinner is at six. Don't forget.''  

   ''I won't, thank you.''   

   Wild took off her green coat and opened her new closet. She heard the door close and finally she sat down and took off her shoes. She neatly stacked them beside her bed and began unpacking the first suitcase which contained her school uniform and normal clothes.      

   She emptied her suitcase in record time and carefully grabbed a picture of her and her grandmother that lay on the bottom of the suitcase, the glass of the picture frame secured safely under the soft fabric of the clothing.  

   Wild's smile fell as she looked at the photo. It was taken one year ago in Germany. The two were on holiday near Heidelberg for a week. It had been their last holiday together and Wild already missed Impa, even though she wasn't even an hour in the manor.  

   She carefully placed the picture frame on the bedside table. She took out her cat plushie and put it down on her bed. Yes, she was sixteen years old, but this was the only thing she had left from her parents after they died, and she was planning to keep it unharmed from anything .  

   Suddenly a loud crash that came from downstairs made her jump. Stomping footsteps came up the stairs and made the empty hallway fill with sound.   

   The door swung open.  

   ''What are you doing here?''   

   Wild turned around and looked straight into the blue eyes of her, most likely, new roommate. He had blond hair and was that nail polish on his nails? His school uniform was covered in soot, and he stiffened for a heartbeat as he stood in the door opening. He walked toward Wild and towered above the girl.  

   ''What are you doing in my room?'' he asked again, hostility in his voice. ''Where's Hyrule?''  

   Feeling the color drain from her cheeks, Wild took a step back. She hadn't expected to have this kind welcome, yet she still put a smile on her face.  

   ''I'm Wild, your new roommate!'' the girl nervously said and reached out her hand, but just like Ganondorf, the boy didn't accept her kind gesture. Instead, he reached behind her and grabbed the picture frame and plushie.  

   ''I don't know you! This is my and Hyrule's room, you're not welcome here!'' He threw Wild's stuff out the room in the hall and then ripped open the closet and tore out all of the girl's clothing.  

   Wild was taken back and stared at the boy with wide eyes. ''What are you doing?!'' she exclaimed and tried to stop her roommate from throwing away any more stuff.   

   The boy pushed her off and pulled her out of the room. ''You're not allowed here! This is my and Hyrule's room. Now get out!'' He slammed the door behind Wild, leaving the newcomer alone in shock. She sank down on her knees and grabbed the broken picture frame.   

   ''Ow!'' Wild quickly pulled her finger back as she cut it on a piece of glass that had been crashed apart when Warriors had thrown it on the ground. But it wasn't just her finger that was hurt, with the blood that spilled out, so did all of her hope from her heart. As if the blood was the happiness and excitement to start a new chapter in her life was draining away from her body, leaving her spirit as well.    

   This wasn't what she had expected. Not at all. She sat back against the wall and grabbed her plushie. She pulled her knees up to her chest and held the cat close. There was an empty feeling in her stomach, she felt hollow and intruding. But she didn't intrude! Ganondorf had showed her that this was her room. And who was Hyrule?  

   She sighed and grabbed her clothes off the ground and put them back in the suitcase. It would be better than them getting dirty on the floor.  

   This was not going to be a good beginning of her new stay.   

Chapter Text

After Ganondorf had calmed the furious Warriors down and explained the situation, the boy let Wild take her place in the room, yet he didn't make any movement to introduce himself or help her with her suitcase. He didn't even apologize for breaking the picture frame.  

   Wild quietly hung her clothes back before she slipped on her slippers. She put her hair in a ponytail and made her way downstairs when she saw that it was already half past five.   

   She opened the door to the living room and stepped inside, her cheeks red with embarrassment as all the talking stopped to a dead silence. She looked at her feet as she felt all the seven pairs of eyes burn on her skin.  

   ''Who are you?'' a boy asked with short dark blond hair. One of the locks was bright pink. His blue eyes looked hostile.  

   Before Wild could answer, Ganondorf stepped beside her and placed a cold hand on her shoulder.   

   ''This is Wild, Legend. She is the new resident.'' He looked at every single one with his dark brown eyes as if daring for them to speak back. Legend seemed to have the courage to speak up to him.  

   ''The new resident?'' he repeated, and his eyes widen with disbelief. ''What about Hyrule?''  

   ''Hyrule is gone.''  

   Legend huffed. ''What do you mean, 'gone'? Where did he go?''  

   ''I cannot say,'' Ganondorf said dryly.  

   ''But... That doesn't make any sense!'' Legend said, but Ganondorf raised his hand for him to keep his mouth shut.  

   ''Hyrule is gone, he isn't coming back, that's that. This is Wild, she will replace Hyrule.''  

   Wild didn't dare to cast even a glimpse to Legend. She could feel the hostility flow off him and it made her sick. Her stomach was churning with nervousness, and she actually wished she was still at her grandmother's house. Safe and warm on the blue couch in the living before the fireplace.  

   Yet here she stood, stuck to her place like if her feet were glued to the ground. She dared to raise her gaze from the ground and felt her heart start to beat faster as she looked at how angry Legend looked at her.  

   ''Get away with your Wild!'' Legend yelled angrily. He stomped his way closer to Wild and stared her straight in the eyes. ''What's your business here?!''  

   ''Easy there, Legend, that isn't a way to welcome a new guest?'' a woman said. She had green hair and kind blue eyes. ''I'm Saria, the housekeeper.'' She walked up to Wild and gently grabbed her hand and led her to a leather couch. ''How about you join us?''  

   Wild didn't have any other choice but to follow and slowly sat down on the couch. She stared at the flames of the fire and tried to ignore the whispering that was starting around her. She began to clean the mud from underneath her fingernails and waited for dinner.   

   The air around her slowly starts to fill with the scent of fresh spaghetti and a few of the residents started to set the table.   

   ''Dinner's ready!'' Saria announced and placed a pan of spaghetti on the table.   

   Wild stood up from her place by the fire and sat down on a chair on the left side, but immediately got pushed off again.  

   ''That's Hyrule's seat!'' Legend hissed.   

   ''Legend, please.'' A boy with dark-brown hair and blue eyes sighed. He gently pushed Legend aside and beckoned for Wild to sit down as she had backed away at Legend's snarl.  

   Wild slowly sat down again and held up her plate for Saria to give her her part of dinner. She put her fork in the spaghetti and turned it and took a bite. It was still warm, but she had to admit that this was almost as good as her grandmother's. Nothing could beat Impa's cooking.    

   Thinking about her grandmother made Wild's heart clench. She numbly poked her fork in the spaghetti again, suddenly not so hungry anymore.   

   She shot up from her thoughts as something sticky touched her face. She let out a squeal of surprise and pulled out a handful of spaghetti out of her hair and had to push back her tears as the laughs around her were only increasing.  

   ''Wind!'' The same boy who had pushed Legend away looked angrily at a small boy with blond hair and sea blue eyes. ''Apologize immediately you little gremlin!''   

   Wild chuckled a bit and tried to get her voice under control as she said: ''No, it's all right. I'm not bothered.'' She wiped her hands clean and quickly ate the rest of her dinner, ignoring the tight knot in her throat.  

   After Wild had finished her dinner, she stood up and walked to Ganondorf's office where the phone was. She took the horn of the hook and dialed the retirement home's number. And after a few rings, the receptionist picked up.  

   ''Hello?''  

   ''Hello, may I speak to Impa? I'm her granddaughter, Wild,'' Wild explained.  

   ''Of course, I'll connect you to her. One moment, please.''  

   Wild waited as the line was silent for a while before Impa's voice sounded through the phone.   

   ''Wild?''  

   Wild immediately felt tears form in her eyes at the sound of her grandmother's voice. Her shoulders were shaking, and she tried to keep her sobs as quiet as possible.  

   ''Hey, grandma,'' Wild said as happy as she could and wiped a tear from her cheek.  

   ''How are you? Did you make any friends yet?''  

   ''Yes, I did,'' Wild lied, ''it's amazing here, the manor looks just like one from in those detective series. You know, old-fashioned and stuff.''  

   ''That's wonderful!''  

   Wiping another tear away, Wild took a deep breath. ''But, err, Legend called me to join him for a game Monopoly, so I have to go now. I'll visit you soon, okay?''   

   It hurt to lie to her grandmother, but if Wild had to talk any longer, she knew she would break down. Another tear slid down her cheek and landed on the desk.    

   ''Of course, don't let me stop you.'' Impa's voice was warm. ''Good night, dear. Bye.''  

   Wild placed the horn back on the hook and began sobbing her heart out, salt tears staining her cheeks. How she wished she wasn't here. She took a steadying breath and straightened herself up before she made her way back to the living room where she silently sat in the corner, as far as possible from the others.  

 

   Wild was relieved when Ganondorf finally announced that the residents had to retreat to their bedrooms.  

   All her hope of making friends had fade away after dinner. No one had tried to talk to her or even shot her a glance. Even when she called Impa, she wasn't strong enough to smile as she used all her power to hold her tears back. She couldn't cry, wouldn't cry. She didn't want to hurt her grandmother.  

   And now, Wild was making herself ready for bed.   

   She put on her pink pajama's and heard Warriors' evil chuckle. Ashamed she quickly stepped underneath the blankets and closed her eyes.   

   The door opened and a boy with oak brown hair and light blue eyes stepped inside. He shot a quick glance at Wild but when she didn't move, he moved over to Warriors' bed and sat down.  

   ''Hey, War,'' he greeted.  

   ''You got to be careful, Sky, if Ganondorf finds you here you have to clean the toilets with your toothbrush.''  

   Sky ignored Warriors' warning. ''You looked a bit sad during dinner. What's wrong?''  

   Warriors sighed. ''It's nothing, I failed the math test, like, really bad.'' He turned his gaze away from his friend.   

   ''Aw, that sucks,'' Sky groaned and placed a comforting hand on Warriors' shoulder. ''Well, you know where to find me if you need help with math.'' He stood up. ''I'll be going now though, before Ganondorf makes his round.''  

   Without saying anything else, Sky stood up and left the room. Warriors sighed and turned his back to Wild. He clicked out his bedside lamp.  

   ''Good night,'' Wild murmured, but already knew that the boy wouldn't reply.   

