My aesthetic: on a plane, daydreaming of my destination with a few of good books and a glass of wine. Not only did I pack way too many books for the journey but I've already read two of them before. Why am I like this :’–)
Fanon Link: I’m the reincarnation of the hero. I’m doomed to forever fight Demise. My life is an endless cycle of suffering.
Canon Link: I’m the legendary Hero? BADASS! So long, guys! I’m gonna go take down Cia myself! *gets surrounded by Shadow Links* … my excitement and overconfidence was my undoing.
Fanon OoT Link: I am eternally bitter at the fact that I was never considered a hero. Also my lover died, my kingdom abandoned me, I died in the lost woods, my cat exploded, Epona ate my flesh and I cry myself to sleep every night from my Skeleton Eyes.
Canon OoT Link: I am eternally bitter… heh, but actually, I’m kind of having fun now… I legitimately enjoy training this youngster who may or may not be my son! Alright, now that I’ve taught you how to stab a fucker, I’m going off to the Afterlife happily now. I am so proud of you.
Fanon TP Link: Brooding sexily is my favorite thing to do. Being an ass to Ilia, who is AWFUL and in NO WAY MY FRIEND, is my second favorite thing to do. I’m in love with the Twilight Princess and Zelda, but I can never have either because I look too sexy frowning. Sympathize with my many faults, my many and sexy faults…
Canon TP Link: I found fifty rupees in a chest? Cool! But no time to express my happiness because I have to go travel across the kingdom to save my BEST FRIEND and perhaps LOVER Ilia. After that I’ll defeat Ganon with mainly the fishing rod my FRIEND AND POSSIBLE GOD-SON MADE FOR ME BECAUSE I’M LOVED BY DOZENS OF PEOPLE. Maybe once this adventure is over I’ll do some travelling with Epona, a horse that I love and can literally speak to. Did I mention I like smiling at the smallest things and petting cats?
(No, seriously, you can actually defeat Ganon using a fishing rod strategy which is both hilarious and adorable)
Eulalia is a clever woman. She has never been beautiful, brave, talented, nor even particularly kind, but she has always been clever.
She has talked her way out from under her father’s heavy hand many a time, she has kept their feeble farm afloat with naught but her words and a cartful of meagre crops. Eulalia’s silver tongue can sell a bottle of dirt to a pauper, and she has done so when in a pinch, but in a poor town surrounded by poor people there is only so much money to be swindled.
Eulalia wants nothing more than to leave, travel far away to the towns by the sea, where the buildings are brightly coloured, the air is salty and food is plenty. Eulalia has saved up all her money to go, hidden every coin she has under the floor boards, but it has all been for naught.
For she has fallen in love with a stable boy and is now with child. The stable boy is as unhappy with his home as she, and he would gladly steal away two horses so they may elope in the night, but travelling is hard, and travelling while pregnant far too dangerous. Her mother had passed during birth and Eulalia fears the same fate will fall upon her, it can not be risked.
However, her father will be furious if he finds out, a child out of wedlock, what would people say? His beatings will double, if not triple, and Eulalia’s silver tongue would likely do nothing to quell such a rage.
Thoughts race through Eulalia’s clever head.
She considers poisonous herbs to force her to lose the child, it would be a mercy to both of them, she does not want to bring them into a world as unloving as the one she had been born into, and she knows she would resent the child for the difficulties it was causing her, regardless of it not truly being to blame. Though the herbs are risky, they are far too likely to kill her as well as the child and so she abandons the idea.
She could kill her father and frame it as an accident, but the risk of being found out is too great, her hatred of the man is well known and she would be suspected immediately, and though her lover may forgive her were she to do the deed herself he would never aid her in such a dangerous act.
She knows that she will have to act quickly, before her father notices her belly grow, she needs a way to have him killed without being suspected herself, she needs someone to raise her child in her stead, and she needs to ensure that she will even make it through the birth alive.
She needs a witch.
