"Tell me, how much hair could a werehare wear if a werehare could wear hair?"
NAME: Fear of the Moon
SERIES: Disney's Adventures in Wonderland
SUMMARY: Hatter and Hare thought that silly tale of the werehare was just a myth, until the full moon changed their point of view.. and more than that..
CONTAINS: Some slight mature content and mentionings of blood.. Yur warned.. n_n
DISCLAIMER I don't own Disney's AIW or its characters in any way..
NOTE: Yet another "Adventures In Wonderland" fanfic for ya.. This was inspired from the episode called "A Wonderland Howl-oween"..
RATED: T [For Teen]
The clock on the wall read 3:46 am.
Hatter laid in his bed, fully dressed in his purple suit, and to nervous and worried to sleep. His dresser lamp was on, filling the room in a dim, gold light. He was too nervous to turn all the bedroom lights off by now. How could this possibly happen? It was all just a stupid story the Red Queen of Hearts told them last October at the Halloween picnic, that's all. This couldn't be real. It just couldn't.
The Hatter rolled over again, kicking the covers the rest of the way off his body. The cool night air flowed in through his shattered bedroom window, and the white light of the full moon poured over his face as he let his blue eyes stare at it. How could something so beautiful bring about such a terrifying and horrible change in someone? He wondered where his poor friend Hare was right now. Hatter glanced over at the desk beside Hare's bed on the other side of the room, catching a glimpse of Hare's glasses sitting on the desk top and he let his mind recall what happened yesterday night.
It was around 10:30 pm. Hatter was getting ready to call it a night and as he was finishing his task of cleaning up his kitchen, Hatter heard one of the front doors open and then slam shut, followed by the sounds of whimpering. Hatter came into the front room to find Hare sitting by one of the doors, his back pressed hard against door, and his left gloved hand was clutching his right arm just above the elbow. There was red coloring all around his hand and it didn't take Hatter a moment more to realize that it was blood. Hare looked up at Hatter, tears were streaming down his frightfully pale face, his dark eyes were full of fear behind his round glasses and his lips were trembling.
Hatter came to his friend and knelt down in front of him. "Hare, what happened?" He asked, making Hare move his hand away from his arm. Before Hare answered, Hatter gasped when Hare moved his hand. Hare's bloodied sleeve was torn, revealing a long, wide gash in his arm and the wound was bleeding badly.
Hare was still crying from both fright and pain when he answered Hatter's question, "I w-was.. on my way from the Queen's palace tonight.. and something attacked me in the.. the woods. It was bigger than me."
"Did you recognize what the thing was that attacked you, Hare?" Hatter asked, moving the fabric of Hare's sleeve away from the wound to get a better look at how deep and long the gash was.
"No.. I.. I didn't.." Hare said, giving a soft, pitiful whimper as Hatter continued to examine the wound.
"Are you sure it wasn't a wild dog or another rabbit of some sort? Perhaps a Jabberwock?" Hatter asked.
"I.. don't know, Hatter.. It was too dark to tell what it was.." Hare said, his voice trembling.
"It's a bright, full moon tonight.. You should've been able -"
"Not in the dark forest, Hatter.." Hare said, a hint of aggravation showing in his voice. "I couldn't tell what it was, okay?!"
"Alright, alright.. Come with me.." Hatter said and took both of Hare's hands as he stood up, then he pulled Hare up to his feet.
"What are we doing?" Hare asked, trying to blink the stinging sensation that the tears brought out of his eyes.
"We're going into the kitchen to clean your wound. How bad does it hurt now?" Hatter asked, leading Hare into the kitchen just down the hall.
"Not too bad.. It hurt terribly the moment it happened, though. It was like being slashed deeply with the point of a large knife." Hare said, resisting the urge to cover the wound again.
"Here.. Sit down.." Hatter said, gesturing toward one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Hare took a seat and nervously watched Hatter roaming around the kitchen, gathering everything he'd need to clean the wound. He returned to the table a minute later with a wet cloth, several bandages, scissors and a long roll of dry cloth.
Hatter set all the items down on the table and reached toward Hare's bowtie, then paused for a moment with a small blush at what he almost just did, drawing his hand back. "Uhh.. Hare.. In order to clean the wound easily, your gonna have to remove your jacket.. and shirt."