   She looked around and saw the half moon shine through the curtains and heard something creak above her head. She pictured Ganondorf before her and a cold shiver crawled down her spine. She knew he was also somewhere in this house and it made her scared. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine that she was still sleeping in her bed at her grandmother's house, but the scary sounds around her didn't help her sleep. If only Kitty, her plush cat, lay here beside her, then she would feel a bit safer in this scary, cold house. But Kitty lay under her bed in her suitcase.  

   Wild pushed her head in the fabric of her pillow and cried.    

Chapter Text

The sun was barely shining when Wild made her way to the retirement home. It had been two full days since she had arrived at the House of Anubis. She remembered the first night, how she couldn't have been able to sleep, how she had bawled her eyes out, how hard she had cried every time she thought about her grandmother. 

   The next morning one of the residents –Twilight- had introduced himself. The others had followed his example, but only Legend was still not opening up to her and wanted nothing to do with her. Wild hadn't expected anything else from the boy, but it was a beginning, she told herself. 

   Twilight seemed to be a friendly guy and he was an excellent student at school. He'd even embarrassed Link, their new teacher, as the man had got the date wrong. According to Link, the children's crusade was around 1202, but Twilight had raised his hand and told him that it was 1212. And he was right! 

   Wild chuckled. Link took the comment sporty and had walked to Twilight table. He'd made a deep bow and had said: ''I acknowledge you as my superior, Knight Twilight.''  

   She parked her bike against a tree that stood near a pond and walked toward the retirement house. She noticed Impa sitting outside on a bench, and she ran toward her grandmother who welcomed her with open arms.  

   ''Grandma!'' Wild happily cried out. She buried her face in her grandmother's neck and wrapped her arms around her shoulders. She breathed in the familiar scent of Impa and let out a shaky breath. She pulled back. ''You look so good!'' 

   ''Of course, little Kitten!'' Impa laughed. ''It's like a hotel here: you get breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only thing that's different, is that there lays a pill next to it.'' She winked at her granddaughter with mischief. ''But a lot of people need them here.'' 

   Wild giggled softly. 

   Impa straightened up. ''So, tell me, how are you doing in your new place?''  

   ''Err...'' Wild didn't quite know what to say. She felt her cheeks turn red and she looked away. ''They weren't very nice when I arrived, but it's going better now!'' she eventually said. She didn't tell her grandmother that Warriors only ever talked to her if he had something to complain about. Which was quite often. Most of the time about school and the chores around the house. How washing the dishes would weaken his fingernails. Everything that existed on this world could be complained about if it were Warriors' opinion. 

   Wild knew that Warriors wasn't interested in her beside that. Only to keep quiet about Legend. He kept blaming her that she had something to do with Hyrule's disappearance. The other residents didn't really seem to mind her presence. Only Twilight said something every now and then.  

   Impa grabbed Wild's hand and held it firmly in her's. ''Are you certain about this, Wild? You look a bit sad.'' 

   Because I am sad , Wild thought. She smiled the best smile she could plaster on her face. ''No, really, everything is okay!'' She stood up. ''Where's the restroom?'' 

   Without waiting for instructions, Wild already walked away. She sighed with relief as she stopped in the middle of the hallway of the retirement home. She rubbed her hand over her forehead. She wanted to be strong in front of her grandmother, she didn't want her to feel guilty, but every time she thought about the 'warm welcome' Wild could feel the tears burn in her eyes. 

   She stared through the long hallway and took a deep breath to calm herself down. She noticed a few paintings on the wall and, as a distraction, she began looking at them. They were all houses: small, big, villa's in the woods, a house with a huge purple lavender field in front of it and... 

   Wild's eyes widened and she stopped before a small painting. It was a painting of a very familiar looking house. It was the house she was staying at! The House of Anubis! The ivy wasn't as big as it was now, but the rest of the manor was exactly the same: the four steps before the front door, the small tower on the left, lots and lots of windows... 

   ''The House of Anubis,'' a voice said from behind. 

   Wild turned around. In the hallway stood a thin, old woman. Her white-gray hair peaked in all directions and she wore a dark-blue vest. 

   ''That's right,'' Wild said with surprise. 

   ''The House of Anubis... Build in 1900. It's my painting - it's old. Very old,'' the woman mumbled, her clouded gaze seemed to go right through Wild. 

   ''What a coincidence that it hangs here,'' Wild said. ''I live there now.'' 

   The old woman suddenly made her way to the girl and Wild almost thought she about to attack her, when she suddenly stopped right in front of her. Her eyes that were clouded just a moment ago, now held a warning glimmer. 

   ''You have to be careful, little girl,'' she whispered. ''It's a very dangerous place there. It is a dark place, with a scary attic. A bird watches over the place, a big, black bird. Beware, girl!'' She put her hand around Wild's wrist and held it tight. 

   Wild felt the blood drain from her face and she tried to pull her wrist free, but the woman was stronger than she had thought.  

   ''Wild?'' 

   Wild turned around and saw her grandmother standing in the hallway. The old woman who held Wild's wrist in a death grip, quickly let go and walked away, mumbling to herself. Wild ran toward Impa. 

   ''Who was that?'' Wild asked and noticed that her legs were trembling a bit.  

   Impa followed Wild's gaze and chuckled. ''Her?'' She wrapped an arm around Wild's shoulders. ''I have no idea. Just a confused, old woman who walks through the hallways. But there are so many of those here.'' 

   ''The painting... The House... She said I was in danger,'' Wild stammered. 

   Impa looked confused for a moment before she laughed. ''Kitten, don't mind it. That woman is already half demented...'' She led Wild toward her own room. ''I've got some cookies left for us and after that we can feed the ducks.'' 

 

   The sun had already set when Wild arrived at the manor. She could still feel the hand around her wrist and hear the voice echo in her mind. 

   ''It's a dangerous house... A dark house...''  

   Wild opened the front door and headed straight for her room. She sunk down on her bed and dropped her bag in the corner. She sighed and looked up when Warriors entered the room, he held a folder in his hand and was smiling brightly. 

   ''Look what I got!'' 

   He opened the folder and grabbed the science test they had to make seven days ago. He gave it to Wild who looked in the right corner of the paper where a red A was written down.  

   Wild was impressed. She had a C and after so many times of listening to Warriors' complaints about science, she hadn't expect him to actually get a very decent grade.  

   She gave the paper back. ''That's nice!''  

   ''I know,'' Warriors said and put the paper back in the folder. ''Though I have to admit that Sky helped me a lot.'' 

   Wild sighed and put her pajamas on. She laid down in her bed and held Kitty close. She had taken the plushie out of her suitcase this morning when Warriors was taking a shower. However, she did hide it under her pillow, still a bit ashamed. It was already bad enough that Warriors was snickering at her pajamas. 

   Swiftly, the dark void of sleep swept Wild away from reality into the oblivion of dreams.  

   Wild stood alone on a clearing, mist surrounding her. The stars and moon were blocked by vines that stuck up from the trees. Not one small breeze of wind made the withered grass move or the leaves rustle.  

   It was ominously quiet and it scared the girl. She took a few steps forward when a voice whispered through the trees: ''It's a very dangerous place there. It is a dark house with a scary attic.''   

   Suddenly, two pairs of hand wrapped around Wild's wrists.  

   With a terrified cry, Wild turned and looked straight into the hollow eyes of the woman she had seen at the retirement home. But she looked different. Her clouded eyes were fixed intently on Wild, but there was no expression in them, just blue, hollow orbs.   

   ''Beware for the bird, beware for the bird,'' she whispered and slowly her voice raised into a shrill cry. Her eyes spread wide, and her grip became tighter and tighter around Wild's wrists.  

   ''BEWARE OF THE BLACK BIRD!''  

Chapter Text

Wild woke with a shriek. Her forehead was covered with sweat and her heart was beating with rapid speed.  

   For a moment, she didn't know where she was and she scrambled back as far as she could when she saw two shadows standing at the side of her bed. The faces were hidden by the darkness, but Wild could see the evil grins that were spread across their face.  

   ''Beware for the black bird,'' one shadow whispered and Wild recognized Legend's voice. And now that her eyes were adapted to the dark, she saw Legend and Wind bended over her. Wind threw a handful of feathers over the girl while he was laughing hard.   

   The laughter woke Warriors up and he put on his bedside lamp. He blinked a few times before he angrily sat up. ''What are you both doing here? Get out!''   

   Legend and Wind turned on their heel and left the room. Legend took one last glance over his shoulder.   

   ''You better beware for the black bird,'' he whispered with an evil grin on his face before he closed the door behind him.  

   Wild was left stunned. She looked at her pillow that was covered in feathers and she plucked a soft feather from her hair. She felt a lump grow in her throat and soon she was sobbing in her bed.  

   ''Jeez, what an awful joke,'' Warriors murmured and stood up from his bed. He quickly stepped over to Wild. ''Here, let me help you.'' He began plucking feathers out of the crying girl's hair.   

   When he was finished he made eye-contact with Wild. ''Are you okay?''  

   ''Yeah...'' Wild sniffed. ''It's just... I had a nightmare about an old woman. She told me I had to watch out for a black bird.'' Wild wiped her tears away and slowly got her breathing under control.   

   ''Nightmares about an old woman and black birds?'' Warriors repeated with confusion. ''I only have nightmares about when I miss the sale.'' He gently pushed Wild back in bed and draped the blanket till it was under her chin.   

   ''Go back to sleep, Wild... and don't dream about black birds!''  

 

   The next morning came quicker than Wild wanted and she slowly woke up from a dreamless sleep.   

   After the incident at midnight, it took 30 minutes before she felt calm enough again to try and get some sleep. And lucky for her, no nightmares had troubled her.  

   Now she stood under the shower, washing the sleep from her eyes. Even though the fresh water woke her up, the nightmare still floated around in her head. Most dreams were forgotten seconds after waking up, but this one kept sticking around. Like a piece of chewing gum that was stuck under the sole of your shoe.  

   Wild turned off the shower and dried her hair. She wrapped her towel around her body and opened the curtain. She stiffened as she looked straight in the eyes of Twilight, he had his towel draped over his shoulder and his cheeks turned red with embarrassment.  

   ''Oh, excuse me,'' he stammered and looked away, ''I didn't know someone was in here. The door wasn't locked so...''  

