Luna in Wonderland
Luna goes down the rabbit hole. Written as a homage for Lewis Carroll's birthday (but a bit delayed). Most of this story belongs either to him or to Rowling
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves I have found a rabbit hole It might be dug by a rath
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe
By the top of the stairs
It might be dug by a mole
With hole-digging affairs
As it is steep and hollow
But all the same, it forms a path
Which I am set to follow
I have found a rabbit hole
It might be dug by a rath
The girl was happily skipping down the great stairs of Hogwarts as she sang the song to a tune which she changed every fifth step. On her way down she passed students in pairs and triplets, some of which gave her a curious glance, some of which who simply ignored her. Glumly they regarded the rain hammering against the windows, spoiling their weekend plans for Quidditch or picnics or secret sneaking aways to Hogsmeade, but this particular girl didn't mind. She had never had trouble finding something to do with a rainy day.
She reached the bottom of the stairs, did a little pirouette and fell over with a laugh. She stayed on the floor for a while, curiously regarding the legs of her fellow students walking by. Two of the legs stopped by her and a hand, presumably in some way associated to the legs, appeared in her field of vision.
"Shall I help you up, Luna?" a girl's voice asked. Luna looked up into a friendly face, framed by brown bushy curls. She smiled back into the face.
"Why, certainly your majesty" she answered, grasping the offered hand. "We mustn't linger you know, least the castle should choose to depart." And with that she was on her feet again and started to run down the corridor, dragging her helper with her.
"Wait!" said helper cried. "Where are we going?"
"Anywhere!" the girl answered, panting from the running. "As long as we go somewhere."
They ended up in the great hall where their rash entry caused some turned heads and some sniggers. Luna stopped at the doorstep, curiously looking around.
"Are we somewhere yet?" Hermione asked with a smile.
"You can never know for sure, your majesty, until you have tried" Luna answered and then lit up as her gaze met the buffet table. "But here is food, and then we are already at the fifth square. At least. Now, we have to be very careful where we go, least we end up somewhere else."
That said she started to very cautiously approach the table, her feet in line as she was walking on a rope. She followed a winding path, seemingly guided by the cracks between the stone slabs of the floor. The path took her to the loud amusement of her peers past almost two thirds of the room until she finally, after several minutes, reached the table.
"Care for some pumpkin juice?" said Hermione who had walked directly to the table and waited there for her friend.
"I would be delighted, your majesty, if you would care to pour me some. But before you drink it, you must make sure it doesn't contain poison." Luna took the jug from Hermione and critically scrutinized it from every angle with a serious expression. At last she gave it back.
"It doesn't seem to say 'poison' anywhere, why it should be safe to drink" she concluded. Could I offer your majesty some bread in return?"
"Yes please" the girl laughed. "Why do you call me 'Majesty' by the way, Luna?"
"We must keep the standards up, your majesty, even if your husband the red king appears to be sleeping for the moment" Luna seriously answered, indicating the unmistakable form of Ron Weasley who sat hunched over his breakfast, gently snoring. "I am not sure, yet, whether he is dreaming me, or I am dreaming him, you see, and it could be quite disastrous to wake him up before that is settled" she added conspiratorially to the slightly flustered girl by her side. "If you, your majesty, could give me some small hint I would be very grateful."
"My husband? What do you... oh never mind... So why should any of you be dreaming the other?"
"Someone has to, don't you agree?" Luna said, giving Hermione a generously spread piece of bread and accepted the glass of pumpkin juice.
"Well, in that case I don't think Ron has enough imagination to dream you." Hermione answered with the half bewildered, half amused smile she usually wore when she had talked to Luna any length of time. "I don't think anyone has. So it must be you who dream him, then."
"Absolutely!" cried Luna delighted and drank her pumpkin juice. "What a wonder logical thinking is. And now your majesty I really have to go to the next square. Please give the red queen my compliments. And she danced away towards the door, an action delayed by her twirling jig taking her around the staff table before she found the door. The laughing Hermione considered following her, but decided against it. She had not had her breakfast, and also since she had not followed the path by the cracks she could end up somewhere else. Besides, Luna seemed to manage fully well on her own. She walked over to the Gryffindor table to find Ginny instead. But she was careful not to wake up Ron.
