Disclaimer:I do not own any of the characters from Alice in Wonderland; they belong to the rightful owners.
Summary: After Alice returns from China, she finds herself bombarded by welcome home parties, she finds herself getting lost through the Looking Glass.
Pairings:Alice x Mad Hatter
Notes: It took a while for me to figure out what type of story to make this and then I realized it might be to use a little of the Looking Glass concept in this story. I have read a lot of Alice and Hatter stories and thought I'd try the approach of Hatter realizing his love instead of Alice. I am not completely sure yet if there will be any sexual scenes but time will tell. Let me know what you think.
I know that I had disappeared for a while, first it was the old computer which never stayed fixed and deleted a lot of my stories. Then I finally got my brand new laptop but no writing program, so had to wait on that. Then I had a complicated pregnancy and now I have welcomed my son into the world and I am able to write again! This may be a little off from all of the stories I have done in the past, so please bare with me. Enjoy!
Life is now Upon Us
England was boring and predicable, as it had always been. China was exciting, the culture, food and even the language had been exciting to her, but she knew that she had to eventually come back to London and face English life and that came with it. Some things had changed in the few years that she had been gone but not much, she had been thrown two different welcome home parties and they were both boring and dull. Now she was on her way to Lord Ascot's with her mother to another welcome home party, she heard rumors that Hamish was still determined to make her his wife and she would never allow that. To be truthful she rather liked being single and the freedom that came with it, she had many proposals and many attempts at courtship but none of them seemed to catch her eye or even interest her. Margret told her how ridiculous it was that she was saving herself the right man and she needed to settle down and start a family, but Alice didn't know who the right man was or even if he existed. She might end up considered an old maid but that did not bother her anymore, in fact it stopped bothering her years ago.
The carriage came to a halt and the coachman opened the door, sighing to herself Alice reluctantly stepped out of the carriage and stared at the manor.
"Alice dear come on." Stated her mother, she was not looking forward to this, especially considering Lady Ascot might have something planned. Helen stopped before entering the front door and in frustration at her daughter.
"Let's not keep them waiting." Nodding to her mother Alice quickly followed deciding that she may as well get this done and over, besides she had to talk something over with Lord Ascot anyways. They walked into the manor together and Alice inhaled a deep breath, the last time she was here, she fell back into the rabbit hole. She watched her mother, turn to look at her confused as Alice went down a different hallway.
"I'm going to Lord Ascot's study, we need to discuss some business before I can join the party." Her mother nodded and continued to the garden where everyone was waiting for Alice's arrival. She often hated big manors, they were confusing and all the hallways always seemed to look the same, sometimes down to the suits of armor. By the fourth hallways, she realized that she had gotten lost and now she had to find her way back in order to get the proper directions. After stopping and turning around in a full circle, Alice opened the first door that she could she and walked inside. The room was not that big, it appeared to be a miniature study but it was definitely not Lord Ascot's study. Alice sighed in frustration and sat down in one of the big arm chairs, she looked over and saw the half played chess set and smiled to herself. Chess was one of her favorite games, but she has had so little time to play that she had almost forgotten some of the rules and where the pieces are suppose to be. Idlely Alice played with the black queen chess piece and then thought about the White Queen from Underland, this lead her to thoughts of the others, Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit, The Hatter… The Hatter her dear friend. Alice suddenly felt a twinge of guilt over the way she had left Underland, not staying longer and wanting to get her problems out of the way before anything else. Her dear friend had asked her to stay and she choose instead to come home.
Alice got up out of the arm chair and looked around some more, hoping to distract herself from the thoughts she was now thinking. She turned and saw her reflection in the giant mirror up on the fireplace mantel, she hadn't aged that much in face, her eyes were slightly sunken from the lack of sleep and her hair was half pulled back with it in a big curl. She sighed at herself and shook her head, she hardly ever looked at herself in mirrors these days due what she might see.
After staring at the mirror for a few moments Alice saw a cute little kitten in the corner of the study, she never noticed it before and turned around to find it. That corner of the room was empty, Alice turned to the other corner thinking that she had looked in the wrong corner, nothing in the other corner. She frowned and looked back in the mirror to find the kitten still in the corner.
"Impossible." Alice pulled the arm chair over to the mantel and climbed up closer to the mirror. Carefully placing her hand up to the mirror, Alice placed it where the kitten was supposed to be. Slowly her hand disappeared into the glass, she felt cold air as opposed to the warm air from the room she way in. Pulling her hand back out she looked at it, not sure what to make of it. Taking her arm Alice slowly pulled herself through the mirror and onto the other side. The room was freezing and dark, the smell of dust and some mold filled her nose, she tried not to gag at the smell. It was very obvious that no one had lived there in a while. Climbing down from the mantel Alice turned around and looked at the mirror and saw the study that she had just left. Shaking her head at the thoughts that were passing through, she felt like she should know better by now.
"Nothing here is impossible." Alice was pulled from her thoughts when she heard a little meow coming from the corner; it was the kitten she was looking for. Running over Alice dropped to her knees and scooped up the little thing in her arms and cuddled it, fearing that it might be too cold. The kitten started to purr and lick her arm in affection; she looked down at it and smiled.
"What do you think you're doing here?" Alice jumped at the voice and looked around to find the source, the room was empty.
"I came through the mirror sir, I thought this little kitten was in trouble. I didn't know that mirror was a gateway." She hoped that he would believe it.
"No one has used that entrance for years and I promised her Ladyship that I guard it with my life and make sure that no one else was to come but you do not seem dangerous to me." She was still trying to find were the voice was coming from, it seemed pretty obvious that she was not in Underland.
