Hey everybody, thanks for choosing to read this! I really think that a lot of Red Queen fans will enjoy this since she finally get's a friend instead of being constantly betrayed. Well, if you do like it leave a review!

I don't own Alice in Wonderland, that belongs to Tim Burton and Lewis Carroll.

Enjoy!


Chapter 1: The Girl in the Attic

"Here's the last door, men! BUST IT DOWN!"

The Red Queen's knights quickly obeyed their ruler's command and made their way to the decrepit door. Although, after slamming against the door countless times, there wasn't any progress made on breaking down the door. It may have been a decrepit door, but it was stubborn too.

"Ugh," the queen groaned, "you buffoons can't do anything right!"

The queen made her way to the front of the knights and used all the frustration embedded within her to kick down the door. She turned back to the awe struck (and slightly emasculated) knights and said with a smug look on her face "And that's how you get things done!"

However, before the queen could step inside Stayne stepped in front of her.

"Your majesty," he said, "I don't think it's safe in there. This mansion is very old; the floor might collapse under you (and your big fat head)-"

"Oh, quit fussing Stayne!" The queen hissed. "I didn't come all this way with you and these blasted knight for nothing, you know! Now, beyond this door is the missing Prof. Apricot's greatest invention and it's taken us weeks to get to the top floor because of all the traps he's set in this withered old mansion. This invention could be the greatest thing to ever be invented in all of Underland, and if I don't find out what's behind this door…I'll go insane… AND TAKE YOU ALL WITH ME!"

Stayne quickly stepped aside, letting the queen step inside the room on the top floor. He knew that if he didn't move out of the way he'd have to face the queen's banshee-like screaming and tiny fists pounding on his head (not to mention her promises of taking him, as well as the other knights straight to the insane asylum).

The room was far from what the queen was expecting though; it looked like an attic! There was gigantic hole in the ceiling which allowed the winter's snow to fall inside and the only light came from the moon beyond the clouds. Old, web-covered machines sat in the shadows of the room, and in the center of the room was an 11-year-old girl with long bright orange hair sitting in a metal chair. She wore a long, tattered, red coat and had a monocle on her right eye. She sat so still, that abandoned spider webs were formed upon her hair.

The queen quietly tip-toed up to the girl sitting in the chair; she couldn't tell if she was a statue or not. Cautiously, the red queen stuck out her finger and moved it closer to the orange-haired girl's face. But before she could confirm if the girl was real or not, she quickly jerked her head upward letting out an obnoxiously loud yawn and caused the queen to fall back.

The girl stared back at the queen with her electric blue eyes (once she stopped yawning) and whispered under her breath "Who…are you? What are doing here?" Her face suddenly lit up. "Are you here to bring the professor back?"

The queen shook her head and the girl frowned. "I'm here to look for the professor's greatest invention."

"So you're looking for me?" The girl asked.

The queen stood up, and stared at the girl curiously. "How could this girl be the professor's greatest invention?" She thought. "So, what are you doing here?" She asked.

The girl began playing with a spider that was sitting on the floor. "I'm Ginger," she said, "I'm just waiting for the professor to come back."

"About that," the queen tried very hard to ignore the spiders crawling on the ceiling, "why did the professor leave?"

"I don't know. I used to be his favorite, I was the very first human to be created by hand and shortly after being created, the professor taught me all the skills needed to be an inventor. He was very proud of me…but… one day he created a second in other words, a little sister. Her name was Rose and she was much better at inventing things than I was. She could make wonderful inventions that are incredibly useful, all I could make were inventions that exploded ten seconds after being made. He was much prouder of her than he was of me. And one day…he took Rose and left… leaving me and all the other inventions… here."

The queen sat in silence for a moment as she stared back at Ginger. Deep inside her heart unfamiliar emotions began to stir within her: pity and sympathy. She didn't understand it at all, she never felt that way for anyone, especially children! However, there was something about that girl that reminded the queen of herself. The fact that Ginger used to be loved and adored until her younger sister came along was very similar to her own childhood.