As Luna skipped down the corridor, looking for the sixth square, she was aware of someone regarding her. She looked up and saw a cat grinning at her from its place on top of a cupboard. She curtsied.
"Good morning Mrs Norris!" she said politely. "I was wondering if you could help me find my way towards the sixth square."
"And why would you want to go there?" the cat answered, flicking lazily with its tail.
"Because then I can go to the seventh square. And if I reach all the way to the eighth I will become a queen!" Luna answered proudly.
"Oh dear, such a long way to walk just to become a queen" miss Norris sighed. "Why don't you find yourself a cupboard and make yourself comfortable instead? Life as a cat is not that bad, you know."
"Thank you very much, but I have started to go and must go on. Otherwise, I would never get somewhere."
"Well, if you are set in your decision, I suggest you keep on walking"
"But where, Mrs Norris? How do I get to the next square?" Luna reminded politely. The cat grinned wider.
"From here you can go either the one path or the other. The one takes you to the twins in the forest. The other takes you to the mad hat. You can go either direction you like from here."
"Thank you very much" said Luna, but to her surprise the cat had faded away and only left the grin behind. She smiled back at it, to be on the safe side, and then carefully looked in both direction.
"If it doesn't matter where I go, then where I go doesn't matter" she said to herself. "The mad hat doesn't sound very nice though. I think I take my chances with the twins." That decided she purposefully walked out through the main doors and followed the path past the lake. From the other side of a hedge she heard the gardener sing.
He thought he found a pussycat
Who had a little kid
He looked again and saw it was
A purple giant squid
How cute he said, t'was in his bed
Where it vainly hid.
"It must be quite strange to have a squid hiding in your bed, I suppose" Luna mused as she entered the forbidden forest "but even stranger to mistake it for a pussycat. They are not that alike after all."
The thick leaf cover of the trees did keep the rain out quit well, but even so she was soaked and quite cold before she had walked very far. Therefore, when she saw the red glow of a fire a bit away she eagerly walked that way. She was still talking to herself, not really taking any notice of where she was walking. So when she entered the small glade she was quite startled when she suddenly found herself standing face to face with two red-headed young men. They were identical to the tiniest freckle in their faces. The only thing separating them was their woollen jumpers which each had a large letter on it. The one to the left had a F and the one to the right had a G.
"Good morning" Luna said, nodding at them.
"Good..." began the twin with the F.
"...morning" finished the one with the G.
"Would you like to ..."
"...help us test a new spell?" the brothers went on. Luna hesitantly nodded.
"I would like to" she said in a well behaved manner. "Only it can't take too long, because I have to get to the eighth square before it gets dark."
"The eighth square?" F. exclaimed.
"That is far from here." said G.
"Miles and miles."
"Never been there myself."
"Never been much for travels."
"Only, if I get there I will become a queen." The twins shook their heads.
"Sounds like an awful lot of work."
"Sounds like having to take responsibility."
"I don't like it at all."
And the brothers were so bewildered by the thought that they went into a huddle around the fire and Luna had to talk to them with a soft voice and promise them to try out their spell before they grudgingly agreed to help her with her journey. Even then they shot her suspicious glances now and then, as if she was going to do something queenly any time lest they were wary.
"Tell me about your spell" she asked again.
"It is the most elegant little hex" F said.
"Yet a bit unstable" said G.
"It is all safe though."
"Still, it could be deadly dangerous."
"If handled in the wrong way that is."
"Not when it is used by experts like us."
"What do you want me to do?" Luna interrupted. The brothers both erupted in huge grins.
"We need to test it."
"See if we have it worked out correctly."
"But since it is dangerous business..."
"...we need to put on protecting clothing."
"And in case something goes wrong..."
"...as is easily the case when such dangerous magic is afoot..."
"...we need you to scrape up the remains of us."
"And contact our dear mother."
"Tell her that we were happy..."
"...all the way up to the sad end."
"Tell her that she mustn't worry."
"That we died with clean underwear."
