As soon as The Knave and Veronica were out of sight, Tarrant flicked the doormouse. She squealed.
"What was that for?" she squeaked.
"Levitation. We levitate."
"Oh never mind." I laughed. I always laugh. But I felt curiosity welling up inside me. I knew she was coming back, Queenie had said, but I didn't want to leave her alone with the fat headed pig.
"Hatter," Queenie said. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" I nodded. I glanced at Chess who was grinning. I rearranged my hat and smiled.
"Tarrant, please excuse us, we have business to attend to." He laughed. I turned my back on them and did a flip out of the tree.
"Since when could you do that?" Chess asked, leaping from the tree.
"I practised," I said. "Didn't you ever wonder why I did so well in high jump?" Queenie laughed as she landed.
"You coming too?" Chess said. Queenie nodded.
"Tarrant and I finished our business."
"What was your business?" Chess asked.
"Eat cake." I laughed, AGAIN. Then we all dashed off in the direction of the castle.
I was escorted to the Queen's private quarters. She was flopped on her bed, sobbing. For once I pitied her. This was new. She turned to me and smiled. She ran over and hugged me. I was nearly crushed by her enormous head.
"Oh Niccy! Niccy Niccy Niccy! Where have you been? Did they hurt you?" I shook my head, but just barely.
"WHERE ARE THEY?" she suddenly screamed. "THEY MUST LOSE THEIR HEADS AT ONCE!" Already lost them, I thought.
"If you please, your majesty," Stayne said. "Niccy has already done so." The red queen stared in disbelief, but then nodded her approval.
"I always knew you could do it," she murmured.
That night I lay awake in my bed. Favourties always got the nicest beds, and I felt every benefit. But I couldn't sleep that night. I couldn't stop thinking about the tea party. I had felt so happy there. All I felt here was misery. I had to find my way back there. Fortunately, 'there' had already found me. To my suprise, Hatter flew up outside my window. The wind brushed about her, and she landed on my balcony. Chess and Queenie were with her. Queenie tapped on the window. I waved shyly. I ran over and opened the window. They hopped silently in. I suddenly blushed, feeling embarrassed wearing nothing but my heart covered night dress. They seemed to take no notice.
"What are you doing here?" I whispered.
"We've come to take you back" Hatter said. "For good."
"But I can't!" I cried. "They'll chase me down!" It seemed they haven't thought of this. Queenie put her hand on my shoulder.
"Do you want to be stuck in this place all your life?" she asked. After hesitation, I shook my head.
"Well come on then!" Hatter cried.
"Niccy I need you to-" I gasped as Stayne entered the room. He looked shocked.
"Ah, hello again Stayne" Hatter greeted.
"Harriet Hightopp," he muttered. "As I live and breathe. Niccy told us you were dead."
"Can't kill me that easy Stayne. Don't you know anything?" She scolded him sarcastically.
"The fact that you're here makes Niccy a traitor."
"How do you know we aren't going to kidnap her again?"
"I'd like to see you try." Hatter tipped her hat over her eyes and grinned.
"I could do it with my eyes closed." She clicked her fingers and everything turned into a blur. Chess grabbed me and Queenie ran to the door. Stayne drew his sword but Hatter kicked him where the sun don't shine. Ouch. She finished the job by kicking him in the stomach.
"Hello Stayne," she said mockingly, "Meet my foot." Eventually she left Stayne alone and ran onto the balcony with us. Chess linked arms with Queenie and the pair somersaulted over the balcony.
"Oh my god!" I cried.
"Don't worry." Hatter said cooly. "Cats always land on their feet." Then she grabbed me round the waist and leapt over the side. I screamed as we descended with lightning speed. The wind whipped around us as we fell. But we steadied to land and ran on. I could hear the guards thundering behind us. I could picture the expression on the Queen's face.