Summary: It's been two years since the failed engagement party, a year and three months since Alice's departure to China, and seven months since Alice's disappearance. Suddenly, Hamish finds himself in her fantasyland, and a scandal beyond anyone's comprehension is unearthed.

AN: I've always been the kind of person who believed that Hamish felt at least something for Alice, and that he didn't merely ask for her hand out of convenience or just because his mother had been planning the whole thing for twenty years. Just thought I'd throw that out there. This is an Alice/Hatter Fiction, though. Alice did turn down the poor boy, after all, and I'm not going to mess with that. In the wise words of Jack Sparrow (aka Johnny Depp): "It would never have worked out between us, love."

Also, I promise that the next chapters will be longer. This is just a kind-of prologue…thing.

Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. Get it? Got it? Good.

Chapter 1

"Oi! It got away!" a young man cursed as the pheasant he was about to shoot caught sight of his presence and took flight. With a grumble, he emerged from his hiding place in the midst of the forest and set out to find another bird.

As he walked along the well-worn path through the trees, he thought of the events that had transpired over the last two years; he seemed to be contemplating several things in particular as of late. He had seemingly fallen in love, asked for said-girl's hand in marriage, and then been flatly turned down. The aforementioned girl had struck up a deal with his father, traveled to China, and then promptly disappeared. That thought always brought a melancholy feeling to his soul; the notion that Alice Kingsleigh was likely dead, having not been seen or heard from for some seven months.

Suddenly, three pigeons flew in front of his face, and, having been distracted by his thoughts, missed shooting them. He was broken out of his reverie, and sighed. He realized that he had been subconsciously wandering down the path on his grounds that Alice had loved so much when they had been children, and sighed sadly to himself as he thought of her, smiling and laughing.

He stepped into a clearing and ran his eyes over the small amount of foliage that populated the area atop the hill. There were several wispy trees, barely blooming, and an old, worn tree-stump positioned somewhat in the center. There was a flash of white to his left, and he tilted his head for a moment, trying to catch what it was. He hoped that it was a rabbit or bird; if it were, this whole ordeal wouldn't be a complete waste of time if he managed to shoot it. After a few more moments, nothing else seemed to move. With a resigned sigh, he turned back to the scene in front of him.

He noticed for the first time that there was a rather dirty-looking rabbit-hole at the base of the tree-stump. This gave him an idea, and he crept closer towards the dead tree. If there was a rabbit in there, he could kill it and get back home sooner.

He reached the edge of the hole and crouched down, musket ready. The young man peered into the dark hole, but he couldn't make out anything. Hamish leaned in, placing his hands on the edge of the hole, trying to get a closer look, when suddenly the dirt underneath his palms gave way. Suddenly, he found himself tumbling down into the earth, much farther than he would have expected a normal rabbit-hole to be deep.