"That it was Bill, not us, who broke that window with the bludger."
"That Ginny and Ron might have our brooms."
"But not the dungbomb collection."
"Because that is for Filch."
"Every single one of them."
"One at the time."
While talking the brothers had opened a large sack by the fire and from it they produced an assortment of thick jackets, mattresses, helmets, gloves and all other imaginable protective clothing. Luna helped them strap it on as well as she could, until both the brothers resembled more snowmen waddling back and forth than anything else. When they at length were content with their protection she gave them each their wand. They nervously faced each other.
"Are you ready Fred?"
"As ready as you George."
"You would better step back miss."
"No knowing what can happened."
"Better stand behind the trees."
"Or even the trees behind the trees."
"And don't get scared. We have everything under control."
Obediently Luna walked into the forest again and chose a suitable tree to stand behind. She saw the twins wait until she was in safety before they nodded at each other and pointed their wands towards each other. Simultaneously they uttered an incantation, and Luna could see something small hurling from the tip of each wand. With a splash the two balls hit the protecting clothing of the twins and bursted. A yellow spot appeared.
"You are throwing eggs?" Luna asked, surprised. But the twins did not answer. They simply stared at each other, trembling.
"It worked" said Fred.
"It really did" said George.
"We are geniuses!" and they dropped their wands and ran forward to hug each other. However, their protective clothing made them bounce back and fall over. Luna stepped forward to help them up, but suddenly she heard the gardener's song again.
He though he found the ace of spades
On his dinner plate
He looked again and found it was
A single roller skate
It must be known he sternly said
This is not much for bait
The twins suddenly bolted up and panicky started to run.
"It is Filch" screamed Fred.
"He will catch us" screamed George. They bumped into each other and fell over again, but the song sounded closer by now and they scrambled to their feet and bolted off into the forest.
"Wait" screamed Luna. "You have to show me the way." But the twins were gone.
"Well" she sighed. "I don't think they could have given me much help anyway, since they did not like to travel. But this means I have to walk back and ask the mad hat. I suppose he can be quite nice, even if he is mad. You mustn't be prejudiced about mad people" she said to herself in a lecturing voice. "Just because they don't think like the rest of us, they can still be just as sane as myself. Anyway" she added, a bit more thoughtful, "he can't be more crazy than these two." Saying this she turned her back towards the glade and walked back. She kept her eyes open for the gardener, but she could never see him, even if she heard him sing now and then on her way towards the castle.
It must be known he sternly said
This is not much for bait
Luna's hair was dripping wet when she got in from the rain, but she did not think much of it since her attention was caught by the rabbit that ran down the big staircase and past her, muttering as it ran.
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I will surely be late. Oh what will the professor say."
"Excuse me?" Luna said, causing the rabbit to take fright and drop all the books it was carrying all over the floor. In despair it sat down on the floor, staring despondently around. Luna sat down beside him and patted him on the shoulder. It really was a rabbit, as large as herself but covered with white fur. It was dressed in a boy's school uniform with Gryffindor's colours.
"I am sorry" she said. "I was just wondering if you could show me the way I am supposed to go." The rabbit stared at her with big eyes.
"If you want to go somewhere, then you will have to go to the caterpillar. And no one knows where she is these days."
"I see." Luna said thoughtfully. "So how do you go to other places then, if you can't find her?" The rabbit looked sad.
"That is the problem. No one is getting anywhere. Only the other day we saw the walrus trying to run down the staircase, but the staircase moved him upwards again. It took him hours and hours to get down, and then he of course had forgotten what he was supposed to do down there."
"That is a bit odd" Luna admitted "but where are you heading in such a rush?"
"I am going to the potions lessons. Only I lost my toad and had to look for it all over the place and ran late. Oh dear me. The professor is surely going to kill me." Quickly the rabbit started to assemble its books. Luna helped.
"Did you find the toad?"
"I was about to, but in the last minute he turned to a pig and I had to let him go. If you find him, please could you tell him to come to me."
