1) This fic is a canon-divergent AU for both verses. Some elements from the canon storylines will still have taken place/be present, others will not.
2) The Wonderland portrayed in this fic is not based in the OUaT version, nor any version in particular, but is rather an amalgam of various takes on the concept of Wonderland, itself, that I've read, watched, or heard about over the years.
3) Chapter lengths will vary, sometimes they might be over 4k words, sometimes they won't even break 2k words.
4) This fic is in keeping with a theme I've presented in other crossovers, wherein fancasts of particular characters in one fandom are another fandom's alternate selves. In this case, I always use Sebastian Stan as Death Eater character Selwyn.
* Corvus Selwyn is my personal take on the canon character of Selwyn & appears in a few of my DE-centric fics.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or Once Upon a Time, or any affiliated characters.
With Eyes of Deepest Blue
Hermione didn't know quite what it had been about him, but she could not seem to shake Corvus Selwyn from her mind. It could not merely have been his flirtatiousness, or the suggestive looks he sneaked in her direction when he'd been part of the group who'd taken her, Harry, and Ron to Malfoy Manor . . . . No, he was hardly the only one saying or doing such things. She kept it strictly to herself, but she was rather certain the War was not being kind to the Snatchers or the Death Eaters when it came to, ahem, female companionship.
It could not have been that his attitude, or his mildly lewd words unsettled her. On that count, Fenrir Greyback took the cake.
There was something about his eyes, perhaps. She'd never seen eyes so blue. Of course, she was perfectly aware that was likely no more than a combination of the lighting and the deep, rich colors of their surroundings at the time that had made them stand out to her. But there had simply been something off—some somber glint that didn't quite lend to his callous and crude demeanor.
She'd decided that was all, that had to be all. He was handsome in a way that pulled at heartstrings with very little effort. And those eyes most certainly didn't help. Yes, yes, like the Death Eaters lamenting her blood status, otherwise she might put her formidable mind to work for them, she found herself lamenting that someone like him was a soldier for the other side in their War.
Yet, just when—amidst the chaos of the War, and it's final act, The Battle of Hogwarts—she'd thought she solved the mystery of Corvus Selwyn's appeal, they happened across each other on the battlefield. Their wands at the ready, Hermione felt her throat close, trapping the air in her lungs.
There was the oddest shutting down of her senses for a few, staggering heartbeats, as all the noise and tumult around them seemed to die away. For handful of seconds, all that existed was Corvus Selwyn, and the weapon he held aimed at her.
All she could see were those blue eyes . . . and his hesitation to strike.
Just a moment, really. But in the passing of that opportunity, she felt as though the world shifted beneath her feet.
And then the acidic green energy of a wildly fired Killing Curse struck him.
She thought she could feel the beat of her own heart hammering in her head as she watched him fall. She knew the battle had sprung back into existence around them, but all she could hear was a dull cadence of unfocused sounds.
His attention never drifted from her as his body hit the ground. His gaze was locked with hers as the life left his eyes.
There was a strange, terribly hollow sensation in the center of her chest. She didn't know him, she certainly would not shed tears for him, yet as the War raged around her, charms and curses singeing the very air on all sides of her, she was overcome with a notion so unusual, so . . . misplaced for its timing and its source, that she could not comprehend it.
She was alone.
In that moment, even as she'd thought she would not cry for her enemy, a single tear escaped her eye.
Jefferson slammed down the spool of thread, his eyes watering. This was not working! It would never work.
Swallowing uncomfortably, he touched a hand to the scar on his throat. At this rate, he'd never make it home. His only comfort was that the people he'd left watching Grace were kind, they'd care for her until he returned.
Whenever that was.
If only the Queen would let him leave. Let him go find some source of magic to use. Sighing, he folded his arms on his worktable and laid his head against them.
Just for a moment, he'd rest, then he'd get back to work. Not that it mattered. He was beginning to wonder if they kept him here for this, as they said, or if it wasn't merely a punishment to give him a task he'd already told them he could not fulfill.