   Wild was now the one to feel embarrassed. Twilight was right, she did forget to lock the door. She was still used to her old way of living where she didn't have to worry about locking the bathroom, knowing that she showered in the morning and her grandmother showering in the evening.  

   ''N-no, it's my fault,'' Wild said. She stepped around Twilight and left the bathroom. She opened the door to her room and sat down on her bed. This was gonna be an awkward memory that would be stuck in her mind for at least two. Now just hope that Twilight wouldn't tease her about it.  

   She quickly changed into her school uniform and grabbed her schoolbag from the ground. She quickly made her way to the dining room and sat down on her seat. She grabbed a slice of bread and put chocolate paste on it.   

   ''Beware of the black bird,'' Legend murmured from behind Wild. She tried to push the memory of the nightmare away, but she still felt the color drain from her face.  

   ''Legend, leave her!'' Warriors hissed and shot the boy an angry look.  

   Wild stopped mid-bite and her eyes widened a bit. That wasn't what she expected. She had thought nobody except Twilight really cared about her. Maybe Warriors wasn't so bad after all.  

   Legend was just as surprised. ''Are you on her side now? Have you forgotten about Hyrule so easily?''  

   ''Wild has nothing to do with Hyrule's disappearance, Legend,'' Warriors retorted. ''It is not your position to accuse someone about that. And what you and Wind did last night is something I won't tolerate; you had no right to scare her like that.''  

   Wild shot a thankful glance at her roommate.   

   ''You're not my mother, Warriors, and still,'' Legend looked down on Wild, ''she deserved it.'' He made eye-contact with the girl. ''Even though you keep denying it, I know you have something to do with Hyrule's disappearance and I'm not going to stop until I have my answer.'' He walked away and sat down on his seat.  

   ''That's a nice way to start the morning,'' came a voice.  

   Wild turned to her right and saw Twilight. His hair was still wet from his shower. He had a warm smile on his face, and he sat down next to Wild.   

   ''Yeah...''  

   ''Don't mind Legend,'' Twilight said and filled his glass with orange juice. ''Everyone knows that you've got nothing to do with Hyrule's disappearance. Legend is just upset.''  

   ''I can understand that,'' Wild answered. ''I would also be upset when my best friend suddenly disappeared without a trace.'' She sighed. ''It's just... I feel like I'm intruding here.''  

   Twilight's gaze softened a bit. ''Well, I don't think you're intruding...'' he quietly mumbled and he looked away.  

   Feeling a bit relieved Wild quickly finished her breakfast and grabbed her lunchbox from the kitchen counter. She put her coat on and swung her schoolbag over her shoulder. She unlocked her bicycle that stood in the bicycle storage near the manor.  

   She got her bike and went on her way to school, humming a tune.  

   Completely lost in thought, Wild didn't notice Legend coming closer until it was too late.  

   Wild felt a leg kick her front wheel. She couldn't keep her steering wheel under control. She squeezed her eyes shut and waited for her to fall, but instead she felt a hand wrapping around her arm.   

   ''You okay?''  

   Wild opened her eyes. She looked in Twilight's eyes and again she felt her cheeks turn red. How many times had she felt embarrassed around him? She quickly found her own balance and checked her wheel for any damage.  

   ''I'm fine, thanks,'' she said and smiled. ''Let's get going. I don't want to be late for school.''  

 

   In the break Wild sat alone in the corner of the canteen. She was drawing something in her notebook and took a bite from her lunch. She mindlessly drew a small cat in the corner when a hand smacked down on the table.  

   Startled, Wild dropped her pencil. She looked up and saw that Legend was leaning against the table, an evil glimmer in his eyes. Wouldn't the boy ever leave her alone in peace?  

   ''We've got a task for you,'' he said.   

   ''What do you mean?'' Wild asked with suspicion. The other residents of the house started to join Legend. Twilight gave Wild a reassuring smile.   

   ''You wanted to be one of us, am I correct?'' Legend said. ''If you do, you have to do a task for us, a kind of hazing. Do you know what that is?''  

   Wild nodded. ''I do, but what do I need to do?'' She didn't want to sound nervous, but her voice shook a little.  

   Legend huffed. ''We're not gonna tell you yet. Are you in? Yes or no?'' He squinted his eyes.  

   Wild was hesitant to immediately answer. She really wanted to be part of the group, but what if they made her eat worms? Or lay her in a bathtub filled with maggots? She knew Legend was capable of those actions.   

   ''When is this hazing?'' she eventually asked.  

   ''What a naïve little deer are you,'' Legend said and placed his index finger on Wild's forehead, tracing it down over the edges of her burn scars, ''Like we're gonna tell you? You know when the hazing is when it's time, you'll see. So you're in?''  

   ''Yes.''  

   Legend pulled his hand back and laughed. ''Who would've thought there would be some guts in this little mouse? You better remember what you've started.'' He grabbed the small milk carton and emptied it above Wild's sandwich, drenching the food.  

   ''Don't be bothered, cheese and milk are both products of the cow!'' He threw the carton on the floor and walked away.  

   With a sigh, Wild looked at her lunch. It was beyond saving she knew, and with a scrunched-up nose, she picked up the drenched sandwich and threw it in the garbage bin. Looked like she had to survive the last three hours of school with an empty stomach.  

Chapter Text

Wild sat near the window in her grandmother's room. She held a cup of coffee in her hand that was lukewarm and watery. It looked more like thick tea than coffee. 

   She now and then cast a glance at Impa. The woman looked exhausted, the light of the lowering sun making the shadows under her eyes look even worse than they were, and her gray hair was fixed miserably in a ponytail. 

   ''Grandma, would you like me to fix your hair?'' Wild hesitantly asked.  

   ''It's a disaster, isn't it? I tried to do it myself, but the cold and wet weather made my hands hurt worse than ever. The best I could do this morning was a ponytail.''  

   Wild stood up and stepped behind her grandmother. She carefully pulled out the pins and sighed. ''You've got not enough pins to make a decent bun.'' 

   ''Really?'' Impa raised her eyebrows before she shrugged it off. ''In the bathroom is a small pencil case where I keep more pins. If you can grab that?'' 

   ''Of course.'' Wild walked toward the bathroom and turned on the light. After a few seconds of searching, she found them in a small drawer.  

   Wild looked at herself in the mirror and sighed. ''You will be fine,'' she whispered. ''You'll complete this task and then you will be part of the group and everything will become better. You'll see.'' She put her chin high in the air, but she was way less brave than she looked in the mirror. She'd heard stories about those hazing's. That people died falling off roofs, or driven over by a car, or chocked because their head got stuck in the chimney. 

   She turned the light off and walked back to her grandmother with the pencil case in her hand. She laid it down on the table. She grabbed a handful of pins and an elastic around her wrist. 

   ''Did I tell you I have a B for my English project?'' Wild asked and wrapped the elastic around Impa's hair to make a tight ponytail. 

   ''Well done!'' 

   Wild wrapped the excess hair around the elastic to make a perfect round bun. She then began putting pins in the sides of the bun until it was secured neat. Wild inspected her work and nodded with approval. 

   She put the pins she hadn't used back in the pencil case and zipped it shut. She looked at her watch and her eyes widened when she noticed that it was almost 5 PM.  

   ''I'm so sorry, Grandma,'' Wild apologized and grabbed her schoolbag from the ground. ''I have to go now. I still have homework to do.'' She leaned forward and gave Impa a small kiss on the cheek. ''Goodbye! I'll visit you soon again!'' 

   Wild hurried through the hallway when suddenly an ice-cold hand wrapped around her wrist. 

   Immediately her thoughts went back to the nightmare, and she shrieked. She dropped her schoolbag and turned to look straight at the old woman she’d seen in her dreams.  

   Wild tried to pull herself free, but the hand held her wrist tight. 

   ''You must listen to me,'' the old woman said. 

   ''What do you want with me?'' Wild asked. She looked around the hall for anyone who could help her release herself from the woman, but the hallway was empty. 

   ''I've seen it in your eyes,'' the woman whispered, ''you have the power. I want you to have this.'' She placed a silver necklace in Wild's hand palm. Attached to it was a large and heavy locket. 

   Wild looked confused at the locket. ''But what must I...?'' 

   ''No talking, please listen!'' The woman pulled her to the painting of the House of Anubis, a sad glance in her eyes. ''Anubis... The House of Anubis...'' She turned her eyes back to Wild. 

   ''The house with the black bird hides something.'' 

   ''What is hidden?'' Wild asked, but the woman put a thin finger on her lips before she could ask any more questions. 

   ''Hush! The walls have ears and the windows have eyes. A treasure is hidden in the house. A very valuable treasure and only you can find it and hide it from other's eyes!'' 

   ''A treasure?'' Wild repeated. She would have found it ridiculous if only the woman wouldn't have been so scary looking.  

   The woman wasn't finished: ''But beware, as long as the treasure is hidden in the dark night, with their shining stars, the mystery will never be solved. Do not forget!'' She pulled hard on Wild's wrist. ''Danger is lurking everywhere... Look after yourself!'' 

   Finally she let go. 

   Wild looked at the locket that lay in her hand. ''I really cannot accept this,'' she said and tried to give the locket back. The old woman shook her head and wrapped Wild's fingers around the necklace. 

   ''You must,'' the woman said and looked in Wild's eyes. ''Keep it safe. Tell no one about it, do you hear me? Nobody! There are thieves who want to take it from you. Promise me!'' 

   ''I promise,'' Wild stammered and she tried to break eye-contact. The locket lay heavy and cold in her hand palm. Shouldn't she give it back? But the old woman was already walking away again.  

   ''Miss?'' Wild placed a hesitant hand on the woman's shoulder to stop her. ''I really don't think I can do this...'' 

   The woman turned. ''Believe in yourself! Only you have the power!'' she said with a sharp voice. Her gaze then softened. ''Do it for me?'' she whispered and walked away. 

   Wild watched her go for a few more heartbeats. She took one last glance at the locket and then let it slip into her pocket. 

 

   On the way back to the manor, Wild kept hearing the voice. 

   I've seen it in your eyes. You have the power. I want you to have this.  

   What did the woman mean? Was there really a treasure hidden in the House of Anubis?  

   Pondering, Wild placed her bicycle in the storage and locked it. She walked to the front door and reached inside her pockets to grab the keys. Her fingers hit the cold metal of the locket and she held it in her hand.  