Eulalia knows of four witches that live in the nearby woods, each would gladly take her child, but there are risks. There are many different reasons for a witch to want a child, some of those reasons darker than others, if Eulalia is to sell her child to a witch she will get only one favour in return and her child may be eaten or sacrificed.
Asking to have her father killed would mean nothing if she is to die in childbirth, and wishing to survive childbirth will be useless if her father were to beat her to death afterwards. If only she could have more than one favour, but she would need more than one child… or perhaps, more than one witch. A plan comes to Eulalia’s mind, Eulalia’s clever, clever mind and that very night she shares her clever thoughts with her beloved stable boy.
While her father is out hunting the next morning the young woman gathers up her skirts and hikes into the woods alone, she assures her lover that she will be safe and her journey will be short, she does not need to know where she is going. You do not find the witch you seek, the witch will always find you.
Verano, the Witch of Summer, is the first.
“What is it you want, girl?” Verano asks of her in a parched, dry voice that crackles like fire.
“I wish to make a trade.” says Eulalia, opening her satchel. “I wish for good health through pregnancy and a quick recovery after birth. I will trade you one of four things in return.” Eulalia holds out a small cracked mug, a ragged home-sewn shawl and a broken mirror.
The witch ignores the trinkets, eyeing only the woman’s belly, “What is the fourth?”
Eulalia lays a hand across her midsection, “My first born child, though I request that you only choose your payment the day after the child has been born, you may come and consider all gifts equally and leave with the one you prefer over the others.” Eulalia plays the part of the desperate mother clinging to hope and the witch’s mercy, she plays it well.
Verano smirks, “I will grant your wish and agree to your terms, but I assure you the child will be the one I choose.”
Eulalia grasps her belly tightly, “We will see, Summer Witch.”
The next day Eulalia once again makes her way into the forest, her satchel of trinkets on her shoulder, this time, she seeks the Autumn Witch.
“What is it that you desire, child?” Otoño asks of her with a voice as fragile and delicate as the crisp leaves underfoot.
“I wish good fortune upon myself and my lover, we are to travel soon and I would feel safer knowing that we won’t encounter any dangers upon the road.” Eulalia makes her offer and the Autumn Witch agrees to the terms.
The next day Eulalia seeks the Witch of Winter.
“You are brave to come out here all alone young one, what is it you wish to gain from this journey?” Invierno asks, her words harsh and cold like an icy wind.
“I wish for my father’s death, an accident that cannot be blamed on myself,” Eulalia gives the Winter Witch the same offer as the witch before, Invierno agrees gleefully and promises her father a perfectly accidental demise.
The next day Eulalia enters the forest to meet with the last witch.
“My what a scrumptious young thing I’ve found wandering my woods alone,” says the sickly, sweet honeyed voice of the Witch of Spring. “What can I do for you my pet?”
“I wish for a pouch of endless coins.” Eulalia says quickly before offering her gifts and terms. Primavera smiles hungrily, promising that when Eulalia gets home her new magical purse will be waiting. She travels home quickly and hides it under the floorboards.
Only a week later Eulalia is approached by a friend of her father with news of his death.
“A bear caught us unaware in the woods. I don’t understand what it was doing here so far from the mountains but…”
Eulalia feigns shock and surprise, the hunter assures her that the bear has been killed and will not bring harm to any others of the village, “The beast will be skinned, I will bring you it’s fur personally.”
She thanks him tearfully, false sobs hiding her laughter. Her father will never lay a hand upon her again.
As Eulalia’s belly grows so too does her solitude, she fakes her grief so well that nobody questions when she locks herself away, sending the sweet, caring stable boy to do her chores and fetch goods from the market. The villagers say she is lucky to have such a decent young man to look after her, Eulalia and her father may have quarrelled often, but she is young and fragile and could not possibly cope on her own without the generous help of the local stable boy. Everyone hopes to see them marry when her grief finally passes.
