(Authors Note: By the way this story happened BEFORE the Black Hearts series)
"Hatter please! Why can't you just tell me what's going on?" I hesitated.
"Fine. Come with me." I held out my hand and beckoned her.
"Hatter!" Queenie cried. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" I smiled innocently at Queenie. I gave her a look that said I can handle this
. She nodded and followed on. Chess shrugged.
"If you say so." Rabbit edged towards my hand as if it were a viper ready to bite. As she neared me I set off. We walked in silence for a long time. I eventually sat down at a bus stop.
"A bus stop? You brought me to a bus stop
?" I held up my hand to silence her. Somewhat bemused, she sat down next to me. I leant back and bent my hat forward. Chess and Queenie stood nearby.
"What are you planning?" Chess whispered in my ear. I tapped my nose, saying nothing. The bus pulled up beside us and we got on. After a short drive we arrived at some ancient gates.
"That old castle? Is this
what I'm supposed to see?" I shook my head and gripped her hand. Without warning, we shot up into the air and over the gate.
"But it's closed!" Rabbit hissed. I leapt over the gate for the second trip. I continued to lead them on the trek.
"Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on?!" Rabbit yelled, seemingly to no one at all.
"Sorry, Rabbit, but it's up to Hatter now," Chess muttered. Rabbit looked pleadingly over to Queenie, but she shook her head sadly and pressed a finger to her lips. I led them through the forest, the branches tearing at my coat. Finally we stopped.
"Well! Here it is!"
"Yep! That's it! Just a boring, plain, shallow hole!" Chess and Queenie sighed in relief. Rabbit was unconvinced.
"B-b-but - "
"No buts! You wanted to see the magic, you've seen it." My eyes swirled into amber. "Now go home." Rabbit's eyes looked as if they were going to fly from her head.
"HOLY CRAP WHAT'S UP WITH YOUR EYES!" Queenie and Chess sensed the alarm.
"HATTER!" They cried in unision. I sighed like a deflating balloon.
"I'm fine," I whispered.
"You're not though!" Rabbit yelled. "The eyes! The cliff! What's going on!" She ran to the hole and crouched beside it.
"There's gotta be more than just a hole."
"There's always something
," I said, quoting Lemony Snicket again. Rabbit ignored me. She peered closer.
"I think I can see something..."
"Rabbit - NO!" I ran to her and tried to grab her shoulder, but her shoulder was no longer there. I turned to Chess.
"What was the last thing we said to our parents?"
"See you next half term."
"Then we're right on time." I flung off my trenchcoat and leapt down the hole.
We soon caught up with Rabbit, who was screaming her head off. I grabbed her under the arms and we floated in mid air. Chess and Queenie grabbed my legs as they reached us, and I knew I'd only be able to stay there for a few minutes.
"Where are we?"
"At KFC - We're in a hole silly!" Rabbit giggled, but a little nervously. She gazed down.
"It's so deep..."
"Yep. Now, here's the deal Rabbit. I can do one of two things. I can take us back up to the surface, where you belong. Or, I can take you down to the bottom of this little hole. So what's it gonna be - up or down?" Rabbit glanced up. She glanced down. She looked up at me and grinned.
"I choose down."
"If you say so." I laughed madly as I let her go. She screamed again, and I swooped after her.
"What was that for?!" She yelled.
"I thought it would be funny!" I said casually, doing backflips in the air.
"That was so NOT funny!"
"You have to admit," Chess said. "It was a little
"A little? It was hilarious!" Queenie cried. We all laughed.
"You wanted down so we let you down!" I explained. Rabbit had gotten over the screaming stage.
"So where does this hole go?" she asked.
"You'll see." I grabbed Rabbit and Queenie and steadied us into landing. Chess, as always, landed on her feet.
"You just - " Rabbit started.
"What do cats do?" For the first time in about half an hour, Rabbit laughed.
"But you're not really a cat!"
"Your clothes!" Chess was suddenly in Underland attire. Ocean Blue boots, black skinny jeans, blue and black striped jumper, all complete with blue ears and a bushy blue tail.
"The Cheshire Cat!" I cried, laughing. Rabbit turned to me and gasped. I tipped forward my emerald hat and laughed. I was back in my green boots, brown jeans and green jacket.
"The Mad Hatter!" Queenie laughed. We all turned to see her in her white and black boots, black trousers, pink shirt and white jacket, complete with crown.
"The White Queen," Rabbit breathed. I stared at her.
"Can't be..." I rubbed my eyes and blinked.