   Why had the woman given it to her? She didn't even know her! She let the locket slid back in her pocket and grabbed the keys. When she was alone in her room, she would think about it. 

   Wild opened the door and just as lock clicked back into place, a set of hands pushed her forward and something black cut off her vision.  

Chapter Text

''Take a good hold of her arms and legs!''  

   Wild recognized Legend's voice. She got picked up from the ground and she resisted heavily, not liking the feeling of being held and having no room to move. Suddenly she realized that this must be the beginning of the hazing! What would the residents make her do?  

   ''To the living room!'' Legend ordered.   

   Wild heard soft giggles, that must be Wind and Four. She tried to keep her breathing under control, she didn't want to show the others that she was scared, but the air around her became thicker with each second and she felt nauseous from the movements.   

   Suddenly, a big flash of pain shot through her head. ''Ow!'' Wild exclaimed, but her voice was muffled by the bag that was draped over her face.   

   ''Please, be careful.'' She heard Twilight say.  

   ''She isn't made from glass!'' Legend retorted sharp. ''This is part of the deal!''  

   Finally, Wild felt the arms put her down on a chair and the bag got pulled off her head. She blinked against the dim candlelight and noticed that she sat on a wooden chair. The other residents sat behind the table; the candlelight casting shadows on their faces.  

   ''Are you Wild?'' Legend asked. He sat in the middle of the group, claiming the leading position.  

   ''I am.'' Wild was relieved that her voice sounded steady, and she looked straight into Legend's blue eyes.  

   ''Can someone confirm?''  

   ''I can,'' Warriors said from the far-right side of the table. ''That is Wild.''  

   ''Wild, if you want to be part of the group, you must prove your worth to us. Are you willing to do so?''   

   ''Yes.'' Wild didn't break eye-contact as she nodded with determination. ''I am willing to do so.''  

   ''Key,'' Legend ordered and held out his hand. Wind laid a small key in his hand palm and Legend let it dangle in front of Wild's vision. ''Any idea where this goes to?''  

   Wild knew exactly which door this key would open. ''The attic.''   

   ''Correct.'' Legend smiled evilly. ''When the final bell of midnight has passed, you must spend a night in the attic. And when you come back the next morning, you have to show me evidence. Are you ready to accept?''  

   Warriors' eyes widened. ''The attic?'' he stammered with shock. ''But...''  

   ''Silence!'' Legend snapped and moved the key back and forth in front of Wild's face. ''Do you accept the challenge?''   

   Without hesitation, Wild snitched the key out of Legend's hand. ''I accept!''  

   Wind and Ravio began cheering with excitement.  

   ''Did you know the attic is haunted?'' Wind said and placed a candle under his face so that dark shadows appeared under his eyes.  

   Twilight pushed him aside and grabbed Legend harsh by the arm. He pulled him out of the room and looked furious in the other's eyes.  

   ''Have you lost your goddamn mind?'' he hissed. ''This wasn't the deal! What if Ganondorf finds her? She'll be kicked out!''  

   Legend shrugged. ''Her problem. Better for us, that dirty placekicker.''  

   ''Legend, Wild is not responsible or has anything to do with Hyrule's disappearance,'' Twilight said. ''Why are you so fucking stubborn to accept the facts! You're going too far!'' His voice held a pleading undertone.  

   ''Pick a side, Twilight,'' Legend hissed, ''we're friends, aren't we?'' He turned and walked to his room.  

 

   Wild stared at the ceiling of her room. It was almost midnight and with every minute passing, her heartbeat seemed to increase in speed. She turned her head to Warriors who was brushing his hair in front of the mirror.  

   ''Did you have to do this, too?''  

   ''Do what?''  

   Wild sighed and sat up in her bed. ''The hazing. Going to the attic.''  

   Warriors shook his head. ''There's never been such a thing as a hazing in this house,'' he said. ''At least, not that I'm aware of.'' He put his brush down and stood up from the desk. He walked over to Wild's bed and sat down. He wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulders.  

   ''Don't worry though, everything will turn out just fine. The night will be over before you know it. And just a small secret,'' he looked at Wild, ''Twilight and I believe you're already one of us.''  

   ''Thanks, War.''   

   Silence echoed across the room until from the hallway the clock began to chime. It was midnight!  

   Wild stood up and put on her kimono. She took a deep breath to try and calm her nerves before she took a step outside. She held the key in her sweaty hands and held her chin high as she saw all the residents look at her.  

   ''It's time,'' Legend whispered and he gave her an impatient shove to the attic door.   

   Wild quickly opened it and looked back one more time. Everyone was silent. Even Wind, who was usually so enthusiastic, was quiet from the tension.  

   ''Wild, you don't have to do this.'' Twilight took a step forward and had a hesitant smile on his face, but Wild turned to the stairs.  

   Slowly, the door closed behind her, leaving her alone in the dark. She hadn't brought a flashlight or lucifers to her despair and she wanted to turn back when stumbling was heard from the other side of the door.  

   Wild pressed her ear against the wood to try and catch a few words: ''Ganondorf! Quick!''  

   No ! She thought and wanted to open the door when she heard the sound of a key locking a door. Panic shot through her. The others were locking her up! She didn't dare to call for help, so instead she sat down on a step and closed her eyes.  

   Keep calm, she thought and took slow and deep breaths. It's dark. Yes. It's creepy. Yes. But it isn't haunted.   

   Wild let her fingers gently touch the wall, but immediately pulled back when the feeling of sticky cobwebs met her. She wiped it off on her kimono and grabbed the good luck charm she'd got for her birthday one day. She firmly held it in her hand, it gave her a safe feeling.  

   But the feeling didn't last for long when she heard a new sound coming from the other side of the door. Ganondorf's footsteps!  

   She looked up the stairs, ready to run, when something moved in the corner of her eye. Wild had to suppress a cry when a small mouse shot past her. She could just keep her balance on the step, but her lucky charm fell out of her hand and made a terrible loud clank in the darkness.  

   Her heart was going in overdrive, and she squeezed her eyes shot. She crossed her fingers. Go away! Go away! s he thought and gasped when she heard the knob move.   

   She was waiting for Ganondorf to step in and could practically hear his voice: ''You've been caught, girl!'' But nothing happened.  

   After what seemed like ages, Wild heard the steps ascend in the hallway. She sighed with relief and sat down, legs shaking with tension.   

   What should she do now? The others had locked her up and she began to wonder if they would unlock the door anytime soon. Even if they wanted, it was impossible now that Ganondorf had heard something and would be extra on guard.   

   She sighed and wrapped her arms around her, trying to keep herself warm against the cold wind that seeped through the cracks of the attic. Her eyes had adapted to the dark by now and she noticed a small crack in the wall where the moonlight shone through.   

   Wild shut her eyes tight to try and block out the shadows that were dancing on the walls, but the action only made it worse. She opened her eyes at the sound of a small squeak. She looked over her shoulder and smiled when she saw a little mouse.  

   She reached out a hand and the pointy nose whipped up and down as it searched the palm for food.  

   Wild reached inside her pocket, but the only thing she found, was the locket. In the faint moonlight, she inspected it again. She felt something scratched into the metal of the necklace and she held it closer to her eyes. The only thing she could see were an S, A and H.  

   Anymore she couldn't see or feel, so she concentrated on the lock of the medallion. After struggling a bit with her nails, the lock opened to reveal the picture of a small girl with long hair. She wore old-fashioned clothing and smiled sweet.  

   Who was that? Was this the old woman? Long ago, when she was just a girl and lived here?  

   You mustn't tell anyone about this, do you hear me? Nobody! There are thieves who want to take it from you!  

   Again, Wild heard the voice of the old woman echo in her mind. But what did she mean with thieves? Living? Dead? Wild shot a quick glance up into the darkness of the attic and shivered. What was hidden for her up there?  

   Wild now really began to feel scared. How long was she stuck here? 30 minutes? An hour? The others would have freed her by now, right? Why had they locked the door in the first place? Legend must've done to make sure she wouldn't escape. If it were him, he'd happily let Wild keep here for the rest of her life, she knew for sure.  

   It seemed that wind had picked up and Wild pulled the fabric of her kimono up to her chin. She was getting colder by the minute, and she blew softly in her hands to try and get them warm, not that it helped much. She slowly tilted her head back until it rested against the dusty wall and closed her eyes for a moment.  

   A loud noise close to her ear made Wild jump up. Bewildered, she looked around. What was that? She saw nothing next to her, but that didn't calm her down. She shot her eyes up to the stairs of the attic and slowly stood up. Her legs were shaking and she didn't feel her fingers of the cold.   

   Wild softly walked toward the door and pressed her ear against the wood. Nothing. She then grabbed the doorknob, but just as she had expected, the door was still locked. Should she just call for help? So what if Ganondorf heard her, she didn't want to stay here any longer. Maybe she would freeze to death! And who was to say that she had to stay here the next day, too?  

   Wild raised her fist to pounce on the door, but something stopped her. What would the others think if she gave up so easily? And what about Ganondorf? Maybe he would send her away! She thought about her grandmother. How disappointed and sad she would be if she had to transfer to some other house. Impa had done so much for Wild to get her a place to stay.   

   No, Wild wouldn't risk it. But how was she gonna get out of here?   

   She stared at the knob when suddenly an idea popped up in her head. It sounded ridiculous, she knew that, but she still wanted to try. She knelt down to the knob and pulled out a silver pin from her ponytail. Carefully, she stuck it in the lock and began to move it around.   

   Even under such stress, Wild had to laugh a little at her idea. She was locked in the attic and tried to get out by using a hairpin! She turned the pin to the left. Did the lock move there?   

   With sharp ears, Wild listened for any movements on the other side of the door, but it was completely silent. She pushed the image of an angry looking Ganondorf standing at the other side awaiting her away and pushed the pin further into the lock.   

   A sharp click was heard, and Wild pulled the pin out of the lock. Her hand was shaking, more of the tension than of the cold when she rested it on the doorknob. She pushed it down. Further and further... until with a soft creak the door opened.      

   She poked her head around the side of the door, but when the hallway seemed clear and safe, she stepped outside and silently closed the door behind her. She tiptoed toward the stairs and was met with three pairs of eyes: Twilight's, Warriors' and Ganondorf's.  