"Where shall I tell him to go?" Luna cried, but the rabbit was on his feet again and with a last "oh dear" turned his tail and ran down the stairs towards the dungeons. Luna shrugged and walked upwards instead, the way the rabbit had come from. She wasn't sure whether it was normal for toads to turn to pigs, but she decided not to persue it. After all, she was on her own quest. By the time she had found her way to the other path mentioned by Mrs Norris she had dried up somewhat.
The mad hat sat on a stool in a large room, filled by glittery, tinkly things. When Luna entered it made a little jump and turned towards her - at least she assumed it did. It was hard to know exactly which way the hat was facing.
"Hello there" it said with leathery voice, a mouth opening about two thirds down from its top. "Wait, don't tell me... Friendly, but no real team person... rules out Hufflepuff. Not much of ambition really, and a bit to good natured for Slytherin... Ah, great courage and a certain lack of respect for rules. Gryffindor would do fine... but there is a great mind in there as well. It works in loops and hoops but is all the same astonishing. Yes, there is no doubt. You belong to RAVENCLAW." Luna clapped her hands.
"Very good" she said. "But tell me, mr hat, could you please help me find my way?"
"That is a great deal you are asking for" the hat hesitantly replayed. "A way is quite large, so if you have lost it, it will take some doing finding again. Where did you last see it?"
"It can't be VERY far" Luna modesty answered. "I only whish to know how to reach the sixth square." The hat considered this.
"I will sing you a song" it concluded.
"Will that tell me where to go?" Luna asked.
"It very well might, if you listen carefully and don't put your hands over your ears."
"I never put my hands over my ears when someone is talking to me" Luna said a bit offended. "It is rude."
"Is it? I wouldn't know. Anyway, the song I will sing is called The sorting of the old man.
Luna sat down on the floor before that hat as it began to sing.
"You are really a most peculiar kind"
Said the young man so truly in awe
"You are clever and wise as is no other man
You must surely be a Ravenclaw"
"Alas, no" said the old man and tugged his beard
"that is not the house where I belong
It was said that my brain, should I use it the least,
would heat up and melt down before long"
"Then" said the young man "with your great ambition
And cunning, which is so easily admired
Your house is, no doubt, that of proud Slytherin
Where the great deeds are truly acquired"
"Again your assumption is wretchedly wrong"
The old man emphased with a frown
"My slyness and cunnings are shallow at best
And I never was very renown"
"Thus" the young man cried in heavy excitement
"Were you sorted as a Hufflepuff
Your honour and friendliness, both widely known
Are certainly reasons enough"
"Speak of friends I must say that I severely lack
All the virtues that would have made me one"
Said the old man "and as for honour, I fear
that nature has given me none."
"So a Gryffindor are you" the young man exclaimed
"Who his brave and fearless and bold
Why, your courage is spoken of both near and far
And you dress well in red and in gold."
"For the forth time you're wrong" the old man said so cross
"You are nosey and scarly polite
You annoy me, young man with your blabbering mouth
So shut up and get out of my sight."
The hat silenced and Luna kept sitting on the floor, looking at it.
"Well?" she said after a while.
"Well what?" asked the hat.
"What house was he in? There are only four to choose from."
"Well, I know THAT" said the hat slightly annoyed. "But if the young man had only listened for a little while instead of asking stupid questions, he would have learned where the old man was sorted."
"I think he could have been in Slytherin" Luna mused. He sounded quite angry at the end, and they are like that sometimes... of course, the Gryffindor's can also be quite testy now and then. I don't know really."
"Of course you don't!" cried the hat. "Only the old man knows for sure, and he is not telling. That is the whole point with the song."
"A quite stupid point" Luna concluded. "You should know if your sorted him. And anyway, it didn't tell me where I am supposed to go now."
"No? Then you will have to do as good as you can. For a start, you could do worse then follow the pig. Remarkable clever animals, I have always said."
Luna opened her mouth to ask what pig, but then she saw it, a quite handsome piglet shyly sneaking out of the door. Quickly she ran after it, shouting goodbye to the hat. By the time she was out of the door the piglet had managed to run quite far down the corridor, so she bolted after it. She caught up with it just as it reached the landing of the stairs and triumphantly grabbed it. The piglet looked up in her face with big, surprised eyes as if questioning her actions.