The queen remembered the worst and best day of her life. Much like Ginger she was 11 at the time. For months the red princess overheard her parents talking about denying her birthright and passing the crown down to her younger sister instead. They had never spoken of doing so until her sister was born. She didn't understand why they had a sudden change of heart. Was it because of her head? Or was it because of her short temper? Or maybe it was simply because her sister was better than her at everything.

Either way, she wouldn't stand for the insult. The red princess ran out of the castle of crims with nothing but a thermos of water and a deck of cards and she didn't stop running until she reached the red sand valley. Of course, by the time she arrived there, her thermos was nearly empty. Her round black eyes began to scan the surrounding area. There was nothing but red sand and dry craggy mountains as far as the eye could see; no water in sight.

For a moment, she began thinking that she should go back home and steal more water, but of course there was the complication of the palace guards grabbing her and forcing her back home.

Luckily for the princess though, she remembered a useful survival skill that a young traveling boy named Stayne told her. He told her "If you ever find yourself in the desert with no water, than try digging in the sand. You might find some water at the bottom."

The young princess set her deck of cards down and began digging through the sand searching for water, but even after hours went by, no water was found. She dug her hands into the sand once more and this time, she felt something unfamiliar.

It wasn't moist like she had anticipated but instead it was very hard and small. The red princess pulled the mysterious object out of the sand and then climbed out of the hole she was digging in so she could get a better look at the object in the pale sunlight.

She opened up her petite trembling hand and saw a small red stone in the shape of a heart. She scowled at the pathetic stone and tossed it aside thinking of how useless it was and then jumped back into her hole to continue digging.

The stone bounced and rolled on the sand until it landed next to a small deck of cards. The cards began to shimmer and glow from the magic embedded within the heart-shaped stone. Of course it didn't take long for the princess to notice the strange glowing emitting from outside of her waterless water hole.

The princess struggled to climb out of the hole though, because the hours she spent digging through it had left the hole taller than she was. Several times her attempts to climb to the top were ruined when the sand would slide beneath her hands and feet.

The princess continued climbing until she could feel her hand reach the top of the sand pit, but as soon as she felt like she had finally reached her freedom, her hand began slipping back into her unintentional trap.

She shut her eyes tightly and prepared to fall again, but when she opened them again she noticed that she wasn't falling, in fact she was rising upward! Once she had reached the top of the hole, the princess realized what had lifted up in the first place; it looked a like a card with a heart-shaped head in red armor, and there were several of them!

"What are these things?" She thought.

The card knight set her down and handed her the heart-shaped stone she had found earlier. It all made sense now, those knights used to be the deck of cards she had run away from home with, and they were all brought to life by the peculiar stone.

The knights bowed before the princess and said "What is your command, your majesty?"

It was on that day that the princess became queen of the red sand valley which was renamed "Salazem Grum." She ordered the knights to begin creating her castle and to use as much heart décor as possible as a tribute to the heart-shaped stone that saved her life. And to this day, that stone has always remained by her side, disguised as decoration on the top of her scepter.

A slight smile tugged at the queen's lips as she remembered that day. She was very lucky to have found that stone, but Ginger, however, wasn't so lucky. She was left alone without a friend in the world. Much like the queen was now (because her court seemed more like kiss-ups than they did friends and Stanye seemed to have more interest in other women than he had interest in her). They were both alone. But not anymore, the queen would make sure of that.

"Ginger," the queen said, "you're coming with me."

Ginger looked up at her confused. "What?"

"You'll be welcomed into the court and you may use your inventing skills in any way you please as long as it benefits the kingdom."

The queen grabbed confused Ginger's hand and pulled her out of the metal chair as the two of them began walking towards the door and past the even more confused knights.

"She's different from the others." The queen thought. "She's the only one who's been through what I've been through and she hasn't shown any fear of discomfort towards… my head. She'll be my friend, mine and mine alone."

The two of them walked out of the crumbling mansion and into the frosty night air as the knights followed close behind them. The night was dimly lit up by a single lamp held by the queen.

But in the silence of the night, a realization came to Ginger. "Wait," she called out, "what should I call you?"

The queen turned back to the girl and smiled slightly. "Call me…Iracebeth."