He must've been more tired than he realized, because before he knew it, he was dozing. But it was a fitful sleep, bombarded with strange images. A woman he did not recognize, with chestnut-colored eyes and a mane of wild, golden brown hair; a scar on her throat, though not as severe as his, it wasn't very different, either. He was observing, silent in the shadows, as she looked around the forest, appearing utterly lost.
But what he did recognize? She had a wand.
Was she some type of fairy? A witch? He couldn't be sure, but he did know one thing—a wand meant magic. And if he was seeing her, perhaps this was someone he was meant to cross paths with, but how if he was trapped in this godforsaken castle?
Then again, she could always be a figment of his hopeful imagination.
He started awake at a strange rattling from somewhere nearby, right then.
Sitting up, Jefferson looked around. The noise seemed to come from a mirrored wardrobe cabinet in the corner of the room. He'd never paid much mind to it before, but now? He couldn't seem to pull his attention from the ornately carved green wood frame.
Forcing a gulp down his throat, he stood from his stool and started toward it. The rattling stopped, and so he paused. After only a moment, the rattling came, again. It sounded like metal, but he could not place what was making the noise.
He did have the oddest impression something was playing with him. Each time the rattling stopped, he'd pause, and each time he paused, the rattling would start, again.
Frowning, he hurried the last few steps and wrenched open the door.
At the back of the otherwise empty wardrobe was a charm on a silver chain. No bigger than a pebble, a pale, blue-green light shown from between the charm's intricate silver lacework.
"You were making all that noise?" he asked, far past the point of feeling ridiculous for speaking to inanimate objects.
Yet, now that he had found the culprit, it had stopped moving.
With a sigh, he stepped into the wardrobe, reaching out to close his fingers around the charm. The moment he came into contact with it, the door slammed shut behind him.
Shaking his head, he stood and turned to face the door, the weird little trinket in his hand. "This isn't funny," he muttered to himself, certain one of the castle's servants was amusing themselves at his expense—again.
But, when he pushed at the door, it was not locked, nor even stuck. It gave no resistance at all, swinging open easily at his touch.
As he stepped out, the darkness of his surroundings startled him. Lifting his gaze, he found there was only enough light to see by, provided by a sliver of moon and a blanket of stars peeking through the leaves.
He was out in the forest? But how?
Turning back to the wardrobe, he found it gone. His shoulder slumped as he looked around. Yes, he was out of the castle, but he hadn't the faintest idea where he was. To make matters worse, the scents and sounds of the woods surrounding him reminded him, fast, that he was utterly defenseless, and had nothing but the clothes on his back.
And, even if he made it back to the castle, he'd be punished for trying to escape. Never mind what was going to happen if the Queen realized he was missing before then.
"This is not good," he said with a thoughtful frown as he turned his head, taking stock of his surroundings, once more.
"C'mon, what's with the solemn face?" Harry asked, looking exhausted and utterly bedraggled, but finally—finally—peaceful.
Two weeks had passed since that triumphant, yet horrible day. Here they were, having just finished the massive, magical effort to restore Hogwarts, and celebrating with a beautiful, formal feast—and what a sight they all made, still healing and visibly tired, yet dressed up like it was the Yule Ball, all over again.
Hermione snapped her gaze up from her cup of deliciously bewitched punch to meet her best friend's gaze. "Oh, nothing, I just . . . ." She forced a smile and shook her head. "I suppose I just still can't believe it's all finally over."
He nodded, returning her smile—with the exception that his was genuine—and turned to look at the gathering of wizards and witches celebrating their long awaited and hard won victory. "I know. It's sort of surreal, isn't it?"
She frowned in thought as she echoed the word. "Surreal." Yes, that was it. That's how this felt. For it to be two weeks later and her still being unable to shake Corvus Selwyn's face from her mind, to be unable to purge his voice from her thoughts, was certainly a situation best described as surreal. "Yes. That's it, exactly."
"Why don't you go take a walk? Get some fresh air . . . . Go say hullo to the giant squid, or something."
Looking about the spectacularly re-done Great Hall, Hermione drew in a deep breath and exhaled slow. She nodded, the way her mind was muddled as of late didn't make her the best company.