   ''What's all this?'' the Master demanded as he looked at each of the residents. ''Well?''  

   Twilight nervously put a hand on the back of his neck. ''The, uh, toilet, is broken downstairs so I had to go up.'' He shared a swift glance at Wild with a silent message: please, stay quiet!  

   ''Really?'' Ganondorf raised an eyebrow. ''Well, go to the bathroom and then back to bed!'' He looked at Wild and Warriors. ''You too! Off to bed!'' He retreated back into his office and slammed the door shut.  

   The three quickly ran back to Wild and Warriors' room where they sank down on Wild's bed.  

   ''We were about to confess everything to Ganondorf!'' Warriors hissed. ''We really didn't want you there, but Wind was stupid enough to lock the door before he hung the key back.''  

   Twilight raised an eyebrow. ''How did you escape?'' he curiously asked.  

   Wild smiled with mischief and showed the two boys the hairpin.  

   Twilight's eyes widened. ''You didn't!''  

   ''I did.''   

Chapter Text

Wild was met with cheers when she came down the stairs for breakfast. She was treated like a heroine: not only did she go to the creepy attic, she got herself free with nothing more but a hairpin.   

   Especially Wind couldn't keep his mouth shut. He kept asking about details of the attic. If it was really haunted or not, what she had seen or heard.   

   The only one who was still not impressed, was Legend. He put his chin in the air. ''She didn't bring anything from the attic, did she? That was the task, bring something from the attic. She's failed!'' he spat.  

   ''Oh, stop it already,'' Twilight impatiently said.  

   ''She's proven her worth more than everyone else here,'' Warriors added. ''She's part of the group now! And in my opinion, she didn't even need to do the hazing in the first place. I mean, none of us had to do one when we got here.''  

   Legend huffed. ''Pick her side! I didn't know you cared so little about Hyrule to forget him that easily!'' He roughly stood up, making his chair fall backward on the ground and stomped out of the room, refusing to talk to anyone.  

   ''Come on, Legend, that's not what I meant!'' Warriors called after the boy, but Legend didn't hear him or didn't want to hear him.  

   Wild sighed. She swallowed the last piece of bread and stood up, ready to go to school, but when she reached inside her pocket to grab her keys, but she stiffened when her fingers met empty space.  

   ''Shit...'' she mumbled to herself and rushed for her coat. She rummaged through the pockets but found no keys. She then opened her backpack and emptied it on the floor, but again, no keys.  

   ''What is it?''  

   Eyes wide with panic, Wild turned to Twilight. ''I can't find my keys!'' she said and put her books back into her backpack. She was on the verge of tears.  

   ''Shouldn't you be going to school?'' Ganondorf asked as he stood on top of the stairs. His eyes were squinted with suspicion.  

   ''Wild doesn't feel very well, Sir,'' Twilight quickly said and wrapped his arm around Wild's shoulders, ''I'll give her a lift to school.''  

   ''I don't care how you get to school, lift or no lift, go already!''  

   Wild flinched at the harsh voice and quickly walked alongside Twilight toward the bicycle storage. He swung his right leg over the bike and waited for Wild to sit on the carrier.  

   Cheeks red with embarrassment, Wild wrapped her arms around her friend's waist and together they made their way to school.   

    

   Just before the bell rang, Wild and Twilight entered the classroom. Their foreheads were both covered with sweat from running through the hallway, and they quickly sat down in the back of the room.   

   Wild opened her textbook at page 69 and looked at the board. Completely lost in her own world, she didn't even notice that she was called to the desk to retrieve her practicum from last week. She snapped out of her thoughts when Twilight gave her a soft prod in her side.  

   ''What?'' she hissed, but then fell silent as the whole class stared at her. She looked at Shadow, the teacher, who held a folder in his hand.  

   ''Wild, I've got your practicum results here. Can you come and get them?'' he calmly asked, not seeming to be bothered that he had called the girl's name eight times now.   

   Wild stood up and walked to the front of the class, head low with embarrassment. ''Sorry, Sir,'' she mumbled and accepted her folder. She walked back to her place and opened the folder. Her eyes widened with disbelief when she saw a red A.  

   ''No way!'' she whispered and shoved the paper under Twilight's nose. ''I've got a damn A!''  

   Twilight opened his own folder and showed her his paper. There was a red A+ in the right corner. ''So?'' he teased. His smile fell as he looked at something past Wild. ''Don't look to your left,'' he hissed.  

   Confused, Wild raised an eyebrow. ''Why?'' She turned her head and made direct eye-contact with Legend who looked at her with venom in his eyes.  

   ''Oh.'' Wild quickly turned her gaze down at her notebook where she had written a difficult formula. She sighed and began sketching again, letting the words of the teacher slip through her mind.   

   ''The ampere is the missing key in this formula,'' Shadow said and switched the PowerPoint to the next dia.  

   Wild felt the color drain from her cheeks. She suddenly knew where she had left them!  

   ''I left my keys on the attic,'' Wild whispered to Twilight who in his turn stiffened.  

   ''What?!''  

   ''Wild and Twilight, can you both keep your mouth shut when I'm talking?'' Shadow said and crossed his arms.   

   ''Sorry, Sir,'' Twilight apologized.   

   Shadow turned back to the board and continued his lesson.   

   But even though Wild really wanted it, she couldn't keep her focus on the information she was given. And she sighed with relief when the bell finally rang through the classroom. She wrote down the homework in her notebook before she roughly pushed her books and pencil case in her backpack.  

   She waited for Twilight to clear his table before the two walked toward the canteen.  

   ''You must go back to the manor,'' Twilight insisted and sat down at the table in a far corner. He grabbed his own bicycle keys and pushed them in Wild's hands. ''You know how my bike looks like. If you go now, you'll be just in time for History.''  

   Wild was hesitant for one more moment, but when Twilight gave her a reassured nod, she swung her backpack over her shoulder and rushed for the bicycle storage. She searched through the bikes until she spotted Twilight's blue bike and unlocked it. She stepped up and cycled away with top speed.  

     

   When she finally arrived at the manor, she carefully laid down Twilight's bike in the grass and swiftly yet quietly, stepped inside the house. She looked around and listened closely, but she didn't hear or saw Ganondorf anywhere.  

   Thanking the Gods that she could grab her keys in peace, she ran up the stairs and used her hairpin again to open the door to the attic.  

   At the soft click Wild turned around one more time before she stepped inside the attic. And even though Ganondorf wasn't at home, she still tried to walk as quiet as possible, cursing her shoes that made a click every time she took a step.  

   Stupid high heels! Why couldn't school just give me low shoes instead?   

   Wild shook her head to focus her mind on her mission. She saw her keys immediately. They lay at the bottom of the stairs, covered under a small heap of dust.   

   She grabbed them and let them slip inside her pocket. She shot her glance up the stairs and a weird feeling shot through her stomach.  

   She should be going back now, but she suddenly saw Legend's angry face in front of her: ''She didn't take anything from the attic, did she? That was the task.''   

   Taking a deep breath, Wild made the decision and walked up the stairs. She would take something from the attic. Something small. Maybe then Legend would finally accept her.   

   At the top of the stairs she looked around. The dim light lid up the dusty walls and floors, and old furniture stood everywhere: a half broken spinning wheel, a broken mirror where she saw her reflection, a record number of chairs...   

   What should she take with her? The armless doll in the corner? A small oil-painting of a small village?   

   Something moved in the corner of her eye, making Wild jump, but she quickly calmed down when she saw the same gray mouse from yesterday evening.  

   ''Hey there, little one,'' Wild murmured, ''here again?''  

   The mouse squeaked as if to answer her question. Wild sat on her knees and reached out to the animal with her left hand.   

   ''Come on,'' she tried to lure the mouse, but it shot away in a small hole in the wall, only to appear back from another hole.   

   Curious, Wild lowered her head and tried to look into the hole, but it was way too dark and she was too much of a scaredy-cat to put her finger in. So instead, she tapped with her fingers against the wall. It sounded dull, as if there were a room behind it.  

   Wild felt a rush of excitement and hooked her finger around a small ledge in the wall and pulled.  

   Nothing.  

   She pushed to the right. Nothing...  

   But when she pushed left, the wall moved a little! With shock, Wild pulled her hand back with realization. It was a secret wall! She coughed a bit at the smell of dust that seeped through the small opening, the wall must've been closed for several years.   

   Part of her was curious, but the other part of her was scared. Why was there a secret wall in the manor? Dared she to look behind it? What was behind it?  

   Her curiosity won over her fear and carefully she pushed open the wall further. The first thing she saw was a painting. Wild recognized the girl at first sight. The long hair, the white collar...  

   Wild was looking straight in the eyes of the girl in the locket.  

Chapter Text

With shaking hands of excitement , Wild grabbed the painting and blew off the thick layer of dust. She let her fingers run over the rough surface of the paint. She was 100 percent certain; this was the same girl of the locket. The voice of the woman echoed through Wild's mind.  

   In the house is a treasure... as long as the treasure is hidden in the night, surrounded by his shining stars, the mystery will never be solved.   

   Wild turned the painting around. The linen base was attached firm to the small wooden blanks with nails. She reached inside a small box that contained writing implements and found a letter opener.   

   Feeling silly, she used her 'equipment' to push out a few nails. When she did so, she stuck a hand between the linen and the wooden frame. She stiffened when her fingers brushed against some sort of paper. She grabbed the paper and carefully pulled it out and inspected it when the sound of a car door closing made her gasp.  

   Ganondorf!  

   Wild quickly stood up and put the paper in her backpack. She quietly closed the wall and rushed down the stairs. Maybe she could still escape the house without him seeing her. She locked the door again and ran through the hallway when she skidded to a halt at the top of the stairs.  

   ''What are you doing here?'' Ganondorf asked. ''Shouldn't you be at school?''  

   Wild gulped as she quickly thought of an excuse. ''I, uh, forgot my book and came back to fetch it.''  

   ''And do you have your book now?''  

   ''Yes.''  

   ''Off to school then!''  

   Wild rushed down the stairs, opened the front door and stepped onto Twilight's bike.  

   

   When Wild had finally arrived at school again, she knew she'd missed History. Lucky for her, Twilight had made up an excuse and told the teacher she had an appointment with the dentist. She was grateful with a friend like him and gave him a small hug as thanks for covering her absence.  