The day of birth comes, she secretly delivers the child at home, quickly and with very little difficulty as the Witch of Summer promised. Eulalia feeds the child as her lover prepares their meagre belongings, packing away the magic coin purse and sneaking a pair of horses from the town stables. Before they leave she lays her sleeping child on the bearskin alongside the cracked mug, ratty shawl and broken mirror. She gives the little girl a tender kiss on her small forehead.
“Thank you.” Eulalia whispers before she and the stable boy disappear into the darkness of the early morn, never to be heard from again.
The witches are not impressed be the arrangement.
“We have been tricked!” says Invierno, “The wench has promised the child to all of us! She must be punished!”
“We were not promised the child,” Otoño softly reminds her, “we were promised one of four things, there is a gift here for each of us, she has broken no rules.”
“She knew we would all want the child.” states Verano, “But she has left us to fight for it ourselves, she knows she has kept her side of the bargain. We have no power over her.”
“I say we hunt her down and slit her throat for this treachery!” Primavera hisses. “And we can split the child down the middle and across the belly, we can each take a piece!”
“If you dare harm the child I will kill you,” threatens Invierno. “I am in need of a slave, I have no use for child pieces.”
“And should you harm the mother the fates will send swift punishment,” warns Otoño, “despite her clear devious intent, she HAS kept her word. We agreed to choose a gift, without the mother or those of her blood here to mediate the choice for who may have the child the choice lands on our shoulders.”
“The child is of her blood.” says Verano, “Per the rules, the child must choose who of us is to take her.”
“But the child’s word is not binding until she comes of age!” Primavera snips. “We would have to wait sixteen years!”
“We are bound by the rule of the fates Primavera.” Otoño says quietly. “We have little choice in the matter. Unless three of us can agree to give up their claim to the child, we must wait.”
No witch is willing to give up her claim, so it is agreed that Otoño will take the child until autumn’s end, at which point she will pass her along to Invierno for the winter. Primavera will take her for the spring and come summer hand her off to Verano, after which the cycle will begin anew until the sixteen years are up and the girl makes her choice.
Otoño is the one who gifts the child with the name Nina. She raises the girl as she would her own babe, with love and care and compassion. She is sad to pass the child along and yearns for her return in the next year.
Invierno spends little time with Nina, preferring to swaddle the little girl up in rags and leave her until she is to be fed or changed. She has no interest in babies and only speaks to Nina when needing an ear to complain about a spell gone awry or a bothersome forest spirit. She is not sad to see the girl disappear from her home for the next three seasons, she will no longer have to waste her healing potions on Nina’s teething gums.
Primavera has many uses for the child. Though she cannot eat her flesh as she would like, the hair and fingernails of a babe can be used in many spells for youth and beauty. Nina is pampered with herbal creams and lotions, anything to help her soft hair and tiny nails grow quickly, although she is occasionally left with sore fingers and toes when the witch carelessly cuts too close to flesh.
Verano prefers to spend her three months teaching Nina to speak, familiarising her with the words for items around the hut, or animals outside the windows. If the girl is to become her apprentice she will need to know how to see and hear and touch the world around her. ‘Verano’ is Nina’s first word.
The other witches take it very personally.
By the time Nina returns to the Summer Witch she is speaking many new words and phrases.
“Tono mama best.” Nina says after her second autumn.
“Inveeya strong mama!” she cries after her second winter.
“Preemvee pretty mama!” she proclaims after her second Spring.
“VERANO!” Nina screams in excitement any time she eyes a puddle of mud.
Verano knows perfectly well that this is not an accident. She teaches Nina that food is for throwing if fed by anything other than a golden spoon, knowing full well she is the only one to own such a thing. She teaches Nina that long hair is always for pulling, knowing she is safe with her own short fiery locks out of the child’s reach.
Otoño retaliates by teaching Nina to walk. The others are unprepared and swiftly learn to keep their poisonous ingredients up on high shelves. Invierno creates a cage of wood and ice to keep the child confined. Primavera inadvertently teaches Nina some very very inappropriate new words when catching her with a sprig of Oleander in her mouth, once the danger has passed she teaches her a plethora of new ones just for fun.
After being savagely cussed for not allowing Nina to stay up after bedtime, Verano pleads for a truce.