"You're right, that sounds like a good idea." Before Harry could give her a message from him for the bloody squid, she tacked on, "The fresh air part, Harry."
He snickered and made a playful shooing gesture before turning and heading back to the Weasleys.
She made her way through the castle's main floor, waving and smiling at those she passed. Though it was hardly the most polite thing, she made certain the pleasant expression didn't reach her eyes. She knew people wanted to speak with her, but she was not really in the mood for conversation.
And that she wasn't even really certain why she was so turned around by this Selwyn situation only made things worse.
Hermione uttered a heavy sigh as she passed through the gates and found herself on the road leading up to the school. Staring out into the night-darkened treeline of the Forbidden Forest, she stilled.
She folded her arms under her breasts, fleetingly happy that she was not among the crowd, anymore. Every time she'd done that in there, she caught at least one or two wizards eyeing the hint of cleavage visible over the top of her cream-colored dress robes. Really, it was fine Muggle dress, but the similarity between Muggle gowns and Wizarding dress robes let her get away with it.
She knew they weren't used to seeing this sort of attire on her, but honestly, one would think they'd never seen breasts, before.
Laughing under her breath, the witch shook her head. How long had it been since she'd had such silly, random thoughts? Yet, in wondering that, she was brought back to the issue that had brought her out here for fresh air in the first place.
Corvus Selwyn was not the only, nor even the first, person she'd witnessed die during the War. Perhaps it was because she'd been staring into his eyes when it happened?
Yes, that seemed the only logical reason. That still didn't explain, however, why he'd left an impression on her before then—the impression that led to that strange, staggered moment on the battlefield.
Maybe it was that he'd hesitated. That moment of indecision on his part . . . it made her wonder if she'd somehow left a similar impression on him.
Made her wonder if there had been something clandestine about their meeting?
Swallowing hard, she dropped her gaze to the ground beneath her feet. Rubbish, she thought with an inward laugh. She didn't believe in cosmic connections, or ridiculous things of that nature.
It was probably something as simple as if they'd met under different circumstances, they'd have been all over each other before even learning one another's names. That . . . that made perfect sense, she supposed.
It was shallow, it was crass, but it was something she could understand.
With a sigh, she lifted her gaze to the trees, once more. That was when she noticed it. The soft, blue-green glinting at the start of the forest. Brow furrowing, she looked about. Several other people had gathered in the courtyard behind her, but even those staring whimsically into the trees, just as she'd been, didn't seem to notice.
She returned her attention to the light to find it still there, a tiny beacon through the darkness. Against her better judgement, Hermione started for that glinting. She knew it was hardly the wisest decision, but she'd just faced a War, and had been in this Forest more times than she cared to count. Nothing here was frightening to her, anymore.
However, she wasn't wholly stupid. As she walked, she withdrew her wand from a cleverly hidden pocket she'd had sewn into her dress.
The oddest thing happened, then. The pale light, no bigger than a pebble, moved. She started, but refused to believe what she'd just seen. Her eyes must be playing tricks on her.
Continuing after it, however, she was forced to question if it really had moved, as she found herself walking deeper into the forest than she'd initially thought she'd have to go. Perhaps she'd simply underestimated the distance.
The sounds of the woods at night filled her ears, and the earthy scent of it hung heavy in the air.
Igniting the tip of her wand, she kept it lowered beside her, lighting her path without detracting from that tiny blip of illumination she was tracking.
It most certainly was moving! But by now, her curiosity had gotten the better of her. She had to find out what that was!
After a few more meters, she had the distinct impression that whatever that light was, it was playing with her. There was something almost childlike in the activity. God, she hoped it wasn't a ghost of one of the younger students lost in the War . . . . That would be a heartbreaking encounter, for certain.
And then, the movement simply stopped.
With a breathy laugh, she finally reached it. On the ground at the base of a grand, gnarled tree, was a heart-shaped charm. She slipped her fingers into the silver chain and lifted it, admiring the pale blue-green illumination spilling out from amid the heart's metal lacework.
