Forward: Welcome to my sequel to Tumbling into Madness. If you haven't read it already, be sure to do so or else this story will not make much sense I'm afraid. This story will cover the plot points of the Harry Potter book series, but I must inform you that I am not sticking to canon. My story is an AU just by act of combining these two fandoms, and I have adapted both worlds to fit theories, history, and backgrounds that I have created. If that is not you're cup of tea then you'd best turn around now as I have no intentions of changing this decision. I will also promise right now that I will never abandon my story, but if there is ever a need for an extended break between chapters I will let it be known on my profile page or in the chapter updates. With that being said, I hope you enjoy. -Laialda
Disclaimer: I do not own Alice in Wonderland/Syfy's Alice, nor do I own the Harry Potter series. No monetary profit is being made from this story. This disclaimer applies to all future chapters as well.
Chapter 1: Please do not adjust your mind-reality is malfunctioning
Jack Heart, recently coronated King of Hearts and ruler of Wonderland, was regarding the status report before him with a heavy heart. His mother had certainly done a number on their once fair land, and even solitary confinement suddenly felt too good for her. Over forty percent of the population were experiencing anywhere from mild to extreme forms of withdrawal since they'd been cut off from the once steady supply of Emotion Tea. The recall of any and all bottles had of course caused riots and the deaths of a few dozen of his subjects as the heavily addicted ones violently rebelled. Suits of all ranking had been called out to enforce an active Martial Law on Tugley City as a result. The Queen had always used the Suits as her own personal bullies, and Jack was sure many addicts now viewed him in the same light as he drained the city dry of any and all Emotion Teas.
The Resistance was a disorganized mess with the loss of Caterpillar, causing a select few arms of the organization to not yet believe his sincerity. Surprisingly, Dodo was one of the more vocal of his supporters but Jack supposed some of that stemmed from him granting the man his request to watch as the Queen was locked away in her cell. The man had claimed it a pity that she couldn't be toted out to work a public service to atone for her crimes, but was satisfied that she would no longer poison their world at least. All factions of the former Resistance were at minimum willing to take in the milder cases of recovering addicts that the Hospital of Dreams had no room for, as it had quickly filled as the weeks passed since the Queen had lost her throne. Overall, things were about on par with the outcomes he'd discussed with Caterpillar some months ago when they'd planned for Wonderland's possible futures.
All of these really had little to do with the report in his hand as he'd been informed daily about the status of his Kingdom and what could be done better.
No…this most recent one was far more sinister.
Members of the house of Diamonds that specialized in construction had been contracted last week to finally sort through the casino ruins for anything that could be salvaged for decomposition and repurposing. What they'd found had been more troubling than Jack had been willing to entertain, and made him feel less paranoid about sending a small hand of Suits along with surveyors.
Apparently some Oysters had escaped into the woods when the casino had collapsed, and had therefore not been rounded up and returned home with the others. The strength of the fear and confusement they gave off was like a heady perfume to the darker creatures that existed in Tugley Woods and it easily drew them in, but they had been the lucky ones. In addition, a fair portion of those run away Oysters had been found by fleeing addicts who were trying to smuggle out their Emotion Teas after Jack had approved of the search and seizure of them in homes. Unlike Alice however, the marking on these Oyster's faces were all too easy to spot and the desperate Tea Heads had quickly snatched any they could find before taking them back to the casino ruins and used what appeared to be methods of torture in an attempt to prize the much desired 'pearls' from their Oysters.
The ones that they found alive had already been driven to the madness that consumed a fair amount of the natives of Wonderland as it was.
"Do we have anyone checking the woods for any Oysters who may have escaped both the Tea Heads and dark creatures?" Jack questioned as he finally looked up from the horrifying report.
"Yes, sire," The Minister of Clubs replied, "I authorized an additional hand to investigate the surrounding area for any survivors, but I was wondering..." The Minister hesitated fearfully, and Jack calmly bade him to continue, "After all that they have been through…those missing may need some convincing to trust us, and I was wondering if we could send some of the Converts that have stayed behind to join them. Act as ambassadors of a sort?"
Jack thought upon the notion before slowly nodding his head in approval. "Yes…that might be good idea. Make sure whoever you get to go along is not only a volunteer, but of age as well. I won't have a child being dragged around the underbrush and exposed to these horrors. They've been through more than their share already."
