Chapter Fifteen

And You've Just Had Some Kind of Mushroom

"So let me get this straight," Luna began. "Our solution to Ginny's apparent take over by some malevolent force-"

"I keep telling you, it's the Black Queen," the Red King objected.

"When I want your opinion, pretty boy, I'll beat it out of you," Luna snapped at him. "Our solution is to follow Hatter? The craziest person in this whole cast?"

Draco sighed. This had been going on for a while. The Red King had shown up and talked about Ginny being some kind of Black Queen. Which made no sense. Draco had read both of the Alice books and the Black Queen was just a side note in the second one, during the chessboard bit. Hardly worth thinking about but the Red King seemed to think that she was a major player now.

"The Black Queen," Red began.

"Is non existent," Alice said. "She does not exist in this version of Wonderland. She was replaced by the Red Queen just as you replaced the Black King."

Draco swallowed. He had NOT told them about his run in with the Black King and now he debated whether it was a good idea or not. If the Black King wasn't supposed to exist in this version of Wonderland...

"Wait, what do you mean this version?" Draco asked.

"In some of the translations of the book, the Red Court is actually black. It's like a chess board. Some are red and white and others are black and white."

"So that resulted in different versions of Wonderland?"

"Like alternate universes," Alice said.

A bad, very very bad idea was taking root in Draco's mind. He cleared his throat. "What's to stop elements from one universe from bleeding into another?"

Every one stopped. Draco had taken the lead in their effort to find Hatter but he knew that the others were standing perfectly still behind him. He sighed and turned to face them. Red was looking pissed. Alice was looking devastated and Luna thoughtful.

"How...why would you think that?" Red asked.

Now or never, Draco thought. "Ginny and I ran into the Black King."

"All the more reason to-" Red began but Luna interrupted him.

"No. All the more reason for us to find Hatter then find Ginny. I don't care about the Black King. I don't care about the Black Queen. I care about my best friend and about us getting out of here before the Jabberwocky or one of the other queens show up."

"What other queens?" Draco asked.

Luna sighed. "Four suits for the cards. The Queen of Hearts was taken over by the Red Queen but the other three suits still exist."

"That's who you'd become if we left you alone?" Draco asked.

"Probably," Alice replied. "We were queens here before. But we were always together. Separated, we'd be vulnerable."

"Have you heard word of the White Queen?" Red asked.

"No," Alice replied. "She's been gone since the first Alice came through. We can ask Hatter."

"Good," Draco said. "Let's do that."

The woman possessing Ginny Weasley's body walked deeper into the dark woods. Birds had stopped singing and noise had dropped off almost completely.

The woman started humming. It was an old song, old as Wonderland itself. From the dark she saw eyes but she paid them no mind. She walked forward. She was having trouble wearing trousers. She had always worn skirts before and these pants were irritating but strangely liberating.

She sang softly, her voice seeming to echo and yet be completely absorbed by the oppressive darkness.

"Oh, quarter, oh, quarter, those pirates then did cry," she sang.

She could almost hear the darkness repeat the traditional refrain.

"But the quarter that we gave them - We sunk then in the sea," she sang.

And from the black came a sibilant voice, half singing, half hissing. "Coming down along the coassst of the High Barbaree..."

The woman in Ginny's body smiled. "Hello, Jabberwocky."

(A/N: Did you really think I'd do an Alice story without sticking the Jabberwocky in there? In all fairness, this chapter was the first time I've mentioned the Jabberwocky. I debated long and hard about when he should make his appearance and then since I was struggling with this chapter anyway, I thought, why not now? He has to show up before the end if I want to end it the way I do. So here he is. Expect more.