"What are you?" she asked, grinning in spite of herself. Whatever it was, she was about to go research the hell out of it.
She braced her wandhand against the tree as she pushed up to her feet. The solid feel of the bark gave way and suddenly she was tumbling forward.
Hermione bit back a scream as she fell—through what she could swear was a tunnel, long and twisting, but she had no idea how such a thing was possible. When she hit the ground, strangely more gently than she'd expected, she found herself staring up at the night sky.
Only, it wasn't the same night sky that hung over the Forbidden Forest.
After a moment to get her bearings, she climbed to her feet, her wand clutched in one hand, and the charm in the other. She turned her attention toward the tree, only for her eyes to shoot wide and her mouth to drop open in shock.
There was a glowing doorway in the tree. Oh, she'd love to explore wherever this was, but she had to get back before anyone worried about her!
As she stepped toward the door, however, it slammed shut, vanishing almost entirely from sight. Uttering a gasp that sounded strangely affronted—as though the tree had insulted her—she raised her wand.
There was a faint outline against the wood that she could just make out in the illumination. The door was still there, which meant it might still be something she could unlock.
Nothing. Her shoulders drooping, she opened her mouth to try again, perhaps a charm to reveal hidden things, when she heard a voice from behind her.
Whirling on her heel, she turned her wand on the speaker. "Come out where I can see you!"
His hands up, Jefferson stepped from behind a tree. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you, I just . . . ." His voice trailed off as he saw her more clearly in the sparse illumination. The wand she held pointed at him, the dark eyes, the hair that seemed like it didn't know what it was doing with itself.
"What?" she demanded, yet as the word left her lips, he stepped close enough for her to see his face in the night-dark of the forest.
Her brows shot up. But even as she saw those familiar features, those deep blue eyes that had somehow stamped themselves on her memory, she knew there was no way the man standing before her was Corvus Selwyn. What she did know, however, was that from his hand dangled a charm that emitted that same soft, strange light as the one she held.
Swallowing hard, she lowered her wand, but lifted the glowing heart so he could see it.
He mimicked her gesture, raising the silver lacework sphere he'd found. For a moment, there was nothing but silence and the sounds of the forest as they stared at one another, as they examined each other's trinkets with their gazes.
"Who are you?" he asked, his tone mystified.
His voice sounded like Corvus', but the accent was different. She merely stared at his face for a pained moment before she said, "My—my name's Hermione."
He nodded, slipping his bizarre little charm that had led him to her, somehow, into his pocket. "My name is Jefferson, and I think . . . . I think I've been expecting you."
Hermione noticed he sounded confused, himself, by that statement, which probably meant he hadn't actively brought her here, rather that he'd somehow known they'd meet. She could see that he was unarmed, but refused to put her wand away, just yet.
The charm was too wide for her wand pocket, so she slipped the chain over her head. Unfortunately, that also brought her the awareness of how much the tumble here had messed with her usually difficult control mane.
She ignored that he bit his lip to hold in a snicker as she groaned and smoothed her free hand over her hair in what was probably a quite laughable futile effort.
"Jefferson? Can you tell me where I am?"
At that, his brows shot up. He gave her a once-over. She certainly wasn't from around there. Her gown, though becoming, didn't look like a design he'd ever seen, and even though she carried a wand, he doubted she had ever heard of this place. So few people knew it was more than a fairy tale.
He shifted his weight, pursing his lips in thought before he could answer. "I'll tell you, but you're probably not going to believe me."
She rolled her eyes. "I don't know that we've got time for me to bore you with the details, Jefferson, but I've been through, seen, and done a lot. Not to mention that I tumbled through a bloody tree to get here, so I'm pretty sure I just might believe you."
The man breathed out a quick, quiet chuckle as he shook his head. "Very well, Hermione. You're in Wonderland."
"I . . . ." Her face fell as she held his gaze. From his expression, she could tell he expected this response from her. That, and he was totally and completely serious.
A shocked, shivering breath escaping her, she looked about once more, before returning her attention to him. "What?!"