As the years pass Nina learns the ways of her witch mothers, she watches and questions and helps when she is asked.
From Verano Nina learns the power of the Sun, of fire and heat and the magic born within the ashes of the hearth, how it may be used for health and healing and creation. She learns to cure wounds and ailments, and conjure constructs of shadow and ash. She learns that Verano has the warmest kisses of all her witch mothers, a burning touch upon her forehead will linger the night through, keeping the monsters in the darkness at bay.
From Otoño Nina learns the power of the Seer, of prophecies and fortunes that can guide and be guided, the nature of change and how fate can never truly be controlled, but swayed. She learns to see the signs of misfortune upon the roads she travels and how to walk between the ill omens that lay before her. She learns that Otoño’s gentle embrace can cast away all the shadows of sadness and fear, even without the aid of spells and magic.
From Invierno Nina learns the power of the Beasts, of creatures in the night who hunt and howl, she learns the ways of the goblins and gnomes, of the merfolk below the ocean’s depths and the wolfbeings who prowl the woods. She learns of survival in the woods, the home of these creatures, how to ward them away from her food and her fire, how to fight when still they approach, uninvited. She learns of Invierno’s love of games, how her cool eyes blaze with the fire of competition and her spirit soars when they race for the sake of pure fun.
From Primavera Nina learns the power of Beauty, of the secret poisons that hide within the prettiest of flowers, of the mesmerising nature of a sweet voice and a charming face. She learns the nature of illusions, distraction and misdirection, gentle touches and swift fingers, silver words that confound and bind the unsuspecting. She learns of Primavera’s self doubt, that the days her hands are busiest are the days her thoughts are cluttered, Nina finds that kind, encouraging words can weave a special magic of their own at times like these.
The witches, in turn, learn many things about their young ward.
Verano learns that Nina likes to sing while doing chores, she has little talent and her songs are often nonsense, but the witch enjoys them nonetheless, and when Nina cannot be found for supper it is often the fault of the nearby river, it’s enticing cool waters tempt her so on the hottest of days and she will succumb each and every time without fail.
Otoño learns that Nina enjoys her tea with a heaping dose of honey, she has a tongue for sweets and a fondness for cooking, if left alone for an afternoon the witch will find her home smelling positively delectable upon her return. On their regular outings Nina will leap upon any leaf pile deemed large enough to soften her fall and quite often forgets her scarf when it is cold, Otoño suspects she does so on purpose simply to bother her.
Invierno learns that Nina is tenacious, she often does not pick up on lessons right away, but her determination will carry her through any task no matter how difficult it may be. She is competitive, and will always strive to hunt a bigger kill, collect more herbs, cut down the bigger tree, to Nina everything is a challenge to be surpassed, she and Invierno have this in common.
Primavera learns that Nina cannot keep her fingers out of her hair, she fiddles with her dark curls relentlessly if she has little else to do to keep her hands busy, she will even play with the silky tendrils of the witch’s hair if allowed, braiding and twisting the luscious strands into intricate designs atop her head. She also chews the ragged ends of her always filthy nails to Primavera’s unrivalled disgust.
Nina is taught by all the witches that the most sacred magic comes from the world around them, for it is from the world that the witches learn their craft. Nina did not learn from the world, and so as far as she is concerned the most sacred of all magics come from the hearts of her very own mothers.
Nina loves her mothers, she loves them all unconditionally, she loves them all equally. The witches know this well, and so when the day of their beloved daughter’s sixteenth year comes the witches gather, they gather with food and gifts and games. They gather each with the same Question balanced atop their lips.
'Who will you choose?’
The Question sits throughout the games, it sits throughout their meal, it sit throughout the giving of gifts. It sits and sits and sits on the lips of each witch as they steal secret glances to one another, waiting to see who will be the one to let it tumble forth.