Hare gave a small sigh, and then began to remove his bowtie, the jacket (wincing in pain as the sleeve slid over his wound), and his shirt. He merely dropped his clothing to the floor and held out his injured arm to Hatter, not caring at all that this was the first time he'd actually been shirtless in front of him. Hatter, on the other hand, did feel a little bit uncomfortable about it, but it was the best way to clean the wound. Hatter took Hare's arm and began gently cleaning the gash with the wet cloth, all the while noting that Hare's arms were a lot more muscular than he thought. Hatter got all the blood cleaned off, then cut a long strip of dry cloth from the cloth roll.
Hatter then began to wrap the wound with the dry cloth and tied it up well, whispering "Sorry.." to Hare as some tears streamed down Hare's face due to the pain. Hatter was too afraid to apply any medication to such a deep gash, so binding it would have to do for now. "There," Hatter whispered, "that should do it.. Now, if the pain gets any worse, or the bleeding doesn't stop soon, I'm taking you to the hospital.. Got it?"
"Good.. Now, how about something to eat, hmm?"
"No, thanks.. I'm not hungry.. " Hare said, getting up from the table.
Hatter gave him a worried look. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah.. Thanks for the wrapping, Hatter.." Hare whispered, clearly over his shock now.
He and Hatter put away the cleaning items and both went to bed shortly after. Hare awoke the next morning, his wound aching rather badly and his stomach was feeling slightly painful. He stayed in bed most the day, refusing the Hatter's offers for him to eat or to take him to see a doctor. Hare finally gave in to food at around 6 pm and ate a bit of some soup that Hatter made for him. At around 9:30 pm, Hatter was outside his home, cleaning up after his tea party and having a conversation with Dormy, the Dormouse. Just as their conversation was quieting down some, a alarming sound caught Hatter and Dormy's attention. It was the sound of smashing glass - coming from inside his home.
Hatter jumped out of his chair, leaving the worried Dormy behind, and rushed into his house. He dashed upstairs to his bedroom where Hare was. He opened the door and looked into the room. Hare's desk had been knocked over, his glasses laying on the floor. Hatter looked around the room, then spotted where the noise had obviously come from. His bedroom window beside his own bed was shattered, as if someone had thrown a fairly large table through it. Cold wind blew in through the large hole in the window's glass and one of his curtains were ripped. Hatter ran to the window and looked out it. There was a creature slowly raising itself to its feet. It was Hare. He'd jumped through the closed window.
Hatter ran out of the room, dashed downstairs and out the front door. He ran around to the back of his house where Hare stood. Hatter stopped dead in his tracks when Hare turned his face to Hatter. Hatter could make his appearance out well in the bright moonlight. Hare looked wild-eyed and monstrous, his hair and fur ears had gone long and messy. His hands were covered with long, dark fur and had long, sharp claws at the end of his fingers. His pjs were ripped here and there. Hatter's breath caught it his throat. He forced himself to take a step toward his friend, trying to be brave under the glare of Hare's golden, glowing eyes. Hare took a step back as Hatter took another step forward.
"Hare? Do you understand me?" Hatter asked, cautiously raising a hand out to his friend.
Hare took a step back, with a small snarl. Then, as Hatter took another step closer, Hare backed away and fled into the forest. Hatter was amazed at how swiftly the Hare could run now and Hatter knew he would've never been able to catch him on foot. He made his way back to the front of the house and paced around his tea table to think, his mind now spinning with worry. What to do? This couldn't be real.. but it was.. He had to inform someone.. someone who wouldn't freak out once they realized what Hare was. Hatter certainly didn't want to bring complete panic to the residents of Wonderland. Two people came to mind and Hatter went away at full speed into the forest.
He found Tweedle Dee and Dum at one of their usual hang outs, still awake. He told them both what had happened, and, to Hatter's disappointment, they didn't believe Hatter's story. They told him to go lay down and get some rest, thinking that he must've had a nightmare during a nap or something of the sort, and Hatter finally broke down into tears, frustrated that neither of them would believe him. They finally agreed to help him search for Hare and their search lasted for nearly five hours, with no luck. Even if they did find Hare, Hatter wasn't sure at all about what to do to capture his friend without Hare hurting them in his monstrous state of mind. They were forced to give it up.
Now, Hatter laid in his bed, with nothing left to do but wait for the sun to rise, in hopes that Hare would return to normal and be safe. He set the desk that Hare knocked over back upright and placed Hare's glasses on its top to keep them safe. Hatter had also set his alarm clock for 6 am before laying down, so he'd be able to search for Hare in the morning. Poor Hare. Hatter wondered what Hare was feeling right now underneath the mask of that monster. He felt his eyes tear up some again, frightened for his dear friend.