   Now she sat in the school banks, trying to keep her attention to the French lesson, but that wasn't as easy as she wanted. She had opened the envelope and stared confused at the paper that came out.   

   Small kind of drawings met her sight and Wild frowned with confusion. What the hell were these drawings? She'd turned the paper upside down but couldn't make anything out of it. She kept staring at the lines until suddenly Wild's teacher, Fi, snitched it away from underneath her nose.  

   ''But...!'' Wild began and looked at her teacher with disbelief.   

   ''No buts,'' Fi said and walked to her desk, ''literature review is a very important part of the exam next month. You won't be needing this in my lesson.'' She laid it down on the hardwood desk and grabbed her book.  

   Wild softly groaned. Great! She couldn't understand what the pictures meant, and now she's lost the paper itself, too! Again she heard the voice of the old woman.  

   ''You mustn't tell anyone about this, do you hear me? Nobody! There are thieves who want to steal it from you!''  

   Wild sighed and kept her eyes on the paper. How was she going to get it back? What if Fi threw it away? Or maybe she knew what the pictures meant, and she would go to Ganondorf. And then he would discover where the treasure is! If there was a treasure at all.  

   Wild looked at the moving mouth of Fi, but she didn't register the words. The old woman had warned her to beware for others!   

   After what felt like ages, the bell rang. Wild put her books back in her bag and walked out of the classroom, not having the opportunity to grab the letter again. She sat down at a chair near the vending machine and sighed with defeat. She'd lost the paper for good. The mystery had just begun, yet it had ended just as fast as it begun.  

   She looked up when someone touched her shoulder. Twilight stood next to her and held something in his left hand.  

   ''This is for you.'' He gave Wild the letter.  

   ''Did you – did you just take this from her desk?''  

   Twilight shrugged. ''You looked so disappointed when she took it off you. I thought... it had to be very important...'' He sat down beside her.  

   ''Yes, very important,'' Wild confirmed and put the letter in her agenda which she in turn pushed far down in her bag. ''Thank you.''  

   ''It was nothing, really,'' Twilight said. ''Was it for your, uh, boyfriend?''   

   Wild was silent for a second before she shook her head. ''No, no! I don't have a boyfriend.'' Was that relief she saw in his eyes? ''So, you haven't read it?''   

   ''Of course I haven't read it!'' Twilight said indignantly. ''That letter is not my business, is it? I just wanted to give it back to you.''  

   Wild was surprised. She could trust Twilight. She was hesitant to show him the drawings, but then decided that she would visit the old woman first. Maybe she could help her.  

   ''Are you stuck in your own world?'' Twilight snapped his fingers in front of her vision, ''I asked you something.''  

   ''Oh... sorry. What was your question?''  

   ''I was wondering if you... well... that history project from Link... you know, about Egypt?''  

   ''Yes?'' Wild had no clue what Twilight was trying to tell her.  

   ''Well, I would like it if... of course only if you like it, too.'' Twilight looked shyly at the ground. ''Would you like to, uh, be partners for the project?''  

   Now it was Wild's turn to look away. Her heart seemed to beat out of her chest.   

   ''I would love to.''  

Chapter Text

After dinner, Wild immediately walked toward her bedroom where she slumped down with frustration. She clenched her fists and hit them hard in the mattress a few times before she calmed down a bit.   

   She had visited the old woman again in the retirement home, but she had been so confused that she didn't know who stood before her. She'd hissed at Wild and had called her stranger before she turned and disappeared in her room.  

   So now, Wild hadn't come any further with the mysterious drawings. She sighed and let herself fall on her back, the soft cushion breaking and softening her fall. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes for a moment when she heard someone knock on her door.  

   Wild stood up and opened the door. Twilight stood in the hallway, holding a few books about Egypt in his hands.  

   ''Would you like to spend an hour or so on the project?'' he offered.  

   ''Yeah, sure, come in.'' Wild stepped aside and let Twilight pass. He sat down on her bed and spread out the books. He patted at the space beside him and now Wild realized that she still stood at the door. She quickly closed it and sat beside him, blushing a bit.  

   Why?  

   Wild reached forward and grabbed her agenda from her backpack. She took out the piece of paper and shot a glance at Twilight who was focusing hard on one of the chapters.   

   She made a decision: alone she wouldn't get any further with the mystery. Twilight was the only one she could trust.   

   ''Hey, Twi?''  

   ''Hm?''  

   Wild folded open the paper and showed it to the boy. ''I don't know what this means. Do you have any idea what might stand here?''  

   ''How did you get hold of this?'' Twilight asked and inspected the paper with an interesting glimmer in his eyes.  

   ''Oh, err, I got it from a book,'' Wild quickly made up. ''Yes, a book with riddles. It's childish I know.'' She turned her gaze away and tried not to blush too hard to cause any suspicion.  

   ''Funny. I believe these are Egyptiac symbols,'' Twilight finally concluded.   

   Wild scooted closer. ''Really? Do you have any idea what it means?''   

   ''Not yet, but I can easily look it up.'' Twilight grabbed a thick book that read Egyptiac Hieroglyphs and opened it. He took the paper again and inspected the list of unknown symbols in the book to begin comparing the symbols on the paper.  

   ''Let's see... This looks similar to that...''    

   Wild looked at her friend. Twilight seemed like a boy who solved sudoku's for a hobby or tried to learn as many Trivial questions as possible. But on the other hand, he was kind and, well, cute if not a tiny bit.  

   ''This is a number... a three... no, wait, an ordinal number, so that would be third... Yes, that has to be it,'' Twilight mumbled, obviously in his element.  

   Wild had her forehead frowned with hesitance. Should she tell Twilight about the old woman? The treasure?  

   ''The creaking third step.'' Twilight looked up from his book and handed Wild the paper back.  

   ''What?''  

   ''That's what it means.'' Twilight grabbed a pen and was about to rip out a piece of paper from his notebook. ''Shall I write it down for you?''  

   ''No, I'll remember it,'' Wild said and put the paper back in her agenda. ''It's really not that important, though... just a riddle. Thanks for your help.''  

   ''No problem.'' Twilight opened a different book and handed it to Wild. ''Shall we now get to work with the project?'' he asked.  

   Wild nodded and grabbed her notebook. The creaking third step . That must be the next riddle. There had to be something about the stairs, but it was difficult now to just walk toward the staircase and pull on some of the steps. That would be too suspicious. Twilight had already looked so weird when she told him that it was just a simple riddle.   

   Restless, she stared at a picture of some sort of Egyptiac god who had the head of an ibis.   

   The creaking third step . The sentence kept flowing through her mind. Then she made a decision.  

 

   ''It's 10 o'clock! We all know what that means! Within 5 minutes into your rooms! Then I want to hear a nail fall on the ground, absolute silence!''  

   Ganondorf's voice echoed through the mansion as he called it being time for bed.  

   Wild, who had been busy all evening with the project, was now impatiently waiting for Warriors to go to sleep, but the social media boy he is, he'd taken his mobile phone upstairs and was now scrolling through Instagram, Twitter and whatever more for apps he had installed.  

   After about an hour or so, the boy finally put his phone away and fell asleep.   

   Just to be on the safe side, Wild waited a few more minutes before she softly stood up. She put on her kimono and left her room barefoot, afraid that her slippers would make too much noise in the eerily quiet hallway.   

   Luck wasn't on her side and she cursed through gritted teeth when she saw that the light was still on in Ganondorf's office. From an old radio came classic music as the man was busy with another animal for his collection on the wall.  

   Wild sank to her knees and softly descended down the stairs, checking each step, because was it the third step from up or the third step from down?   

   When she was almost downstairs, she stopped at the sound of creaking. She quickly pulled her foot back and looked up at the office, but when Ganondorf didn't make any intentions to move, she sat down before the step and pulled the carpet off. Then she pried with her bare hands at the wood of the step, shotting a glance at the office every now and then.  

   With a small groaning sound, the top of the step gave to, and revealed a small open space where an envelope lay. Wild picked it up and placed it in her pocket before she quickly put the top of the step back and secured the carpet back.   

   She stood up and silently crept past the office again toward her bedroom where she sat down on her bed with an excited squirm in her belly.  

   She did it!  

   Twilight had been right; it was the third creaking step of the stairs!  

Chapter Text

Wild woke early the next morning. Even though she had the first hour no class, she took this opportunity to finally see what was hidden in the envelope. What kind of riddle would she get now? Please no hieroglyphs! she thought, and lifted her mattress where the letter lay next to her blue diary.  

   She opened the envelope and groaned with disappointment when a small paper revealed more hieroglyphs. But in the envelope was also a small silver key attached to a thin silver string.   

   The two hieroglyphs were drawn down with dark brown ink. One looked kind of like a face and the other one was a rectangle with a small opening in the side.  

   Wild had no clue where the key would fit, so until then, she kept it safe in her locket. She didn't dare to ask Twilight for any more help, afraid that he would ask further about it, because he was smart enough to figure out that this wasn't just 'another' riddle from a riddle book.   

   Yet, she did think about asking him again when they were working on their project again. She trusted him but still she decided to leave it alone for now. She didn't want to tell him another lie and she wasn't ready to tell the truth. What would he think of her when she told him about an old woman who claimed there is a treasure hidden in this house? He would laugh at her, tell the others about her story and call her childish dreamer.   

   Twilight was her only true friend and she didn't want to lose him.  

   Why am I so attached to him?  

   Warriors, too, had become a good friend. Even though their opinions were opposite, he was kind, funny and had the weirdest ideas. And he also was the drama king of all the residents.  

   And the weekends were the best in the manor. Just to begin with breakfast. Saria would make all kinds of bread, croissants and scones. And in the evening there usually was some sort of party. This Saturday was Sky's birthday and the residents decided to organize an Egyptiac themed party to celebrate.  

   Four and Warriors immediately began planning the decorations while Ravio and Wind were whispering something to each other shotting quick glances at Wild, Twilight and Sky.   

     

   Thursday morning, Wild and her classmates sat in the History classroom while Link was telling them something about Egypt, showing them pictures about his trip to Egypt this year.   

   ''Look, this is Nefertiti,'' Link said and showed his class a picture of a woman with a blue headdress. ''Until this day and more to come, she is seen as the beauty ideal.''  