The day passes, Nina and the witches talk far into the night, moving into Otoño’s warm hut when the chill of darkness sets in. The witches know that they cannot part ways before the Question is asked for they must all be present when Nina is to make her choice, but still not a one of the four can bring herself to say it aloud. Nina chatters happily away, knowing nothing of her mothers’ plight, she has never had all of them together for an entire night, and she has never seen them get along so well. She wishes that they would never leave, she wishes this night would never end.
Morning comes and Invierno offers her aid in the small kitchen as Nina begins cooking breakfast. “How do you get anything done in a kitchen so small?” the Winter Witch asks. “I shall not leave this home until we can build one of a decent size!”
Verano offers to fetch water from the well so that they may bathe, “How can you possibly travel so far for clean water each day?” the Summer Witch asks upon her return, “I will not leave this home until I have dug you a brand new well right upon your doorstep!”
Primavera does not offer her help with the morning’s chores, opting instead to comment snidely on Otoño’s pathetic attempt at a garden. “How could you possibly grow anything through all these weeds? I refuse to leave this home until this garden is worthy of my gaze!”
Otoño makes no complaints of her three guests, and Nina could not possibly feel any more delighted about their stay. When the kitchen is finished and winter inevitably arrives Nina, for the first time in her life, does not travel to Invierno’s home.
“The weather is too cold to travel such a distance,” says the Winter Witch, “we must stay here until the spring.”
Nina knows the both of them have travelled in far worse conditions just for sport, but she says nothing, nor does she argue when Primavera weaves her own excuses for staying throughout the spring.
“If this garden is to have any chance I must remain to tend it through the spring,” she insists. “It has yet to meet my standards and I simply refuse to leave until it does!”
Verano does not even mention her old house when summer’s heat presses down upon them, she speaks only of the new river path she has spent the past seasons digging by the Autumn Witch’s home.
“With luck we shall be swimming again before summer’s end!”
The day of Nina’s seventeenth birthday arrives in the coming autumn, and the witches remember a Question that had never been asked. They suddenly realise, however, that such a Question no longer sits heavy upon their lips.
Another year passes, and another, and another. Otoño’s once small and shabby hut becomes a large den of life and noise, of bickering and laughter. The witches who once saw one another so rarely now break bread at a single table each night, along with the young woman who brought them all together when she was just a babe.
The witches can no longer imagine a world in which they do not live alongside one another, the thought of breaking their family apart hurts them so deeply they simply cannot fathom why they did not come together sooner.
Verano could never stand to lose the gentle kisses and tender embraces she now receives daily, Otoño could never go back to the silence that once settled upon her home, Invierno could never again survive without the talk and chatter that now sweeps away the loneliness, and Primavera could never give up the support and love and care that help to keep her ill thoughts at bay…
Though she never asks and is never told, Nina eventually discovers the truth of her birth mother, and of the choice she was to make all those years ago, for she knows that the children of witches are always the children of the unwanted. She knows there is a woman out there who did not dump her on the side of the road, nor drown her in a river, but instead promised her to four witches who would become the family that she knows and loves.
Nina will never meet the woman who birthed her, nor does she ever wish to, but on a dark night, when the wind whips through the trees like a beast through the underbrush, she whispers words to the woman who gave her away.
A long way away a woman sits peacefully by the ocean with her husband, arm in arm they watch the boats cross the beautiful waters, the woman places a hand atop her swollen belly. Her face is one of contentment.
A wild wind thrashes through the woman’s dark curls, and with it comes a voice she does not recognise.
A tear rolls down the woman’s cheek, though she does not know why. Her husband pulls her to her feet and they begin their walk home. Eulalia places her hand upon her belly once again.
She will do right by this one.
well this is finally done, I wanted to do more of the witches interacting after moving in together but the story got too long and I couldn’t find a good place to put it in, just imagine them all doing cute girlfriend things together
This is the absolute love of my life! We have been together for almost half a year but it was basically love at first sight. I work for American Airlines so I get to travel for free, and I absolutely love discovering the world with him. He is my travel companion, my lover, my rock, my heart and I couldn’t live life without this man. We may have children down the line but as for right now we just want 5000 puppies :)