"Hare, I just hope you're alright.." Hatter whispered into the air, turning his eyes away from the moon. "Please, be alright.."
Hatter finally turned his lamp light off and laid his head on his pillow, now clearly exhausted of having searched for Hare most the night. Hatter closed his eyes and just as he was about to drift off to sleep at last, the distant sound of a chilling howl reached his ears. His eyes fluttered open as his blood ran cold. That howl came from Hare - the werehare he now was, Hatter was sure of it. Hatter forced his eyes shut, ignoring his pounding heart. Several moments (and several howls) later, Hatter managed to fall into a deep sleep.
Hatter was up as soon at the sun rose, thanks to his alarm clock working decently that morning. Hatter jumped out of bed, his eyes not completely opened yet and he made a mad dash out of the house. He was just about to run out the gate, when he spotted a figure laying at the far end of his tea table on the stone path. Upon a closer look, Hatter smiled, then rushed to the creature's side and knelt down. It was Hare. He came back after all.
"Hare?" Hatter whispered, putting a hand on Hare's shoulder. "Hare? Are you alright?" Hare didn't reply, and he looked terrible. One sleeve of his pjs was torn badly at the shoulder and one of the legs of his pjs was ripped and blood stained. Hatter moved Hare from laying on his side to laying on his back and placed Hare's head in his lap, stroking his friend's hair in a comforting way. "Please, wake up.."
There was a soft moan from Hare's mouth, then his eyes slowly opened, and Hare raised a hand to them to rub them, trying to get his vision clear. His eyes traveled to Hatter and he smiled. ""Hey, Hatter.." He looked as if he was about to say something else, then confusion set in as his eyes looked around himself. "Uhh.. Hatter? Why are we out here?" He gave a confused smile. "I remember falling asleep in your room.."
"Is that all you remember of last night, Hare?" Hatter asked, noticing that the bandage on Hare's injured arm was gone and the wound was covered in dried blood.
"I don't think so.. I.." Then, Hare's face became frightened. "Hatter.. I.. think.. something happened to me last night.. My body began to grow tight and covered in fur. It was real.. I wasn't dreaming, and I remember jumping up out of bed, frightened, and then that's all I remember.." Hare said, looking frightened now as he recalled the memory of last night. "I remember wandering through the forest alone.. in pain.. I think I was looking for something.. I.." His voice lowered to a whisper, "Hatter.. I'm scared.. What happened to me?"
Hatter pulled Hare close in a warm hug, trying his best to comfort him as Hare buried his face under Hatter's chin. "Well.. From what I saw last night," Hatter whispered, "I can only conclude that the creature that attacked you the other night was some sort of were creature, like a werewolf. When it slashed your arm, it spread its curse to you.. Like an illness.. If ya catch a cold, you have to be careful around others so you don't get them sick with your cold as -"
Hatter stopped speaking when Hare's shoulders trembled some, and Hatter got the idea that Hare was actually crying now. Hatter sat there in silence for a moment, unsure of what to say to comfort Hare, and he soon found himself wanting to cry along with him. A moment later, Hatter pulled away from Hare. "Come on, Hare. Lets go inside and get you cleaned up.. Are you hungry this morning?"
Hare nodded, wiping tears from his face. "My vision is slightly blurred. Are my glasses broken?"
"No, they're okay." Hatter said, helping Hare to his feet, and as they began to walk to the house, Hare's legs began trembling so that it made walking slightly difficult for him. Hatter let Hare place an arm around his shoulders for support, and it helped Hare to walk more steady. Hatter lead Hare to his bedroom to lay down and Hare, having retrieved his glasses from the desk top, gasped in horror when he saw the shattered window.
"Did I.. do this?" Hare asked, gesturing toward the window.
"Uhh.. Yes.. You did, Hare.." Hatter whispered. "I showed this to Tweedle Dee and Dum last night during our search for you and they said they would help repair it sometime within the next few days.. Hopefully, it doesn't rain before then.." Hatter said with a smile.
Hare forced a half-hearted smile and sat on his bed. "Hatter, will I change every night, or just on the evenings of the full moon?"
"I'm not sure yet. Tomorrow night, I'm gonna lock you up in my basement - it's sturdy enough - and we'll see what happens. I'm gonna need a lunar chart.. Krystal can help with that.." Hatter assured him. "Don't worry, we'll get this figured out.."
"Okay.. Can I have breakfast now?" Hare asked, placing a hand to his stomach, clearly starving by now.
Hatter smiled, "Sure.. Anything in particular you'd like?"