"Could you show yourself, please?" Maybe if she was very polite this man would appear and she could feel more at ease.
Alice stood up with the kitten still in her arms and waited for him to decide. After a minute of waiting a beautiful snow owl landed on a chair and stared at Alice. Maybe she was in Underland and didn't know it, that is the only place that she knew of that had talking animals. The owl was staring, trying make up his mind or whether she was friend or foe.
"What's your name?" The owl blinked at her and sighed.
"My name is Amor, I am the caretaker of the Hightop manor. At least until the young master decides to return that is." Alice listened and felt her curiosity getting the better of her.
"Where is he? What happened here?" Amor looked down and shook his head.
"Almost the entire clan was murdered by the Red Queen at her time of ruling, only a few survived that night. This clan was once respected and always welcomed in the White Court but then the incident happened and it changed everything. The young master who survived has shunned this house and has never set foot in it since, I go to see once and in awhile as I promised his mother I would." Alice listened to the story and felt sad by it, she knew the Red Queen had destroyed a lot of Underland but she had no idea how lives were also ruined and how many people died. The name of this clan, Hightop sounded very familiar but she could not put her finger on it.
"Where is your master now?" He sighed at all of her question but could not complain, being alone for all those years made him welcome the sudden company.
"In the heart of Underland, we are in the far south of Underland. We border the Outlands but do not fear it for we are safe. Now young woman what do you call yourself?" Alice knew this question was bound to come up, but it sounds like he has been isolated here so maybe he had not received the news of who killed the Jabberwocky.
"My name is Alice Kingsleigh." The owl stared at her for a moment and then looked satisfied.
"Then we must be off." Alice looked confused.
"To where?" She looked down at the little kitten who had fallen asleep in her arms.
"To the White Castle, if you were to ever return, whoever found you was to bring you the castle immediately." Alice frowned at this, she did not mind the White Queen, in fact she respected her very much but something told her that Amor did not like taking orders from her.
"I thought your master was the one in charge of you." He nodded and sighed.
"Indeed however we in Underland are bound to whomever the ruler is once the make a nationwide decree. Yes I normally only listen to the Young Master and her Ladyship is she were ever to return but it is looking like she never will." Alice did not press it anymore; it was obvious to her that Amor missed the clan very much. She felt anger towards his master for leaving him like this, if she ever meet him she would give him a piece of her mind.
Amor flew out of the room and lead Alice out of the manor to the outside. The gardens were all dead, there was no live plants that could be seen, she felt uneasy about it.
"How could he just leave everything like this?" Amor looked back at her from the air and looked sad for a moment.
"I'm sure he had his reasons, it might be painful for him to be here." He continued to fly and lead Alice to the forests.
"You don't really believe that do you?" Amor shook his head.
"No I do not." Alice could tell that he knew something that he was not sharing but did press on it. The walk seemed to take forever, she had almost forgotten that the kitten was not hers to keep and felt guilty for dragging it with them.
"Amor, stop." His this he flew back to face Alice and noticed the kitten still asleep in her arms and smiled.
"Do not worry my dear, her father should be popping up an moment to claim her. I never worried about her for a minute, besides she feels safe with you." Alice looked down at her and smiled, this was starting to make her miss her old cat Dinah, maybe when she returned home she would get another cat.
"Well, I see you found my daughter Alice." She knew that voice coming from behind her, she could not help but smile.
"Hello Chess." Amor turned around and landed on a nearby tree branch.
"Well Amor, I see you have left your dusty post." Chess loved to poke fun at him, the fact that he was still so loyal to his master was very amusing to him. "Off to go and try to convince him to come back home, again." Amor felt irritated at the Chess and now wished that Alice had not come through the mirror.
"No, I am taking this girl to the White Queen as I was told to, though I never thought she would have come through the looking glass." Chess nodded.
"Nor did I, usually she falls into the rabbit hole and has to shrink herself." Alice frowned at the two of them. Chess floated over and scooped up his daughter. "Thank you sweet Alice." With that the Cheshire Cat disappear as he always did. Alice looked around and saw Amor up on the branch and looked at him.
"We should continue, there is still a great distance to travel." Alice sighed and followed, knowing very well that she had no idea where she was going.
The Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse were having their usual tea party, without a care in the world, feeling like he should at least warn them about their upcoming visitors Cheshire appear at their table. Hatter looked up and saw him, the March Hare jumped at the sudden addition to the table and then calmed down.
"Chess to what do we owe the pleasure?" Hatter smiled at him and poured himself some more tea.
"Just wanted to warn you that Amor is on his way." Chess stated flatly while playing with the empty tea cup. Hatter stiffened and look at Cheshire with orange eyes.
"What does he want now?" His Scottish scent coming through, along with his anger, he thought he made it very clear for him to leave him in peace and continue to watch over the manor.
"Apparently he wants to bring something to the White Queen." Cheshire knew that Amor was bound and loyal to the Hightop and mentioning it like that would definitely raise questions.
"Why is delivering for the White Queen?" That Hatter was very confused now, did he really drive him to such desperateness that he was now serving the White Queen instead. He suddenly felt very guilty for leaving like that and now wondered if that was the right decision.
"Where is he?" Cheshire smiled and drank some tea.
"He is in the middle of Mindless Forest; he is guarding something very precious I might add." Cheshire knew that he hit the right cord with the Hatter and couldn't help but feel proud of himself. Looking a mixture of betrayal and guilt, the Hatter got out of his chair and headed towards the direction of Mindless Forest.