"Now, now" she said soothingly. "I only wish to ask you for the way. I wonder if you perhaps could tell me where to go."
But the pig only kept staring at her, oinking softly, and she couldn't get a word out of it. Slightly disappointed she put it down on the floor, but it didn't seem inclined to run any further. Instead it stayed by her feet, nibbling slightly at her left sock. Luna gently pushed its head away and looked around. She was standing on a landing in the staircase with a great view over the hallway below. Old paintings covered the wall. The staircase itself was worn and the carpet muddy.
"Well, now what?" she said, more to herself than anyone else, even if the pig appeared to listen attentively. She bent down and scratched it behind the ears, which is obviously enjoyed.
"Aha! Vile beast, you begone from her or I will surely strike you through" cried an angry voice just behind Luna, making her jump. She turned around and saw a knight behind her mounted on a rather fat pony. He had a huge moustache and was attired in a white armour. In his right hand he had a lance, which he was pointing at the pig. The pig squeeled in fright and hid behind Luna's leg. The knight frowned, his face red with anger.
"Get out and fight with honour, you fiend. Such cowardness is not fitting for a fair fight. Come out, I say!"
"Leave him alone!" Luna cried quite angrily. "He has not done anything bad."
"Not yet, but he might, dear lady" the knight answered matter-of-factly, still glaring at the pig in a treating way. "Besides, he has kidnapped you and according to the rules I am now to fight him and win your hand in marriage."
"You are not!" Luna exclaimed. "I am to be a queen, and will not marry ANYONE who hurts pigs. So that!" The knight suddenly took its eyes from the pig and stared at Luna instead. His mouth dropped open and, as in afterthought, he fell off the pony.
"Are you all right" Luna asked as she helped him up. The pig anxiously followed her, not wanting to be to far away from her least the knight should attack him again. The pony looked rather bored about it all.
"I am quite fine, dear lady" he said, sitting on the ground. "My clothing is designed to protect me from heavy blows, you see, by being made of iron. It is my own invention. But did I hear you correctly, did you say that you intend to be a queen?"
"That is right! So I don't want you to hurt that pig" said Luna who wanted to be sure on this. "He is supposed to take me to the sixth square... only, we don't seem to get any further than this" she added a bit more hesitantly.
"Ah!" the knight exclaimed, his moustache bobbing in excitement. "A prickly mystery indeed, your soon-to-be-majesty. But one that is possible to solve. I am quite sure, you see, from various sources of information, that this, indeed IS the sixth square that you see around us and that your snouty companion indeed has done his duty as a creature of honour. I must conclude that my naming him as a beast and a fiend was a gruesome mistake and a miscredit to my noble name, why my intention as a man of honour now is to ask the noble fellow for forgiveness and ensure him that no hardship remains. Thereby I hope that he and me can become the best of friends and most trusting of companions, but should he reject my outstretched hand I will say nothing but that he then surely will know where I am to be find!" And taking a deep breath he held his hand before him. The pig, eager not to provoke the knight to a fight again, gently nudged it with its snout. Luna was meanwhile busy looking around.
"Are you saying this is the sixth square already?" she asked excitedly. Then I only have to find my way to the seventh and then the eight before I am a queen."
"Indeed, lady!" The knight said, getting to his feat with a clank. "But ill would it do me to give a future queen mere words as a companion in such dangerous paths. Nay! I will follow thee to the end of this square in my very person to ensure thy safety. Thus is my plight. But thereafter, alas, I will return and my move will end. Thereafter it is you, and your noble pig, who have to decide where to go on."
"As long as you can take us to the next square, we are glad, sir" Luna said politely. The pig oinked agree.
The knight urged his pony forward, down the stairs, and Luna followed. They walked in silence for a while, interrupted only by the occasional clank from the knight. It was Luna who broke the silence after a while.
"Say, mr knight, can I ask you something?"
"Of course, my lady!" he said, attempting a bow, causing him to fall off the pony again. Luna helped him up.