"No.. Thanks.." Hare said, his eyes gave a sad look toward the floor as he laid down in his bed.
Hatter went away and spent some time in the kitchen, warming up some porridge for Hare and gathering up the items he'd use to clean Hare's injured arm. It was due for another cleaning. Hatter brought Hare the breakfast and while Hare ate, Hatter went to the task of cleaning the wound again, then he wrapped Hare's arm in a fresh bandage.
"There ya go.." Hatter whispered. ""That should do for most the day.."
"Thanks, Hatter.. What's everyone else going to think when they find out about this?"
"I'm not sure, Hare.. That is, if they even believe us.. But we don't need everyone in Wonderland freaked out by this news.. If you only change during the full moon, then that's even better.. I'm not sure, but from what I can remember about lunar phases.. We only have a full moon basically one night a month, but for a night or two after the actual full moon, the moon looks full.. making it seem as though we've got a full moon three nights in a row. One right after the other.."
"Yes, I got it, Hatter.." Hare said, finally giving him a real smile.
The next night, Hatter did just what he said he would. Fortunately, according to Krystal's moon charts Hatter had requested for that year, the moon was set to start the noticeable wane cycle this evening. So the moon wasn't going to be full.. just what Hatter wanted. Krystal also informed him that the moon wasn't entirely full last night, that the actual full moon occurred the night when Hare was attacked.. but because the moon looks full for usually about 3 nights in a row, were-creatures who were cursed to transform at the full moon can still transform even if the moon wasn't entirely full, but seemed to be.
So, Hatter made a mental note to keep a chart on the lunar phases for that year and find some way to keep Hare away from others during the nights when the moon looked full.. Hatter talked with Dee and Dum that afternoon and they agreed to help if any was needed on their part. Hare agreed to allow Hatter to lock him up in the basement, knowing he'd be perfectly safe from harm there.
Hare, Hatter and the Tweedle brothers waited nervously during night fall and waited until around 10:30 pm. To their relief, nothing happened to Hare, no transformations, no vicious behavior to speak of. So, having finally been convinced that nothing was going to happen tonight and that the transformation would more than likely take place on the evening before and after the full moon, Hatter dragged Hare out of the basement and allowed him to sleep in his room. Over the next few days, the Hatter, Hare and Tweedle brothers were busy repairing the bedroom window and making the basement a lot more sturdy for a werehare to be locked within for about 3 nights a month.
Hatter also went through all sorts of solutions for this problem, hopefully trying to find a elixir that would help keep Hare calm or asleep during his transformations. Hatter even considered using one of the shrinking potions that Alice had accidentally drank herself on her first trip to Wonderland. If nothing else helped, that would have to do. He certainly didn't want to have to keep poor Hare locked up an a cage like a wild animal - just the thought of that was enough to break his heart. More so, Hatter really wanted to find out what creature could've possibly done this to Hare.. For all Hatter knew, there were probably many were-creatures roaming the lands around Wonderland, much to his discomfort.
On one of the mornings to follow, Hatter sat outside at his tea table, searching through at least ten books of various sizes as Hare came out of the house, looking tired.
"Hatter?" Hare whispered, rubbing his eyes. "It's 5:00 in the morning.. What are you doing?"
"Actually, it's 5:31.." Hatter said with a smile, pointing to a nearby clock. "I'm going through these lists of remedies and cures for were-creatures, trying to find some method that doesn't cause serious damage to you, or possibly death.."
"Oh, that's just lovely.." Hare said, sarcastically, sitting down and taking a fresh doughnut from the plate of doughnuts that was obviously Hatter's breakfast. "I thought the only cure was to be bitten by the very same were-creature that cursed you in the first place.."
"From the looks of it, that is the only cure I can find.. We can rule that one out, Hare.. I don't think that's gonna happen.."
Hare gave Hatter a sad look. "Well, I guess the shrinking potion will have to do.."
"Yeah.. It's better than you roaming around Wonderland, attacking people.."
"I agree.. I.." Hare trailed off as a red figure in the distance caught his eye and he swallowed, nervously.
Hatter noticed this a turned around to see the Red Queen of Hearts coming toward them. She was frowning, not a good sign. She opened the gate and let herself in, Hatter wasn't about to object under her glare.
"Hello, your Majesty.." Hatter said, giving her a slight bow of his head as she came to stand before him.
"So," the Red Queen said, obviously not about to give them a good morning. "what's all this nonsense talk about Hare transforming into a monster."
"I didn't.." Hatter began, but the Queen cut him off.