"Of course your majesty," the Minister bowed with a relieved sigh.
"No developments as of yet though?" Jack inquired, and the Minster shook his head.
"No sire, none as of yet, but it is as I said…they may just be fearful of us," the Minister relayed. The new King nodded and was about to dismiss the Club before the man spoke up once more.
"Although, one Suit did report seeing what appeared to be one of the Knights that, ummm, aided us a few weeks back, but the figure vanished before he could confront it."
Jack shrugged unconcerned as he moved on to the next bit of paperwork on his desk, "I'm sure it was just Sir Charles. His camp, while not near, is also not so distant from the old casino that he likely may have wandered nearby. He is to report in tomorrow and I shall speak with him then about this business also. Any missing Oysters may be inclined to listen to their rescuer as well."
"Yes of course sire. I shall tell the men not to worry."
It wasn't supposed to be like this, Hatter reflected as he set the teapot on the stove to heat up. Leaving Wonderland was supposed to end the mysteries and possibly dangerous surprises; which in turn would allow Harry, Alice and himself to lead as normal a life as one could in their state…not spring completely new and unexpected situations on them. He should have known better he supposed. No good deed shall go unpunished, eh? Of course, he did his best to appear like everything was under control for everyone's sake. Besides, what if this 'bank' place was a good thing? Yes, always look on the bright side of life. That should be his new motto on the other side of the Looking Glass. A new life, a fresh start and a not so calculated outlook at the world.
Maybe if he kept telling himself that it would come true…
Turning away from the stove, he could see Alice making a list of particulars they could gather from the mysterious letter to ask whoever their Connecter to Wonderland had sent over when he or she arrived. A glance to the left of her revealed that Harry was continuing with his lunch, and was probably the least truly concerned person at the moment; trusting himself -and Alice- to take care of the situation.
It did little to ease Hatter's rising concern about this whole affair when, just as he was about to pour himself a cuppa, a muffed pop followed by rapid knocking sounded on the other side of the door to his flat. It couldn't have been more then fifteen minutes since he'd hung up the phone with the Connecter. He met Alice's look of surprise before carefully setting the teapot down and making his way to the front door in just a few strides. Using the spy hole (another excellent invention here in the Oyster World) Hatter was presented with a slightly warped image of a young woman that couldn't be older than eighteen wearing a mish-mosh of clothing that Hatter had seen many young women her age wear in this city, but with short white-blonde hair. While she seemed harmless enough, the natural look of her unique hair color was a good enough tip off that this was actually the person they were looking for. He unlocked the door but left the chain latched as he opened it the few inches it would allow.
"Hello, can I help you?" Hatter asked nonchalantly, causing the young woman to whip her head around from checking out the hallway, to giving him a look over instead.
"Hi," the unknown lass grinned flirtatiously, "I believe you were expecting me?"
"I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about," Hatter replied with a smile. While the sayings chosen for the pass code always seemed incredibly simple to him, the system was definitely not one to scoff at.
The young woman groaned. "Ugh, you people and your stupid fucking passwords. Look, I'm here for a reading by Edwin and Mocar." She crossed her arms across her chest in frustration now.
"Really? Well, we're about to start William the Conqueror," Hatter politely offered and the girl smirked slightly at the adaptation of his part, but rolled her eyes.
"I dare say," she responded in an imitated British accent, "that that is the driest piece I know."
Well that checked out so far. Hatter scanned the hallway one last time, "Right then." He closed the door and undid the chain before opening it wide and allowing the young woman in.
"Finally," she exhaled as she strode on through, "You Wonderlanders and your fucking ridiculous passwords. Once I turn twenty one, I am getting the hell out of this loop."
Hatter finished locking the door and turned around to see her admiring the place while Alice and Harry filtered in; the former of the two looking unimpressed by their company. "Were you recruited from this side then?" Hatter pressed, and the lass stopped her movement around the room to look back at him.
"In a manner of speaking," she scoffed before gesturing to herself, "You're looking at one of the few Wonderlanders born on Earth. It's why they sent me over really…well," she faltered slightly but made an admirable attempt at recovery, "actually they sent for my Dad but he's busy at the shop, so I'm his fill in. Better qualified for it anyway if you ask me."