   ''Even with the broken ear?'' Wind asked jokingly.  

   Link nodded. ''Yes, Wind, even with the broken ear.'' He clicked to the next slide, ''and this is Nefertiti with pharaoh Akhnaton.'' Link walked closer to the board and pointed at something, ''also, pay close attention to the details. Look with how much love this artist has caved in the hieroglyphs.''  

   ''What does that face mean in the left corner?'' Wild suddenly asked.  

   ''This?''  

   Wild nodded.  

   ''That means a smiling face, Wild,'' Wind commented dryly, causing the others to laugh.  

   ''Sharp of you, Wind, but lots of hieroglyphs have hidden second meanings.'' Link thought for a second. ''This means indeed 'face', but it can also mean 'top' or 'on'.''  

   ''And that rectangle? With the opening in the side?''  

   ''This? That is most likely the multiple for house.''  

   The two drawings were the same as on the paper in the envelope she had found underneath the step. Wild thought for a second: she had discovered 'top' or 'on' and a house? Above the house?  

   ''The attic!'' she suddenly exclaimed, a big smile on her face.   

   ''What was that, Wild?'' Link asked.  

   ''Nothing, I said nothing,'' Wild quickly said and put on a serious face again. But she couldn't keep her attention to the rest of the lesson and was extremely excited when the bell rang, signing the end of the lesson.   

   She put her books in her backpack and headed toward the bicycle storage. She unlocked her bike and was about to cycle away when Twilight stood in front of her, a worried expression on his face.   

   ''Where are you heading?'' he asked. His dark-brown hair was dripping with the small drizzle that fell from the sky.   

   ''I uh...'' Wild fell silent. She was a bit afraid that he was going to ask further questions about her weird action during the lesson. Why she had randomly called out 'the attic'  

   ''I'm gonna be honest with you,'' Twilight began and he looked at Wild with a serious expression. ''Legend still firmly believes you have something to do with the disappearance of Hyrule. He's seen you cycle away a few times and nobody knows where you're going.'' He turned his gaze away from Wild and ran a hand through his hair.  

   ''I find it personally a weird and ridiculous accusation that you have anything to do with it, but it won't hurt to know for sure, right?''   

   Wild laughed. ''Legend thinks I'm going to Hyrule? I don't even know Hyrule.''  

   ''That's what I keep trying to tell him, but he's so stubborn to believe me!'' Twilight put his hand on Wild's bike steering wheel. ''But, uh?''  

   ''Where I'm heading? To my grandmother. She lives close-by in a retirement home,'' Wild explained before she jokingly added: ''Or would you like to join me to make sure?''  

   ''Why not?'' Twilight said to Wild's amazement. ''I'll grab my bike.''  

     

   Impa was more than happy when Wild introduced Twilight.  

   ''She's never brought a boy with her before,'' she said to Twilight who then in turn became as red as a tomato. He sat down and brought his cup of tea toward his lips. He took a small sip and looked around the room.  

   ''What a nice place you have here.''  

   ''Oh, dear, you don't know what you're talking about.'' Impa sighed. ''That is the arrogance of youth these days. That's how I was, long ago. Then you don't think about these days and you shouldn't. But I can assure you that it's really weird that you're suddenly depended to these men and women.'' She pointed at one of the nurses that stood in the hallway. ''Would you like more tea?''  

   Wild shook her head. ''No, thank you, grandma. I'm going to stretch my legs for a bit.'' She stood up and walked toward the door, yet she couldn't deny Twilight's glance in the corner of her eye.  

   Ignoring it for now, she quickly made her way to the room of the old woman. The door was open a bit and Wild silently slipped in. She was lucky: the old woman lay in bed but was awake and approachable.  

   ''I know you,'' the woman rasped. She looked even more thinner than Wild had last seen her.   

   ''I'm from the house of Anubis,'' Wild softly murmured. She took the locket from her pocket and gave it to the woman, who got a warm glow in her eyes.  

   ''The house, the house...'' she softly mumbled. ''I've grown up in that house...'' She ran her fingers over the locket and a tear ran down her cheek. Then she looked at Wild and reached out her hand. Wild firmly, yet gently took it. The skin felt like old paper.  

   ''Dear girl, search the treasure... but beware for the thieves...''  

   ''Must I go to the attic?'' Wild asked as she tried to keep contact with the woman, but her eyes were slowly closing.  

   ''Yes, the attic... search in the attic...''  

   ''What is your business here?''  

   Wild turned around at the voice and before she could stand up, a broad-shouldered nurse guided her out of the room, looking angry.  

   ''You're not allowed to come here. Don't you see that she must rest?''  

   ''My apologies,'' Wild said and put the locket back in her pocket before she dipped her head with respect.   

   ''What was that about?''  

   Wild's gaze shot up and she looked straight in Twilight's serious eyes.  

   ''Who was that old lady? Why did she tell you to search for something in the attic?''  

   ''What are you talking about?'' Wild quickly said and plastered a smile on her face. ''The lady called me and I thought she needed my help with something.'' She turned her gaze away, unable to lie straight in her friend's face. ''That's all... Are you coming?''  

   ''Are you sure?'' Twilight put a hand on Wild's shoulder. ''You know you can trust me?''  

   ''Of course.'' Wild turned on her heel and headed for the exit, the locket burning in her pocket.  

Chapter Text

It was Saturday in the early midday when Wild, Four and Warriors were busy preparing small snacks for the party that would begin after dinner. The three had volunteered and after some research on the computer, Warriors had found a few simple Egyptiac themed snacks. And now, Wild was cutting the paprika, Four was preparing the plates and Warriors was pouring in the glasses with alcohol-less champagne.  

   ''What do you think Sky would think about the food?'' Wild asked as she put the knife down and stretched her fingers that were wet and sticky from the paprika juice.  

   Warriors put the champagne down. ''He better find it good, because it took ages for me to find the recipes.'' He sat down on the kitchen counter and grabbed a piece of gum from the drawer.  

   Wild grabbed the knife again and started chopping the last paprika. When she was finished, she took a spoon with avocado and pressed it in the space between the sides of the red paprika. She spread it evenly and made sure it was secured tight so it wouldn't fall through and as a final touch, she put a few spices on it from which she didn't remember the name of.  

   ''So? How's it coming? Can I have some candy to snack on while I'm waiting for the themed food?'' Wind asked and barged into the kitchen. He began opening up every drawer and even took off the lids of the pans where later in the day soup would be prepared.   

   Warriors jumped off the counter and pushed the small gremlin out of the kitchen. ''Ever since you broke several dishes, the kitchen is forbidden territory for you. Get out!'' When Wind was through the doorway, Warriors closed it with a small bang and sat down on the counter again, watching the others work.  

   Wild slowly stopped working when an unfamiliar scent hit her nose. She turned to Warriors who was also sniffing the air.  

   ''Do you-''  

   A loud bang sounded before Wild could finish her sentence. She sunk down to the floor as smoke began to cloud around her. Her mind flashed back to the fire and she felt her throat begin to close as she coughed out her lungs.  

   She didn't know which way was the door and in complete panic she began hyperventilating. She scrambled backwards and could feel her scars burn as if she got touched by the fire all over again.   

   A loud screech sounded through the kitchen and Wild noticed that her mouth was wide open.  

   Suddenly, she felt hands touching her, arms holding her, lifting her from the ground and soon she was carried out of the kitchen by Twilight. He carefully placed her on the couch and said something to her, but no matter how hard Wild tried to, she couldn't hear what he was saying, the screeching of her dying parents echoing in her ears as the memory crashed down on her.  

   Wild sat in the corner of her room, smoke burning in her eyes and orange flames were dancing around her. She looked from left to right, but had no way to escape. She looked up at the roof that made creaking sounds and she took a tighter hold of Kitty.  

   Suddenly, the door barged open and her father stumbled inside. His eyes darted across the room and he jumped over the flames before he knelt beside Wild. He held her close in his arms.  

   ''I've got you, Wild, I've got you.''  

   Wild felt tears run down her cheeks and held her father close. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and held on tight as he made his way out of the house.   

   They were almost out of the hallway, when one of the beams came down.   

   Wild felt the air rush as her father threw her away from the flames, sacrificing himself.   

   With a thud, Wild landed outside the house and could only watch with horror as her home collapsed. She tried to put her hands over her ears to block out the terrifying yelling of agony that erupted from the house, but the only thing she could do, was just sit there.  

   Slowly, the dark of the night closed over her and the last thing she heard were the sirens that came closer and closer.  

   Wild slowly came back to senses by the feeling of a hand running gently through her hair and the soft humming of someone.  

   She opened her eyes and had to blink a few times to adjust to the light that seeped through the curtains. She looked up and slowly the blur disappeared, and her vision sharpened to reveal Twilight sitting at the edge of her bed.  

   ''Hey,'' he whispered. ''How are you feeling?''  

   Now Wild realized where she was. She lay in her bed with a pounding headache and she coughed a little bit, groaning at every shake of her body that caused a wave of pain flow through her head. She brought her right hand to her forehead and squeezed her eyes shut.  

   ''I've been better,'' she admitted and chuckled slightly, immediately regretting it.  

   Twilight pulled the blankets up a bit and kept brushing his fingers through her hair. It was relaxing in some way and Wild hoped he would not stop anytime soon.  

   Wait, what?  

   ''Do you remember what happened?'' Twilight murmured and furrowed his eyebrows a bit. When Wild shook her head he began explaining: ''so Wind thought it'd be fun to put a smoke bomb in one of the pans. Warriors and Four could come out by themselves, but you were still in there. Then we heard you yell and I ran in to come get you. You were having a panic attack, mumbling something about 'fire' before you passed out on the couch.''  

   Wild only registered half of the words, head hurting too much to progress.  

   ''You must be tired,'' Twilight whispered and stood up. ''I'll leave you now to rest, okay? I'll come back soon to check.'' He turned his gaze away before he added: ''you had me worried.''  

   ''Sorry,'' Wild murmured. ''What about Sky's party?''  

   ''We all decided to delay to tomorrow.'' Twilight opened the door and was about to step outside, but took one last look over his shoulder. ''Try to get some sleep, okay? I'll come and bring you something to eat, soon.''  