"I'm not finished, Hatter.." the Red Queen said, folding her arms. "Half the Wonderland residents are frightened to go outside after sunset now because of what they've heard you and the Tweedle brothers discussing these past few days.. about Hare turning into a monster at night."
"He transforms into a werehare, your Majesty.. That's only around the full moon.." Hatter said, weakly.
"Hatter, that was a ridiculous story I told you two last Halloween to scare you for fun - it's not something for you two to let your imaginations run wild on.. Rabbit barely slept last night, afraid that your little tales were true."
"But they are.." Hatter said.
"Now, Hatter, I don't want to hear another word about it.. This story of yours stops today.."
Hare stood up, having heard enough. "But it's not a story, your Majesty.. Hatter didn't tell anyone because he knew they wouldn't believe us.. The Tweedles don't truly believe it entirely.. Here, look.." Hare said, pulling the sleeve of his pjs up and pulling the bandage away to reveal the red gash. "A creature attacked me on the way home from your palace when I came to visit you that night, then the night after that, I changed into a monster. Hatter saw it. I even jumped through his closed window, trying to escape his bedroom. The Tweedles agreed to helped us fix the window.."
"Did you hear any howling during those evenings?" Hatter asked the Queen, who was still frowning, obviously not sure what to believe about Hare's obvious wound.
"No, I didn't.."
"Were you wearing ear plugs?" Hatter asked.
"No, I wasn't!" the Queen said, folding her arms.
"Maybe I was too far away.. I.." Hare began, then paused, turning his attention to Hatter. "You heard me howling?"
"Yes, I did.. It was very chilling.." Hatter said, fighting off a shudder.
The Queen rolled her eyes. "You know, Hatter, you have created some pretty interesting stories in the past, but this is your best one yet.." She turned away without another word and went out of the gate.
"But I thought.. she.. was the one who created the story.." Hare said once the Queen was a good distance away, and he sat back down to his doughnut.
Hatter gave Hare a weak smile, "How true that is.." he whispered before taking a cream-filled doughnut for himself. ""Well, I've figured out all I can think of to do.. and I guess it's for the best that no one really believes us.. I don't need a hunting party on my hands - others coming after you with intentions on destroying you, I mean."
"True.. Like that Frankenstein tale.." Hare whispered. "We don't have enough Wonderland residents for a mob, though.."
"Oh, I'm sure if word of this got out and they believed this, we would.. Well, minus you and me.." Hatter said with a smile as he imagined most of the Wonderland residents with fire-lit torches and pitchforks, like in the old monster films.
Something in Hatter's thoughts showed on his face and it got Hare's attention. "What is it?" Hare asked.
"Torches and pitchforks.." Hatter replied.
Hare slowly gave a nervous smile. "Pitch.. forks..?"
"Yeah.. Don't angry mobs usually have those?" Hatter asked with a smile.
"I guess the shrinking potion it is.." Hare said, his mouth still in a nervous smile. "It'll be that much harder for your angry mob to find me.."
"Unless I can find an elixir that keeps you asleep during the transformation phases.."
"That would be nice.."
As the month passed, and the new month began, Hare tried to will himself to get back to normal, but nothing helped. Even the tea parties didn't feel the same. He always seemed down hearted or worrying. Hatter checked the chart and the full moon was set to happen on the 12th of this month. Hatter made all the preparations for the upcoming transformation: a cage to lock Hare inside for the night, a mushroom to change his size - as well as to return him to his prper size, and everything seemed to be fine, until the Queen paid them a visit one morning.
"Hatter? Hare?" the Red Queen called out, entering the gate.
The Hatter and Hare, who were sitting around the tea table outside, turned their attention to her.
"Yes, your Majesty?" Hatter asked.
"I've got a celebration coming up.. It's Rabbit's birthday and the dinner celebration will be tomorrow night. I'm having a dinner party for him."
"Tomorrow night!" Hare practically shrieked.
"Yes, tomorrow night." the Queen narrowed her eyes at both of them. "And you will be there.."
"But we.. I.. can't come.." Hare said, his face seeming to go slightly red from worry. "I.. transform.."
Hatter realized what this meant and he stood up, looking very frightened. "No, your Majesty. We can't go! Please, excuse us from this -"
"I won't excuse your not coming, Hatter! You will be there.."
"But if I transform that night, I may hurt someone.."
"Oh, Hare stop being ridiculous. You're not a monster. Enough with that story. You're coming rather you like it or not."
Hare gave a sigh and placed his face in his hands, clearly upset to the point of crying now.