"And who exactly are you?" Alice pushed as she crossed her arms over her chest.
The young woman cheeks flushed from her lapse in manners, and gave her best pleasant grin it seemed as she moved over to greet Alice, "Err, sorry about that. Name's Abigail, but you can just call me Abby."
Alice took the offered hand with a touch of trepidation, "I'm Alice."
"Oh, sorry to hear that," Abby stated, much to Alice's surprise before moving on to his younger cousin.
"Harry," he supplied as he shook her hand and the lass paused mid shake as she stared intently down at the lad.
"Have we met before?" she ventured.
Harry took his hand back and shrugged, "Since I've been living in Wonderland, I don't see how that's possible. Maybe it's just déjà vu from meeting my cousin, yeah?" Harry inclined his head towards Hatter and Abby looked over her shoulder to see he had moved up closer to join them. Hatter could see her visually process the similarities between the two with a smirk of his own before she smiled at Harry and ruffled the fedora down on his head.
"You're cute kid, and if you turn into anything like your cousin here you be sure to give me a call in few years, alright?" Abby quipped and Harry looked puzzled while he fixed his hat. Alice also seemed to be having trouble settling on any one emotion and looked at Abby much like she had looked at Hatter when they'd first met. It was comforting to know he wasn't the only one wary of their guest. "I suppose that makes you David then?" Abby looked at Hatter with another flirtatious smile.
Not wanting to let this unknown person be in control of the situation, Hatter put on his own charming persona, "Supposed I'd have to be then wouldn't I?" Leading them all back towards the kitchen he offered, "Would you like a cup of tea?" sharing a smile with Alice as he did so.
Abby grimaced as she sat at one of the stools that were dispersed near the little island in his kitchen. "Ugh, no thank you. I hate the stuff. I'll take a Coke if you have it though."
Hatter's eyebrows rose in surprise along with Harry's, while Alice hid a smile before coming over and helping Hatter set up cups for the three of them at least. What kind of trustworthy person didn't like tea? Not to mention would actually prefer that entirely too sweet 'soda' stuff that Hatter had allowed Harry to finish off once after he'd passed on it. The sugar rush had been so intense that Harry had quite literally bounced around the place as if he'd overdosed on Excitement. All while he played around with his magic and generally wrecked havoc around the flat.
A ban had been placed on the stuff immediately after that. One that Alice and Robert were only to happy to help enforce.
"Sorry, fresh out," he looked up from his pouring and saw that she'd didn't appear to upset by it, "So what's this big secret that they had to send one of you lot over to tell us about?"
Abby smirked, "Oh it's a big one. That letter you got? From Gringotts? It's your ticket to the hidden magical world here on Earth that you Wonderlanders didn't even know about until the first-gens like myself stayed here long enough."
"Okay, wait a minute," Alice spoke up as she passed Harry his tea, "Are you saying that magic exists here, on Earth, and not just in Wonderland?"
"Exactly," Abby pointed at Alice before scrutinizing Hatter, "You must have some wizarding relations in your blood or I doubt you would have gotten a letter about anything." An idea must have suddenly occurred to her then as she tapped a manicured finger against her chin in thought for a moment while giving Harry a look over, "Actually, how old are you?"
Harry glanced at Hatter -who shook his head once- before replying, "I'll be eleven soon enough,"
Abby furrowed her brow before slowly continuing, "You might have seen something this summer for him then from the Salem School of Magics to attend, but I'm really not sure since I've never met a Wonderland kid who's come through to stay."
Alice gave Hatter a pointed look after that comment, but didn't speak on it – something for which Hatter was very thankful- before looking at Abby once more. "Let's back up here. What did you mean by Wizarding relations?"
Abby shrugged, "Wizard is what we call ourselves since most of the muggles, oh wait you all call them Oysters I think? Well whatever, since not everyone here can use magic like they can in Wonderland. For you to get a letter from the bank then you must have a relation who had business there at some point. I've been told they have monitoring charms for things like that."
"So you're a wizard then?" Harry asked with a touch of excitement that didn't surprise Hatter one bit. The kid loved magic after all.
"Girls are called witches, but yeah," she pulled out a length of polished stick from her jean jacket sleeve that caused Hatter and Harry to exchange another marked glance. This one Abby finally caught though. "Wait, you've seen a wand before? They told me you guys knew jack shit about all this."