"Only, we have been walking down this stairs for the last couple of minutes, without really getting anywhere. Is that really a proper way for a staircase to behave?"
And indeed, around them were the same portraits, the same window and the same spot of worn staircase. The inhabitants of the portraits regarded them with amused expressions.
"This is sort of a tricky staircase" the knight, now back on the pony, answered in a trouble free voice. "It wants to have attention really, but don't give it any because then it will keep us here all day. The best we can do is to just walk on and don't let it think we are bothered by it. Perhaps you would like to hear some poetry? I could read you the ode to..."
"Thank you sir, but I have already heard quite a lot of poetry today" Luna said quickly.
"Aha!" the knight said, only a small bit disappointment in his voice. "Then perhaps you could recite something for me. Sing me the school song."
Obediently Luna found the right note to start and begun to sing, but her mind where elsewhere and somehow the text did not come out right at all.
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy warty Hogwarts
Where everything's astray
Eat your breakfast in the night and sleep during the day
Lay the tables in the ceiling where they can't be seen
Dye your hair orange and green
You can do all things you want at Hogwarts' fine ol' school
As long's you do it inside out, that is the only rule!
"That is not how I remember it" the knight said a bit thoughtfully after she had finished.
"It was not QUITE as it use to be" Luna admitted.
"But that only shows its a good school song, right?" the knight said, suddenly brightening up. "It isn't a very good song if it stays the same all the time. It would be boring after a while."
"I suppose..." Luna begun, but the knight interrupted her.
"Now we are at the end of the square. Good luck, and don't forget to..."
Whatever Luna should not forget, she never heard, because just then the stairs moved and she and the pig lost their balance and fell down the last step, into an open door.
Luna felt quite dizzy as she sat up on the floor and looked around. The room was filled with fog. At first she didn't see anything at all - it was as being inside a bowl of porridge - but after a little while she started to see silhouettes. Right in front of her something large was looming.
"Can you see that?" she asked the pig. "It looks like a large table, or something. And the mist is centring on it. Maybe it is a furnace? Do pigs know about such things? In that case, I would be obliged if you told me." Since the pig didn't answer she went forward to investigate.
"How strange" she muttered, touching the looming thing. "It is a mushroom, but the biggest mushroom I have ever seen. And the smoke seems to come from it. Maybe" she said to herself with lecturing voice "it is a puffball. Puffballs are mushrooms known for smoking. But this one doesn't look like a ball at all..."
Luna went on examining the strange mushroom. She looked on both sides of it, and then she decided she could as well look at the top. There she at least found the source of the strange smoke in the room. When she stood on her toes and glanced over the edge of the mushroom she saw a caterpillar sitting and smoking a large hookah. It glared at Luna.
"Yes?" it said with dry voice.
"Excuse me" Luna said. "We are on our way to the eight square, and seem to be a bit lost. Could you perhaps tell us the right way to go from here?" The caterpillar puffed a few clouds of smoke before it answered.
"Hmpf." It said sourly. "My position here is hardly to point of directions for silly little girls getting lost. Had you practised your geography thoroughly, the right way should have been clear for you."
"It MIGHT have been" Luna answered politely, not really wanting to upset the strict caterpillar, "but then again, the ways through the castle seems to change all the time, so I don't think I should have found it anyway."
"Silly little girls like you don't think. You only pretend, and then you go and bother me when you get lost" the caterpillar puffed.
"It was a perfectly polite question, you know" said Luna who was beginning to get quite annoyed with the manner of the caterpillar. "You probably don't know the right way anyway."
"Shouldn't I know the right way?" The caterpillar raged, suddenly purple in the face. "This I will tell you, little girl, that I have studied all my life and know everything there is to know. You just ask me something. Anything at all, and you will see just how much I know."
"Anything at all?" Luna asked.
"Anything" the caterpillar repeated.
"Then I wonder if you please could tell me the right way to the eight square."
The caterpillar opened the mouth to answer, then suddenly realized what Luna had asked and shut it again with a snap. She opened and closed it again a few times. She stared in frustration and anger at Luna, but didn't say anything. Suddenly they were both startled by a merry laughter.