"Well, I guess we'll go then.." Hatter said, looking more reluctant than ever.
"Good.. It's settled then. See you there." the Red Queen said and strode out of the Hatter's yard. The Hatter watched the Queen walk away in the direction of Caterpillar's hangout. When Hatter turned his eyes back to Hare, he wasn't surprised to find that Hare had removed his glasses and was wiping tears out of his eyes.
"Don't worry, Hare.. If her Majesty really wants us to attend, then I know what to bring in case you take a turn for the worse.. Okay?"
Hare nodded, returning his glasses to his face. ""Lovely night for a transformation.." he muttered under his breath, then stood up and went away into the house.
Hare worried and worried over this until the actual event the next day, nothing Hatter said or did was of any comfort to Hare now. When the two of them reached the Red Queen's decorated courtyard that afternoon, the smell of delicious food helped calm their nerves some.
"Ah, you did come.." the Queen said, smiling. "I.." then she noticed a large, black bag that Hatter was holding and she eyed it, suspiciously. "Hatter, is that another dangerous invention of yours?"
"No.. I already brought that.." Hatter said, motioning to Hare, who seemed to go slightly pale upon hearing this comment.
It was around 5:00 pm when they arrived, so there was plenty of time to relax and chat before night fall. The celebration was quite a pleasant one, even though Hare refused the offers of food, he was seeming to worry himself sick. The party went on and on as the sky grew darker. Hare began watching the dark blue skies like a hawk, waiting for the moon to show its face. It wasn't present yet, just the clouds and stars were visible. Hare was trying his best to stay calm, and others were noticing how pale he was becoming.
Finally, just as the Queen was finishing up a long speech about how proud they were to have Rabbit as their friend, Hare suddenly stood up from his seat, his eyes wide with horror and his hand on his chest. Then, he turned his frightened eyes to Hatter, who was staring back at him in some alarm.
"Hatter, it's happening! I can feel it!" Hare gasped out, becoming short of breath.
Hatter stood up, and dragged his black bag and Hare into the throne room, away from the confused guests. "Lay down." Hatter demanded and Hare, who was trembling like mad now, laid down. Hatter unzipped the black bag and pulled out rope and chains. Hatter went to the task of binding Hare tightly and securely in the ropes and chains. The other guests gathered in the doorway of the throne room, looking worried and confused at Hatter and Hare, the Red Queen, on the other hand, looked extremely angry.
Hare whimpered in pain as Hatter secured the last uncomfortably tight knot. Soon, Hare was bound so tight that he could barely move. Hatter took Hare's glasses from Hare's face and placed them in his coat pocket for safe keeping. Then, Hatter's face turned pale when he realised he'd forgotten the magic mushroom to change Hare's size. How could he be so stupid? ! "Great! Just great!"
"What?" Hare whimpered.
"I forgot that mushroom."
"Oh, no!" Hare squirmed against the ropes, "Hatter, you have to get me out of here.. I can't stay here.. The moon is almost -"
"No, you're staying right here.. If you transform, I want them to see it so they'll believe I'm not insane about this.." Hatter said, standing over his friend, waiting.
"But they'll kill me.." Hare pleaded. "..or I'll hurt someone! Please!"
"No, they won't. No one is gonna hurt you, I promise. As long as I keep you locked up away from everyone, we should have nothing to worry about.."
Before anyone else could speak, the floor of the well lit room was covered in a soft blue light. The moon had appeared from behind the darkened, purple clouds. Everyone's faces seemed to slowly turn pale with horror as Hare slowly transformed right before their eyes. His whimpers became a mix of growls and snarls; his soft, brown eyes turned to piercing yellow; and his cloths made ripping sounds as he struggled hard to break free of the thick chains. His claws emerged out of his fingertips and he grew fangs behind his front teeth. Hatter resisted the urge to kneel down and place a hand on him to comfort him. Hatter knew too well that all it would take is one bite or scratch, then he would be infected with this curse as well.
The Tweedles looked as if this reality finally hit home, and the Queen had one of her hands to her mouth. Rabbit came into the throne room, trying not to look too terrified.
"So, it really is true.." he whispered.
Hatter nodded. "I need a sturdy room with no windows and a door that locks on the outside.."
"The spare closet does that, Hatter.." Rabbit said.
Hatter smiled down at his struggling friend. "Alright.. We need to get him in there now. I just wish I'd brought that mushroom to change his size."
Tweedle Dee came forward. "Okay, but how.. I remember your warning about not letting him scratch or bite you.."