Hatter took a second to enjoy that slang term and it's possible uses before carefully replying, "We've seen one, but not in use and didn't even know what it was for really."
Abby smirked before pointing her proclaimed wand at Harry's cup of tea, followed by a twist and a flick down. The effect was instant as the cup and contents seemed to meld into a liquid together before changing color and reforming into a can of the soda Abby had requested earlier. Hatter raised an eyebrow. It had certainly been a long time since he'd seen anyone decompose and remodel anything, let alone that quickly.
The girl seemed to enjoy playing to a crowd as she opened the can and it fizzed appropriately. "Transfiguration. That's about a third level spell, and quite popular back in Salem, even if the affects aren't permanent. It's one of Gamps Elemental Laws. You can do a temp change on food and drink into a different type, but it will eventually return to the state it was originally. If the kid does go the Salem he'll learn loads of spells like it, and more." Abby took a sip of the drink before offering it out with a raised eyebrow, "You wanna test it?"
Harry's immediate grab was easily blocked by Hatter. "So what else do we need to know about this hidden society? Is it something we should avoid?" He really didn't need another situation like he'd just gone through back in Wonderland thanks very much.
Their guest waved a hand dismissively. "I doubt you'd be able to if you've received something from Gringotts, or at least not right away. It's run by goblins and they take their business very seriously. You can buy books and such you can read over for more information once you've set accounts straights at the bank. Other then that I can't really say. You probably would need to talk to my dad about comparisons to Wonderland since I've never actually been there." Abby tucked away her wand before pulling a small piece of paper out of her jacket pocket, and then passing it over to Hatter. "That's the business card for the family shop," she supplied, "You'll find him there during business hours, and I'm sure he'd be thrilled to talk to you."
Hatter gave a brief glance to information on the card before pocketing it. He was getting the feeling that their original informer was someone he'd have rather talked to over this slightly bothersome lass who clearly had lost interest in being here. He guessed it was because they didn't look more impressed by her display of magic, but it was hard to impress a group of people who'd had a hand in toppling the house of cards not a month ago.
"Goblins exist?" Alice asked with raised eyebrows, and Abby had a smug look on her face once more.
"All of that fairytale stuff they feed you in elementary school exists," the girl stated, "Goblins, Unicorns, Dragons, Giants, Fairies…they got a whole book on magical creatures too if you're interested. It's part of the whole 'conspiracy'." Abby made a curling motion with two fingers on each hand as she said the last bit.
Looking over at Alice and Harry, he could tell Harry was just about bursting with interest at the idea of learning a new type of magic, and Hatter could almost see the plans forming in his younger cousin's mind to pull out the rod they'd found while packing up the shop. Alice on the other hand was very quiet and had a contemplative look on her face as she reread the note that was the cause of all of this. Better thoughtful than outright denial he supposed and Hatter could only speculate how the idea that magic existed in her 'safeish' Oyster World was going over for her. Even though she'd eventually come to accept that Wonderland was more then just a kid's story, it was only after she'd seen and experienced things her logical mind couldn't explain away.
He had a feeling that one remodel wasn't going to be enough to win her over in the long run either.
Hatter himself was actually a tad relieved that magic existed here on Earth. He cared for Alice more than any women he'd ever known -a concept and a feeling that still left him a bit in awe really- and had been willing to leave everything he and Harry knew behind to start a new life with her, so it was comforting to think that a bit of home might have followed him after all in a manner of speaking. Perhaps they even had housing wherever these wizards had hidden themselves? The girl had mentioned a school so there was clearly a need for shops at the very least. It had possibilities.
"So how exactly would I go about finding this magical community then?"
Much later that night, after Harry had bid them goodnight and gone to bed, Hatter sat sideways on the very comfortable sofa in his living room with Alice cradled between his legs with her back leaning up against his chest. Abby hadn't stayed for more than half an hour before she claimed to have a prior engagement and begged off. Accomplishing the only looks of amazement with her exit as she had disappeared from the middle of the room with a distinct popping noise that Hatter recalled hearing out in the hall just before she'd arrived. Harry had remarked that that skill would have been dead useful about a month ago, and Hatter and Alice adamantly agreed.