   Wild hummed as a sign she had heard him and slipped back to sleep. She just was about to enter the void, when Warriors opened the door and sat beside her, he had a glass of water in his hand and in the other lay an aspirin. He put it on the bedside table and helped Wild sit up who of course had woken up from his shoes hitting the floor.  

   ''Don't you worry about Wind. Ganondorf's made him clean the entire kitchen and he has to clean the toilets with a toothbrush,'' Warriors said as Wild reached for the glass and the pill. She put the pill under her tongue and swallowed it whole with the water.  

   ''Really?'' Wild licked her lips a few times to get rid of the disgusting taste of her medicine. Gladly for her, the aspirin was quick to work, and the pounding lessened to a more annoying dull pain. ''I've heard that Sky's party has been delayed until tomorrow.''  

   ''That's right,'' Warriors confirmed. ''Even Legend found this joke going too far. We were all very scared when you started screaming in the kitchen.'' He looked at his feet in shame. ''I thought you were right behind me when I left the kitchen, I'm sorry.''  

   ''It wasn't your fault, War,'' Wild insisted. ''If someone is to blame, it's Wind and I don't even think he was hoping for this outcome.''  

   Warriors chuckled. ''Thanks.'' He looked up with a mischievous grin. ''You should've seen Twilight, though.''  

   Confused, Wild tilted her head and waited for her friend to explain.  

   ''When he heard the explosion, he rushed into the kitchen. He pushed everyone out of the way and carried you bridal style to the couch. He even snapped at Ganondorf who had just stood there in the doorway doing nothing. And then, when you passed out, he picked you up again and brought you to our room in record time,'' Warriors explained, ''he acted like a wolf protecting its cubs, really! Nothing could stop him.''  

   Wild felt her cheeks turn red at the explanation and she broke eye-contact with Warriors. ''He was just being nice, that's all,'' she murmured.   

   ''Hmm... snapping at Ganondorf, almost killing Wind and crying when you passed out?'' Warriors chuckled. ''No, I wouldn't call that 'being nice'.'' He stood up at the sound of a knock. ''That must be Twi with your food. I'll leave you two alone .'' He said the last word with a huge smirk.  

   He opened the door and walked past Twilight. ''She's all yours!'' he joked and quickly walked away.  

   Twilight was stunned for a moment as he registered Warriors’ words before he quickly stepped inside the room, head red as a tomato. In his hand he held a cup with steaming-hot chicken soup. He placed it on the bedside table and helped Wild sit up more comfortable.  

   ‘’Is it true?’’ Wild suddenly asked as she brought her spoon to her mouth, blowing to cool the food.  

   ‘’What true?’’  

   ‘’That you snapped at Ganondorf, almost killed Wind and cried when I passed out?’’  

   Twilight stiffened. ‘’Who told you that?’’ he asked but immediately answered his own question: ‘’Warriors…’’  

   Wild nodded. ‘’Is it true?’’  

   ‘’Well, uh, I guess I was a bit emotional…’’ Twilight reached out a hand, but seemed to change his mind and pulled back. He took a deep breath. ‘’Just focus on healing, okay?’’ He brushed a lock of hair out of his face.  

   ‘’All right,’’ Wild mumbled and pulled the blankets up high under her chin. She closed her eyes and let sleep wash over her. And just as she entered the blackness, she could’ve sworn she felt a set of lips place a kiss on her forehead and a soft, but heavy voice murmured:  

   ‘’ Don’t worry, Wild, I’ll always protect you .’’  

Chapter Text

The next morning Wild felt much better and she couldn’t wait for Sky’s party. Partly, because she then could undisturbedly go to the attic to search for the next clue, but another part was in the mood for dancing, singing and just celebrating what she had delayed yesterday.  

   She stood behind the curtain with Twilight next to her who wore a bright-red party hat. It looked ridiculous, but then again, she wore the same hat. She peeked around the curtain and quickly pulled back when she saw Sky entering the room. He looked around confused at the lack of people and was just about to turn back, when Wild and the others stepped out of their hiding spots.  

   ‘’Happy late birthday!’’ the other seven shouted and Wind threw confetti over Sky who almost had a heart attack. He got guided to the couch and got a pie pressed into his face.   

   Wild smiled at the festivities and grabbed a glass of lemonade from the table. She had to try and block out most of the music that blasted through the speakers. She planned the perfect way to sneak away to the attic. She placed a hand on her forehead and let out a groan.  

   ‘’Hey, you okay?’’ Twilight guided her to a chair and sat her down before he knelt before her. His blue eyes were worried. ‘’Is it your head?’’  

   ‘’I think so.’’  

   Taking the glass from her, Twilight then helped her up and together they walked upstairs, Wild making sure that she walked a bit unsteady. She slumped down in bed and pretended to sleep as soon as she hit the pillow. When she heard the door close, she opened an eye and slowly stood up.   

   Opening the door a bit, she looked around the hallway and when she found it empty, she grabbed her hairpin and rushed for the attic door. She picked the lock with ease this time and carefully made her way up the stairs where she opened the secret wall.  

   Wild clicked on her flashlight. The cold light beams inside the secret room, revealing even more cobwebs and dust than she had seen without light.   

   She took a step forward and immediately hit her toe against something heavy. She cursed through gritted teeth and sat down to inspect the damage. She looked around to see what had hurt her toe and found a huge device that lay hidden under a carpet. She pulled the carpet off and tried to pull the device out of the way, but it was way too heavy, and she had to give up.   

   Maybe I can fix it with another way, she thought and shone the flashlight over the device. Behind it, covered with cobwebs, stood a dark-brown box with a lock.   

   With lots and lots of effort, Wild manages to lift the box over the device. With shaking fingers, she brushed the cobwebs off the lid and grabbed the small key she hid in the locket and put it in the lock. It fit!  

   Even though the lock wouldn't have been used for years, it opened quite easily. She slowly opened the box and shone her flashlight inside.  

   What she saw, confused her. In the box lay all kind of tubes. Carefully she took one and inspected it closer. Around the tube was a paper with the word 'Edison'. Wild searched through her memories. Wasn't he the founder of something technical or electric?  

   The tube was sealed with a lid. Carefully Wild pulled it off and then held the tube upside down. In her hand slipped a black shining roll.  

   What was this? She couldn't make anything out of it. It looked a bit like an old camera roll, but than a lot bigger. The roll felt soapy, and she brought it to her nose to take a whiff, but it didn't smell like soap, rather to wax. Soap or not, the roll looked very vulnerable, and she put it back in the tube and put it back with the others in the box.  

   She stood up and carried the box down toward her room so she could take a closer look at it without being stressful of the possibility to get caught on the attic.  

   Luckily, the chest wasn't very heavy and she could easily bring it down the stairs. Wild opened the door and quickly passed the hallway to her room. She hid the box in her closet and put on new clothes: a sky-blue tank top with a golden decorated blue skirt.   

   Wild was just finished when Twilight into the room. His mouth fell open with surprise and he quickly cleared his throat and shut his mouth close. ''You look...''  

   ''Yes?''  

   ''...beautiful. Not that you don't look beautiful without this,'' Twilight quickly added. ''Is your head okay now?''  

   ''Thank you, and yes, I feel better,'' Wild said shyly and looked away.   

   ''You really look beautiful, I mean it,'' Twilight assured her. ''Would you like something to drink?''  

   Twilight led Wild toward the living room. It was quite crowdy, Wild noticed. She guessed there were about thirty people dancing on the dancefloor. Warriors stood behind the disk jockey with a headphone around his neck. When he saw Wild, he put two thumbs up. ''Looks good, Wild!''  

   Wild shyly smiled back. She got a glass of lemonade offered from Twilight.  

   ''Would you like to dance?'' he asked.  

   ''Of course!'' Wild shouted back. She saw Warriors smirk in the corner of her eye and soon romantic sounds came from the speakers.  

   Twilight didn't hesitate and wrapped his arms around Wild. He held her gently, but firm around her waist and slowly moved on the tunes of the song.  

   Wild felt a smile appear on her face and she rested her head on his shoulder. She closed her eyes. Maybe Warriors was right... What if he meant more to her than she thought, than she would admit. She was just about to raise her head again when a loud scream sounded above the music.  

   ''WRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!''  

   A weird creature jumped into the living room and ran around. Everyone looked at it as it hit his fists on its ribs: from the bottom a human, and the top a wild boar.  

   ''Wind, stop it!'' Ravio said irritated.  

   Wind began to laugh. ''Hey, Ravio, why don't you give the party animal a drink?'' he said and walked headfirst against a closet. ''Whoops, it's kinda dark in here.''  

   Ravio put a cup of cola into Wind's hand, who then pretended to drink it.   

   ''Okay, you had your fun,'' Ravio said. ''Pull that thing off now.'' He began pulling on the ears, but the head didn't move an inch.   

   ''It won't come off,'' came Wind's muffled voice.  

   ''Yeah, yeah, it was a fun joke, but you have to stop now,'' Ravio said, irritated to the max. He gave another huge jerk on the head.  

   ''Ow, ow, careful!'' Wind yelled. He couldn't get free. Even when Twilight helped, the wild boar head was stuck to place.   

   ''WHERE IS MY WILD BOAR?!''  

   Ganondorf stood in the door opening. He looked furious at Wind.   

   ''Oh oh.''  

   With three steps Ganondorf had crossed the room and now stood before the stuck boy. He began pulling on the head, but just like the other times, the head didn't shoot loose.  

   ''Ow!'' Wind cried in panic. ''I'm stuck!''  

   ''Let's see about,'' Ganondorf hissed and looked at the other people that still stood in the room. ''Get lost! This party is over!'' He took a firm hold on one of the tusks of the boar and pulled Wind toward his office.   

   Twilight pulled Wild along upstairs past Ganondorf's office until they stopped before Wild's bedroom door.   

   ''Do you think everything will be alright with Wind?'' Wild asked worriedly.  

   Twilight shrugged. ''If Ganondorf gets angry over something, it's his showpieces. He would, I think, do anything to get the boar off Wind's head.''  

   ''Really?'' Wild's eyes widened. ''That's just a joke, right?''  

   Twilight hesitated. ''Ganondorf is unpredictable.''  

   ''Twilight?'' Wild began but hesitated.  

   ''Yes?''  

   ''No, never mind... I found it very pleasant just now.''  

   ''Yeah, me too,'' Twilight said. ''Good night.''