"What are you staring at?" Rabbit asked. She noticed my gaze was cast slightly above her head. She held her hands above her head and felt around.
"Pardon me for asking, but I do believe there is a mouse of some sort on my head." She exclaimed. I laughed.
"It's not a mouse!" Chess cried. I fumbled through my pockets, and pulled out a small mirror. I held it to her face.
"Oh my god." Outstretched from rabbit's reddish-brown hair was a pair of fluffy white ears.
"She's like us!" Queenie whispered. Rabbit analysed herself and gasped. She still wore her ripped skinny jeans and white blouse, but she now had a denim waistcoat and white trainers on. Around her neck hung a gold chain with a pocketwatch on the end.
"Wow," she breathed.
"The White Rabbit," I said. Something clicked inside my head and I pulled out my own pocket watch. I tapped the screen and peered at it.
"Oh god we're late!" I cried.
"Isn't that my line?" Rabbit asked. I laughed, but grabbed her hand and sped off.
We ran through the tunnel and into the checkered room. I hastily grabbed the little key, the little bottle and the little cake on the floor.
"We're gonna need these," I muttered.
"You say it like you've done it before." I smiled mysteriously at her.
"Too many to count," Queenie said.
"More times than you've had cold beef on Grivlic Day." I laughed, opened the bottle and poured some of the liquid down rabbit's throat. She swallowed it and coughed.
"What was that?"
"It doesn't matter. But it's safe, look." I swallowed the drink myself and passed it onto Chess and Queenie.
"Woah," Rabbit exclaimed, swaying. "I think the butterfly's that live in my stomach are having a party."
"That's good!" I said. "Very Good!" All of a sudden, we were no more than a few centimetres high.
"Come on! We haven't got all day!" We all ran over to a now seemingly huge red curtain and slipped behind it. I unlocked the door and we went in.
"Oh my god!" Rabbit cried. "It's - It's - It's -"
"Welcome to Underland," Queenie muttered.
"But you said it was just a hole!"
"Yeah, about that..." I trailed off. "I'm a LIAR!" I burst into laughter again.
"You're mad!" She cried.
"Need I administer my explanation again?" I asked.
"That's why they call her Hatter," Chess explained. I bowed and waved my hat.
"You know me too well. Now eat this!" I shoved some of the cake into my mouth, into Chess', into Queenie's and into Rabbit's. We were all normal size again. "Now come on! But stay close Rabbit, no one can see you yet." She crouched behind us, every now and then gasping at the sites. There was life in every corner.
"Ah! Listen to them - the children of the night. What music they make!" Chess put her hands over her ears and made out she was dying.
"Enough with the Bram Stoker!" I shrugged and smiled.
"I can't help it!" I cried. Rabbit laughed. We led her along the stony path without hassle, and then entered the Tulgey Wood. Light spilled between the trees, and it all looked very exotic. Then we heared the swirling.
"It's Chesshur!" Queenie hissed. "Quick! Hide her!" Chess and I bundled Rabbit into a nearby bush. Chesshur appeared in front of us, a huge grin spread across his face.
"Well hello, ladies. Megan! It's been a while." I tipped my hat.
"Ruby, I trust the evaporating is going well." Chess nodded.
"And dear Queenie, my how beautiful you are looking today. My, you three have grown."
"It's nice to see you too, Chesshur." I said.
"Thankyou, my dear. Now, tell me, what was that you were shoving into a bush before I came."
"Nothing you should stick your nose into!" Chess snarled defensivly.
"Temper temper!" Chesshur remarked cooly. He floated above the bush. "Surely you wouldn't mind if I had a little peek..."
"No way!" I yelled.
"Let me handle this," Queenie whispered. She walked over to Chesshur and began stroking him. He purred softly. I grinned. Queenie always had a way with animals.
"Now Chesshur, you can't see what we've got in there because it's a suprise for Tarrant. You wouldn't want to spoil it for him now would you?" Chesshur purred louder and turned to her.
"My lips are sealed." And with that he disappeared. We stood in silence for a bit.
"Is he gone?" Chess whispered.
"I'll check." Queenie closed her eyes and focused. She blinked them open and nodded. "All clear." I pulled Rabbit out of the bush and brushed her off.
"The Cheshire Cat!" she cried. I put a finger to my lips.
"Ssh!" I grabbed her hand and pulled her through the wood. We stopped in the clearing and crouched down.
"Stay here until I come get you," I told her. "We'll handle this." She nodded and stayed put. We stood up and headed through the bush.