"She got you there, Minevra" said a voice, coming from the other end of the mushroom, and through the mist - which had cleared a bit now when the caterpillar was to busy talking to Luna to keep up the smoking - a shape could be seen. At first Luna thought it was the white rabbit, but then she saw that its fur was brown. It was a rabbit though, or - she realized after a moment - a hare (which is larger). It stood leaned over the mushroom, as if it was a table, and in front of it was a tray laid with cake and tea cups. Next to it a small, furry animal was leaning over the mushroom, soundly sleeping. The hare saw Luna looking at it and winked.
"Hello there, my girl. I am the march hare, and this" he nudged the sleeping creature who mumbled something in its sleep and curled together even more "is my friend the dormouse."
"How do you do?" said Luna politely. The march hare beamed at her.
"Marvellous. Absolutely marvellous. This tea tastes really good, you know. Do you want a sherbet lemon?"
"Hmpf. You are spoiling the students" the caterpillar muttered, but the march hare only smiled.
"Now, could you please tell me who you are and where you are going, not to forget to introduce your charming follower" he enquired. "If you forget something, go back to the point where you left off. If you want some tea, please help yourself. If the dormouse wakes up, just give him some tea as well. In your own time please."
"Er... yes of course sir." Luna said, a bit bewildered, but glad to talk to the marsh hare rather than the strict caterpillar. I am Luna. I am travelling to the eight square, because there I will become a queen, which I think would be quite nice. Also I travel together with this pig, only he isn't a pig but really a toad."
"A toad! How interesting!" The march hare exclaimed. "Doesn't happened very often these days that toads turns to pigs, does it Minevra?"
"It happens all together to often for my taste" the caterpillar said. "It is all due to floppy thinking in my opinion."
"Anyway, my dear, if you are firm in your decision to reach all the way to the eight square I propose that you find some queens to show you the way. After all, they must have been there themselves at some point, and should therefore be able to find the way again."
"Of course I could tell you, if I only wanted to" the caterpillar muttered.
"But before that" the march hare went on "We will se if we can do something about your toad. I suspect the cook will be able to help us turn it back."
"I COULD turn it back in an instant" the caterpillar said to itself "only, I don't really feel like doing it."
"First of all, however, I will read you some poetry" stated the march hare and stood up
"Oh, you don't need..." Luna quickly said, but he took no notice of her. Straightening his ears and putting his hand on his back the march hare cleared his throat. The caterpillar sat all attention, and even the dormouse opened its eyes. Luna, who felt it would be impolite not to listen attentively, straightened up herself and stood back to listen. The melodical voice of the march hare filled the room as he recited his poem.
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
"Thank you" he said, bowed and sat back down. The dormouse clapped his hands eagerly, and even the caterpillar smiled. Luna, who had expected something much longer was taken by surprise, but after a moment of hesitation she started to clap as well. The march hare beamed.
"That was very... inspiring" Luna said politely as she poured up a cup for the dormouse, who was looking around with a nonplussed expression. As soon as he got his tea he calmed down and snuggled down with it, going back to sleep.
"Indeed" said the march hare. "And now, if I could please borrow the toad for a moment..." The pig, clearly noticing that it suddenly was the centre of attention, tried to hide behind Luna's feet again, but she caught it and handed it over to the march hare who examined it closely.
"Hmmm. Yes, it is clearly a toad. How curious. Could you ask the cook to come over here, if you would be so kind, Luna?"
Luna looked around, but the smoke from the caterpillar's hookah was still so dense that she didn't see anything.
"Where can I find the cook?" she asked.
"Why, in the kitchen of course" the caterpillar said. "And be sharp about it. Chop, Chop!"
"Pip pip!" added the march hare, and Luna thought it best just to choose a direction at random. She had not walked far until she reached a wall, which she followed until she saw a glow from a fire in the mist. She walked over there.
By the fire sat a thin, black clad, black haired man with a sour face. He was stirring a small cauldron which was emitting strange fumes. He did not look up at Luna when she approached.
"Excuse me sir, but do you happen to be the cook?" she asked. He shot her a sour look and nodded shortly.