Hatter thought for a moment, then went to Hare's feet and grabbed the chain that bound Hare's feet together. Hatter gave a small tug and Dee got the idea. They both grabbed the chain and began to pull as Rabbit lead them to the closet. Hare's eyes seemed to go slightly red as he struggled against his two friends who were dragging him over the floor by his feet. They got to the closet and Rabbit removed the pad lock, then opened it. They dragged Hare into the closet. There were a few boxes on shelves here and there, but nothing that Hare could hurt himself on during his rage fits.
"Rabbit?" Hatter asked, "could you bring me some carrots and a bowl of water for him tonight?"
Rabbit nodded and went away quickly. Hatter and Dee stood in the closet, watching Hare struggle until Rabbit returned with five huge carrots and a large metal bowl of water. They set the food and water down before Hare and just as they were leaving the room, Hatter told his friend, "Hare, that's the only source of water you're getting tonight.. Try not to spill it.."
Hatter smiled and left the room. They closed the door and locked it.
"Thanks very much, you two.." Hatter said to Rabbit and Dee, giving them a thankful smile. "Uhh.. Rabbit? Do you have a spare blanket and pillow I can use tonight?"
Rabbit gave Hatter a confused look.
"I wanna sleep right here to make sure nothing happens to Hare.."
Rabbit nodded. "Alright, I don't see how that'd be a problem, I -" Rabbit stopped in mid-sentence when the Red Queen came up beside him.
"Hatter.." the Red Queen said, a soft look of pity coming to her dark eyes. "I'm very sorry I didn't believe you and Hare.."
Hatter nodded, not wanting to meet the Queen's eyes. "I know.. I wouldn't have believed, either, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes."
"Will he be well kept in there? Can he get out?"
"Not from what I know of.. And I'm staying here all night to make sure he'll stay in there all night.. Though you might hear some howls.. You might wanna consider ear plugs tonight, if ya want a peaceful nights sleep.." Hatter suggested with a smile.
"Alright then.. You'll need a blanket and pillow.." the Queen advised.
Then, Rabbit spoke up, "I was just on my way to retrieve those for him, your Majesty.."
The Queen smiled her approval and she and Rabbit went away, leaving Hatter to sit and wait by the door. He'd already had plenty to eat at the feast, so he wasn't at all hungry.
Dee placed a comforting hand on Hatter's shoulder, getting the man's attention. "I just want you to know that Dum and I are willing to help you in whatever way we can.. We're sorry for not believing you, too.." Dee watched Hatter nod, accepting the apology. "Would you like for Dum and I to stay the night here, just in case he breaks free.."
"Uh.. I don't think that'll be necessary.. Hare's pretty secure in this room.. but thanks for all your help.." Hatter said, smiling up at him. Dee nodded and stood up, removing his hand from Hatter's shoulder. He left Hatter's side and a moment later, Rabbit came skidding into the hallway with a thick blanket and pillow.
"Are you sure you'll be comfortable on the floor?" Rabbit asked, looking as if he wasn't quite agreeing with Hatter's decision.
"Well, it doesn't matter to me if I'm uncomfortable or not - I'm not leaving Hare's side.. Uhh.. Thanks for the blankets and pillow, Rabbit.." Hatter said, taking the pillow and blanket from him.
"And Hare will be alright in there?"
"Yup," Hatter said with smile and a tap on the door. Then, he moved his hand away when the sound of a loud snarl came from the other side of the door.
Rabbit smiled, uncomfortably, "He's not too happy in there, is he?"
Hatter returned the smile, "Nope.. Not one bit.. but he'll feel better in the morning, I'm sure.." Hatter spread his blanket out around him and fluffed up his pillow, then he removed his coat and top hat before laying down for the evening.
Hatter had to admit, it was way to early for bed, but he wasn't about to risk leaving the werehare alone. The hours moved slowly by and, just as Hatter was drifting off to sleep, the hallway light dimmed some. His eyes fluttered open in alarm to see Rabbit in his pjs, dimming the hallway light, then Rabbit whispered, "Good night." to Hatter before going to his own room. Hatter fell asleep soon after, now completely comfortable and tired out. Occasionally, Hatter would awake to the sound of a howl coming from the room beside him. He pulled the covers up to his chin and forced his eyes closed. Hare kept waking Hatter up off and on throughout most the night, making it more and more difficult for Hatter to fall back asleep every time he was awakened.