The hours immediately following had been filled with comparisons of what they knew of Wonderland magic and what little their guest had shown or explained to them. Some things meshed, but a fair amount of the details weren't close or they didn't have enough information on to know what the answers could be. Hatter still thought the entire premise behind a bank to be utterly ridiculous. Trust a group of people he didn't know to hold the majority of his money and then have to politely ask for it back whenever he wanted some? Don't even get him started on the absurd concepts of gaining interest and processing fees, let alone the bare minimum Alice had shared of her knowledge of the stock exchange. She'd gone off to retrieve pain pills for the headache his reasoning had caused her after proclaiming they'd gotten sidetracked. They did agree that it couldn't hurt to arrange a meeting with bank about the Potter account they referred to, but by then it had been time to work on dinner and Hatter decided to continue the discussion over food; though he did make a point of sending the very waylaid dove off with his reply first.
"I've been working on a theory," Alice said slowly as she idly traced lines on his hand. A motion he found very relaxing after their interesting day and therefore made no move to discourage, "…but I don't think you'll like it."
"Oh?" he spoke up casually, "What've you got a bee in your bonnet about then."
"Have you ever considered the possibility that you and Harry….might not be related?"
Hatter could feel her tense up as she waited to hear his answer, and she had even stopped playing with his hand. He couldn't blame her concern. It was certainly something Reggie would have called a rude question at any rate. "Actually I have," Hatter replied so casually about it that Alice twisted so she could see his face.
"Really?" she clarified with a dash of surprise.
"Really and truly," he nodded before furrowing his brow slightly, "You seem shocked."
"Well I sort of am, I mean, hell I thought you two were related straight off the bat and I know I'd be insulted if someone suggested I might not be my mother's daughter or some such," Alice declared, "So why aren't you yelling at me or pushing me away yet?"
Hatter smiled and quirked an eyebrow at her, "Would it make you feel better if I did?"
Alice frowned, "No."
"Then why would I do something to move you from the fantastic spot that you currently occupy?" he smiled a little wider and slid his hand down her side to rest on her hips.
She rolled her eyes before poking him in the chest. "Don't try and distract me, I'm serious."
Hatter sighed but left his hands where they were. "It's just a fact I had to consider when I first took Harry in all those years ago, but a friend of mine posed a question to me about it one night and after that," he shrugged, "I never thought of it again. Well not until now of course."
Alice tiled her head considering this. "What'd he ask you?"
"What makes you so sure it was a he?" Hatter challenged and she gave him what he called her 'don't even try that' look so he relented, "Okay fine, he asked if it would change anything if I found out we weren't related. If I wouldn't want anything to do with Harry anymore."
He watched as the realization of what his answer must have been came to her and a smile slowly spread across her face, "You know…I don't think you're nearly as successful at hiding your feelings as you think you are."
"Maybe I just don't feel the need to around you. I trust you, Alice."
Alice grinned before leaning towards him. "That was an excellent response." She then softly placed a kiss on his lips that he was only to happy to return. She didn't let it last long though and easily pulled back to look at him once more, "but you're still not going to distract me that easily."
Hatter groaned, "I knew it couldn't be that simple. Right then, let's hear your idea, yeah?"
"Okay, so supposing you aren't related to Harry-"
"Yes we covered that bit already, do try to keep up."
Alice smacked him lightly on the chest but was still smiling, "If you're not, then it is very likely that the only reason you got a note is because you're listed at his guardian right?" Hatter nodded. "And Abby said something about updating spells," she made a strange face as if just realizing she was using the word seriously for the first time, "So it makes sense that they would contact you if there is an outstanding will or inheritance of some sort."
"True," Hatter conceded to the logic in that, "but what about that line about a missing Potter line then?"
"Abby hinted that the Resistance never got very involved with the whole magical world here, and I doubt the Queen could've been bothered to research much of anything either, so according to their records, Harry has technically been missing for about three years," Alice reasoned.
"Look at you," Hatter grinned, "I had no idea I was dating such a brilliant little Oyster."
Alice gained a mischievous gleam in her eyes and smirked as she lightly trailed a hand across Hatter's chest. "Oh I think you'll find I'm a woman of many, many talents."
Posted June 30, 2010
Edited June 30, 2014