"Only, the march hare asks for you. He would like your help turning a pig to a toad, if you do not mind..."
The cook gave her a withering glance, telling her exactly how much he did mind. But he stood up without a word, leaving the cauldron on the fire. He walked off in the mist, back to the mushroom with Luna trailing after.
"Ah, there you are Serveus" the marsh hare said to the man. "As you can see this young toad seems to be going through some sort of confusion about its nature. Could you please see to it."
"Very well" the cook snorted as he received the pig. The pig did not at all like being handled by the sour man and immediately started to scream and squirm in a pitiful way, but the cook did not pay it any attention. Instead he started to sing, and as he sang he shook the squealing pig.
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble
Shake your pig until its squeals
All it does is to pretend
If it wants its wounds to heal
It will have to amend
Wow, wow, wow!
At the chorus, in which the caterpillar, the march hare and even the dormouse joined in, the cook violently tossed the pig up and down. Luna anxiously was prepared to catch the pig, should the cook drop it, but he maintained the grip and started on the next verse.
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Give the pig its bitter cure
Fill it until it'll explode
Then it will, I can ensure
Turn back into a stinking toad
Wow, wow, wow!
And after the last wow, when the pig landed in the hands of the cook, it was not a pig anymore but a rather agitated toad. The cook gave it, without a word, to Luna and walked back into the fog.
"All sorted out then" the march hare said happily. "Now all you have to do is to go on to the eight square."
"Oh... thank you sir" Luna said, and since none of the persons around the mushroom seemed to take any interest in her any longer, she walked off into the fog. She still did not know the way, but she felt that she could find better company than this strange party. Also, the toad did not seem to enjoy the smoke.
She came out from the fog through a door, leading to a corridor. To Luna's great delight she saw the red and white queen coming towards here arm in arm, smiling friendly.
"Hello Luna" they said. "Have you become a queen yet?"
"Oh, you found Neville's toad for him" the red queen exclaimed. "He will be so happy. He's searched everywhere for it."
"Good evening your majesties" Luna said and curtsied, figuring that since she was not a queen yet she should still behave polite against them. "I am honoured to inform your majesties that I have reached the seventh square, but I am still looking for the eighth. Perhaps your majesties could be inclined to show me the right way?" she said hopefully.
"Why, certainly" the white queen laughed. "We're as good as there."
"Really?" Luna said excitedly. "What a good luck I found you. Where is it."
"It is right here" she said, and then she did the most curious ting. Behind her was a large painting with a bowl of fruit on it. She reached up and tickled the pear, and suddenly a doorway opened in the wall."
"Please enter, your majesty" said the white queen to Luna.
The eighth square turned out to be a kitchen, filled by house elves only to happy to help the three queens with a pick nick. Since it was still raining they ate it in the Gryffindor common room where Neville indeed was very happy to get his toad back. The food was excellent and to be a queen was not troublesome at all, Luna could soon conclude. After a while Neville and his toad withdrew to their dormitory, from where the red king's snores already could be heard. The three girls remained in the common room however, glad to be in each other's company. So while the fire burnt down to a cosy smouldering, and while the rainy sky outside the window gradually went darker, Luna told her friends of her adventures in Wonderland. They laughed a lot, and questioned her about all details, such as friends do, and they could all agree it had been a most extraordinary day.
You who look for Wonderland Just a twinkle in your eye The cheshire cat so widely grinning Humpty-Dumpty with his tie So, dear readers, as our course When dreaming's paths tonight you stroll
Should be well aware
As our Luna understands
That Wonderland is everywhere
A child's song in your ear
A glimpse of stars high in the sky
Then close your eyes and you are there
The hat without a name
The queen-of-hearts, forever winning
In her living croquet game
High up on the wall
Once you close your sleepy eye
You will see them all
Have taken us all down the streams
Of this story to its source
I bid you all sweet dreams
You might see Luna Lovegood there
Climbing down the rabbit hole
And maybe you will follow her
Just a twinkle in your eye
The cheshire cat so widely grinning
Humpty-Dumpty with his tie
So, dear readers, as our course
When dreaming's paths tonight you stroll