Finally, Hatter opened his eyes and saw that there was golden sunlight pouring through the nearby windows. Hatter immediately jumped up, so quickly that a strong wave of dizziness swept through his head. He placed his hand on the wall for a moment, waiting for the overwhelming dizzy spell to pass, then once he felt better and more steady, he quietly opened the closet door and crept inside the room. The bowl of water was spilt over and the carrots were scattered around the room, they had clearly been nibbled on a bit. Pieces of chain and rope were scattered here and there - they didn't bind Hare as well as Hatter had hoped..
Hare had returned to normal and was laying curled up on the floor, shivering in his sleep, as if he'd been cold for some time. Hatter gave a depressing sigh and stepped quietly over to Hare, then knelt down beside his friend. He gently shook Hare on the shoulder to wake him. Hare stirred, then moaned as his eyes slowly opened. The white of his eyes had a tint of pink coloring to them, as one would have if they'd been crying for a good, long while. Hatter pulled his friend up into a hug.
"How ya feeling?" Hatter whispered.
"I'm tired.. but okay.. Where's my glasses?"
"Safe in my coat's pocket.." Hatter said, giving Hare a smile.
"Good morning.." Rabbit whispered, poking his head into the doorway. ""Anyone for breakfast? I've made some breakfast: we have eggs, sausage, toast, pancakes, cereal -"
"Pancakes!" Hare blurted out, grinning through his tiredness as if the pancakes were a cure for his curse.
"Let's see.. There's blueberry, original, chocolate chip -"
"Chocolate chip, please.." Hare said, his smile growing more.
"Sure, and Hatter? What would you like?" Rabbit asked.
"Umm. I'll just have toast and eggs, thanks.." Hatter said, helping Hare up to his feet.
The three of them went out of the room, closing the door behind. Hatter cleaned and returned Hare his glasses and Hare noticed the blanket and pillow.
"What were those for?" Hare asked, motioning to the bedding on the floor.
"That was for me.." Hatter informed him. "I slept beside the door all night to keep you safe.."
Hare smiled and gave Hatter a tight hug, "Thank you.."
"For what?" Hatter asked.
"For putting up with me and all this that I'm going through."
"Of course I would.. You're my best friend." Hatter told him.
"Maybe we should clean up, now and eat breakfast.. I'm starving.." he whispered, looking down at the blanket.
"Alright.. and Hare? I spoke with her Majesty last night.. Please, don't give her a hard time about not believing us.. She feels bad enough for it already, okay?" Hatter asked.
Hatter nodded and helped Hare put away the blanket and pillow before heading off to the dinning room. The Queen was there, nearly finished with her own breakfast, and a look of pity came into her eyes when she saw Hare.
Hatter and Hare took their seat as Rabbit gave them their plate of readied food and a tall glass of orange juice.
"Hello Hare.." the Queen said, "Are you alright this morning?"
"I'm fine, thanks.." Hare said, trying not to feel uncomfortable under her pitying gaze.
"Did he keep you awake?" Hatter asked the Queen.
She smiled, "No.. Rabbit and I had ear plugs.."
Hare chuckled, then began devouring his pancakes quickly.
"Ya know, Hare," Hatter said, "if you'd eaten some of those carrots I gave ya last night, you wouldn't be starving this morning.."
"Werehares don't have a taste for carrots.. They're not satisfying.." Hare whispered.
"Oh, well.. then what do werehares eat?" Hatter asked, hoping to get a good source of food for Hare's transformations.
"Actually," Hare's voice nearly dropped to a whisper, "I can assure you, it's not carrots I have a taste for in that form.."
The Queen and Rabbit gave a nervously frightened glance toward Hare, then to Hatter. Hatter was dying to ask what it was werehares craved for food, but he was sure he already knew the answer, which was too disturbing to be mentioned in a warm, cozy setting like this.
"I'll just leave that info up to you imaginations.." Hare said, "Think of the cravings of a werewolf, and I'm sure you'll get the idea.." he added with his own grin.
The Queen and Rabbit shifted uncomfortably, as if they'd be more than happy to leave the room at that very moment.
Hare spent the next few nights locked up in the secured cage Hatter had gotten him, now only a foot tall, thanks to the magic mushrooms. The Queen was very thankful for that, she really didn't want room after room torn apart by a werehares.. Hare was very thankful that Hatter had come across that idea. This was one of the worst things that had ever happened to him, but he knew that if his friends could help him through this, they'd be there for him through anything in the future.
NOTE: All finished.. Finally.. Reviews are welcomed, and sorry for any errors I've missed.. :/ ^_^