This WAS going to be a Oneshot but it grew. Now it will be at least five chapters in length. blatant Halice fluff
"Alice's birthday is coming up" Tarrant Hightopp mumbled to himself as he paced the floor of his workshop. His Alice was turning five and twenty and this year he wanted to give her something extra specially special seeing as she was finally returned to Londonland after six years of adventures in her own world.
Tarrant had been depressed for a good month after she left- until that is Absolem had showed up at the tea table with a small scroll that he announced was from Alice.
The Hatter had taken it eagerly and read it over and over to memorise the contents- he read it so much that he didn't notice the butterfly take his leave.
He could recite the note from memory even now.
See I promised that I wouldn't forget you. Absolem told me that you haven't been your normal cheerful self since Frabjous day. To tell you the truth I meant to take care of a few vital pieces of business here in Aboveland (Again Absolem told me the term). I had a marriage proposal to Refuse. Don't get upset my dearest friend. Something came up and it may be several years before I see Underland again.
I am going travelling- and set off mere days after my twentieth birthday- I'm very sorry that I won't be back until you've known it more than once; but I know we'll see each other again one day.
Ever your friend
After this Tarrant had gone to Mirana, with the note now attached to his hat. His queen had been most interested by the news that her champion would be exploring her own world for a while before returning- and had sent McTwisp Up Top to find out when Alice's birthday would be...
Each year They sent her a small token to wish her happy birthday with…
On her twentieth birthday they had sent her a pocket sized looking glass- that doubled up as a pocket watch- which allowed her to talk to any of her friends whenever she needed them- or just felt like some good, intelligent, mad conversation.
When she turned one and twenty Mirana had commissioned a hat for her; which the Hatter had dropped everything and gone scuttling to his workshop to make for her- Alice had told him personally how much she adored the simple yet elegant Sunhat.
When she was two and twenty she had been in a cold and snowy country; so Mirana had had the cobblers make up a pair of fur lined boots- the fur had been generously donated by the Bandersnatch who had taken as much a liking to Alice as anyone. They had, apparently, been praised by everyone in Aboveland who had seen her wearing them.
The day she hit three and twenty the separation from her family had finally gotten to her- so Mallyumkun had been sent to keep her company for the day; Tarrant sent along a little sprig of heather which he had painted Alice blue to help cheer her up. Mally had returned with a little spool of rather beautiful lace with Tarrant's name on it and a head full of stories which were shared at the tea table.
Last year Thackeray had made her 'fortune' cake: the Hare had been intrigued by her talk of fortune cookies- from China so had started working on hollow buns in which little extra treats could be hidden: he had baked enough for each of them to place a small personal gift in. Mirana had given her a tiny rendition of her crown; Mally had urrendered her little needle-sword; chess had found an Aboveland marble from somewhere which looked exactly like his eye; the Tweedles had given a tiny version of their little wooden swords and Tarrant- Tarrant believed that he had outdone himself that year; he had crafted a minute Alice-ragdoll which he had dressed in the little dress he'd made her when she'd been two inches tall and a copy of the hat he'd made her when she'd been twenty one.
This year Tarrant wanted to provide her gift himself. He'd gotten the Queen's permission and everything. He was allowed to deliver it in person too. That had made him Futterwacken. The problem was that he had no idea what to give her. A hat wasn't special enough, neither was a dress. What he sought was something she'd never be able to forget.
He decided that he'd ask McTwisp to see what she might want.
The rabbit had told him that there was to be a party for her in the garden where the rabbit hole was. On hearing this Tarrant he had run to the throne room; a plan forming itself in his mind.
There's Chapter One for you :)
What could our Hatter's plan possibly be? I hear you ask. All will be revealed in the next few chapters.
I'll be back before you know it.